Bengaluru, Oct 19: Dussehra celebrations have begun across the country and the festive fervour has gripped the nation. Dussehra or Vijayadashami, considered as one of the most important festivals of India, marks triump of good over evil.
According to scriptures, Goddess Durga slayed the buffalo demon Mahishasura on this day. It also marks the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana. Vijayadashami also marks the end of Durga Puja.
Dussehra in a way also marks the onset of preparations for the festival of lights - Diwali, which falls twenty days after the festival.
Effigies of demon-king Ravana put up for sale
Vijayadashami is observed for different reasons and celebrated differently in various parts of the Indian subcontinent. In the southern, eastern and northeastern states of India, Vijayadashami marks the end of Durga Puja, remembering goddess Durga's victory over the buffalo demon Mahishasura to help restore dharma.
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Effigies of demon-king Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Meghnad at Delhi's Ramlila ground
In the northern and western states, the festival is synonymously called Dussehra (also spelled Dasara, Dashahara). In these regions, it marks the end of "Ramlila" and remembers God Rama's victory over the Ravana. This day marks a reverence for one of the aspects of goddess Devi such as Durga or Saraswati.
An aerial view of the Dussehra festival at historical Red Fort ground in New Delhi
While Dussehra is observed on the same day across India, the festivities leading to it vary. In many places, the "Rama Lila", or the brief version of the story of Rama, Sita and Lakshamana, is enacted over the 9 days before it, but in some cities such as Varanasi the entire story is freely acted out by performance-artists before the public every evening for a month.
The city of Mysuru has a long tradition of celebrating the Dasara festival with grandeur and pomp to mark the festival. The Mysuru tradition celebrates the warriors and the state fighting for the good during this festival, ritually worshipping and displaying the state sword, weapons, elephants, horses along with Chamundeshwari Devi in her warrior form. The ceremonies and a major procession is traditionally presided by the king of Mysuru. The main attraction of the ten-day Mysore Dasara festival is the Mysore Palace which is illuminated daily with nearly 100,000 light bulbs from 7 pm to 10 pm on all days of the festival. Various cultural and religious programs highlighting the dance, music and culture of the State of Karnataka are performed in front of the illuminated Palace.
Here are some of the messages, wishes and greetings you can send on Dussehra:
- It's time to celebrate the victory of the good over the evil. Let's continue with the same spirit. Happy Dusshera!
- May this Dussehra burn all gloom and misery on Earth along with Ravana, and bring you happiness and prosperity. Happy Vijayadashami!
- May God shower his choicest wishes over you and remove all evil obstacles in life. Happy Dusshera!
- It's time to celebrate the victory of good over evil. A very happy Dussehra to you and your loved ones.
- Happy Dussehra to you and your family. May Lord Ram bless you with strength and courage to follow the path of virtue and righteousness.