Dussehara also known as Vijayadashami, Ayudhapuja, Durga puja is Hindu festival.
Falls in Sep-Oct every year Vijayadashami is celebrated on the tenth day of Ashwin/Aswiyuja Shukla paksham.
2015 – October 22 , 2016 – October 11th
- Devotees do fasting and offer special poojas during Navrathras (9 days)
- Installing life size idols of Durga and doing pooja for 9 days.
- 10th day Vijayadasami day marks the ending of Navratras and fasting. Idols are taken into procession and immersed in a pond/lake.
- Family members bless their elders by giving them Shami/Jammi tree leaves
- The bidi leaf (apta) tree is worshiped, and its leaves are exchanged as wishes for a bright, prosperous future. The tradition of apta leaves is symbolic of Raghuraja, an ancestor of Rama and Kubera.
- Auspicious day to begin a new venture.
- The day marks the victory of good over evil. Goddess Durga fought with evil demon Mahishasura for ten days and nine nights and tenth day is marked as Vijayadashami. Diwali, the Festival of Lights, follows Vijayadashami which is celebrated after twenty days (Aswiyuja Krishna Amavasya – new moon day). Diwali is celebrated when Rama returned to Ayodhya
- Rama (7th avatar of Vishnu) killed Ravan on this day, and got Sita liberated.
- Demons / Asuras are evil minded and always trouble good and pious people.
- Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva created goddess Durga with ten hands, blessed with weapons used Lion as vahan fought Mahishasur for nine days and nights (called navrathras) and on the tenth day, Mahishasur was killed which is celebrated as Dusshera. Durga is also Shiv’s consort with fierce energy for destruction of evil.
Pandavas who lost their kingdom to the Kauravs in gambling game and went on exile for 12 years and 1 year Agnata vasam. Pandavas kept their weapons on a Shami tree before they entered the kingdom of Virat to complete their final year of exile. After that year, on Vijayadashmi they recovered the weapons, declared their true identities and defeated Kauravas, who had attacked King Virat to steal his cattle. Since that day, Shami trees and weapons have been worshiped and the exchange of Shami leaves on Vijayadashmi has been a symbol of good will.
- Dasha-Hara is celebrated with street plays based on the Ramayana (Ramlila), with effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Meghanada are burnt signifying Rama’s victory.
- Vijayadashami is an auspicious day for beginning formal education. Students keep their books and workers their tools for puja on the ninth day of Navratri (Ayudha Puja); these are taken back and used after puja on Vijayadasami.
- For life events, such as the beginning of a new business or the purchase of a new home or car, rituals are conducted to bless vehicles and other new items.
The festival is celebrated in Durga’s temples, where shodasa upacharam is offered. During Navratri, Durga is decorated in her different aspects:
- Bala Tripura Sundari, Mahishasura Mardhini, Annapoorna,
- Kali, Raja Rajeshwari, Kanaka Durga,
- Lakshmi, Saraswati and Gayatri Devi.
Mysore Dasara is celebrated with utter grandeur and pomp, attracting a large audience including foreigners.
Goddess Durga is incarnation of Adi Shakti who is the origin of universe and reason for everything else.
Festivals bring the culture, traditions which teach the younger generations of the importance of leading pious, moral, ethical life.
Adi Shakti is positive energy and destroys the negative forces which disturb the nature and peaceful living.
Om Sri Matre Namaha: