Showing posts with label Dashahara. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dashahara. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is Dussehra Or Dushera?

("10 days") 

One of the most significant celebrations of the year, held on the tenth day of the bright (waxing) half of the lunar month of Ashvin (September–October). 

The holiday, also known as Vijaya Dashami ("Victory Tenth"), commemorates the triumph of virtue over evil. 

Both of the festival's founding tales depict the final victory of virtue over evil. 

One charter is based on Goddess mythology, and it commemorates the day when Durga (the Hindu Mother Goddess) slays the buffalo-demon Mahishasura. 

This tale is from the Devimahatmya, and it represents the text's core theme—the goddess is created to defeat Mahishasura when the gods are unable, and the text's climax is the battle between the two. 

Given that the nine days leading up to Dussehra are the autumn Navaratri, or "nine nights" dedicated in Goddess worship, it seems reasonable that the tenth and final day be celebrated by the climax event in the Devimahatmya, the Goddess's most significant source of mythology. 

The second founding tale for this festival comes from a completely different source: Rama (Vishnu's seventeenth avatar). 

This is the day when Rama kills Ravana (the demon king of Lanka) and reclaims Sita (Rama's bride) from captivity. 

On the night of Dussehra, gigantic effigies of Ravana and his son Meghanada (an epithet of Indrajit) are burned, and these effigies are sometimes accompanied by pyrotechnics to boost their pyrotechnic capability. 

The Ramayana (the Sanskrit epic), also known as the Ram Lila, is often performed at this time of year. 

In some situations, this lasts ten days, finishing on Dussehra; in others (such as the Ram Lila in Benares, the holy city on the Ganges River's banks), it lasts a month, with Dussehra commemorating Ravana's death. 

Dussehra is a very auspicious day, and it is widely believed that whatever started on this day would prosper. 

Dussehra is therefore a popular time to start big initiatives, start new pursuits, or create organizations, even if it is merely a token start. 

Dussehra also symbolizes the start of the cold season, when the scorching heat has passed and the monsoon rains have arrived, bringing better weather for military activity. 

Both founding stories are linked to battles and conquests, and the regal and martial classes used to celebrate Dussehra in especially. 

Soldiers were expected to worship their guns during Dussehra. 

Because of the festival's martial connections and the certainty that whatever started on that day would succeed, it was also the day of choice for monarchs to send forth soldiers to attack adjacent lands. 

Even though the emperor no longer reigns, one of the most spectacular festivities takes place in Mysore, where the sovereign preside over the event in his customary role as king. 

The other major celebration is at Kulu, when all of the region's deities go to Kulu to participate in the event (along with hordes of their human retainers). 

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

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