Why is Dussehra Celebrated?
Dussehra or Vijayadashami is “The Day of Victory” that celebrates the victory of good over evil. It is the day when good vanquished evil.
Dussehra is also about the feminine goddess or the female divinity. Vijayadashami celebrates the Feminine Divinity which is the “Cosmic Energy” that protects and sustains life on the planet Earth.
Vijayadashami brings success and victory in our life. It is a cultural festival of great importance and significance for all Hindus.
Dussehra is the day that follows the nine days of Navratri.
After nine days of Navratri, the tenth and final day is Dussehra or Vijayadashami.
In fact, the nine days of Navratri represent the three fundamental qualities of human nature quantified as Tamas, Rajas, and Sattva.
Navratri festival’s first three days are of Tamas, where the Goddess takes an aggressive form, like Durga or Kali.
The next three days are related to Rajas, where the Goddess takes the gentle but materially oriented form, like Lakshmi.
The last three days are dedicated to Sattva, where the Goddess takes the form of Saraswati representing knowledge and enlightenment.
If you invest in any of the three “Gunas” (Tamas, Rajas, or Sattva), you will power your life in a certain way.
However, if you go beyond these qualities, you will be liberated from the cycle of life and death.
After Navratri, the tenth and final day is celebrated as Dussehra or Vijayadashami.
It means that you have been successful in conquering all these three qualities.
You saw and participated in every one of them, but you didn’t invest in any one of them.
You transcended and went beyond the usual three qualities. It essentially means that you won these three essential qualities of life.
This is what Dussehra or Vijayadashami is all about. Vijayadashami is the Day of Victory.
It reminds us that reverence and gratitude towards life lead to success and victory. Vijayadashami shows us that leading a life of reverence finally leads to success and well-being. It goes on to spread the message of the victory of good over evil.
As per the Hindu calendar, this spectacular festival of Vijayadashami is celebrated on the tenth day of Shukla Paksha in the month of Ashwin or Ashwayuja. This usually falls in September or October.
It culminates the nine-day fasting period of Sharad Navratri. The festival of Navratri continues for nine days and the tenth day is Dussehra.
Many of the Hindu festivals are related to the great epics of Ramayana or Mahabharata and Dussehra is one of the main ones.
According to Ramayana, there was a great battle between Lord Rama and the demon Ravana which lasted for ten days.
On the tenth day of the battle, Ravana was killed by Lord Rama which is celebrated as Dussehra. It personifies the triumph of virtue over immortality and spreads the message that good is always “Victorious.”
Ravana, who was king of Lanka, was a cruel and evil ruler. He was a demon by birth who abducted Mata Sita, the beloved wife of Lord Rama. Mata Sita was imprisoned in Lanka by Ravana who refused to release her in spite of repeated efforts by Lord Rama.
Finally, Lord Rama gathered a large army and went to Lanka to free Sita from the clutches of Ravana. He was assisted by Hanuman and Sugreeva who provided Him with a formidable and powerful army.
There was a fierce battle between Lord Rama and Ravana, and finally, Ravana was killed at the hands of Lord Rama.
This ended the evil rule of Ravana and Sita was freed from his bondage.