Vijaya Dashmi

Vijaya Dashmi is celebrated on the tenth day of the bright half of the Hindu month of Ashwin (September/October). It is a festival celebrated throughout India, in all the states and outside India where people of Indian origin have emigrated. It is culmination or the nine days of prayers called the ‘Navratri.’

According to the Shashtras and the planetary movements, the earth in her yearly orbital cycle, comes nearer to the sun. There are more sunrays around the earth than any period of the year. Trees and plants are full of flowers and fruits. It is the period where the earth reactivates the vigour and the fertility of the soil. The religious performances and rituals invoke the cosmic forces that rejuvenate the soil. There is increase in the production of creatures, too.

The span of the daytime and night time is equal. The sages observed that prayers said at this period of nine days renders thousand fold benefits to the worshipper than any period of the year. Therefore, the Hindus seize this opportunity to invoke the divine powers to fulfill their desires. This prayer gives immediate results. And after the nine days prayer, they reap the fruits of their worship.

After nine days of prayers to the Goddess of power, Durga, on the tenth day, Ram was successful in killing Ravana, the demon, and his subjects. Since then, this day is called ‘Vijaya Dashmi’ or ‘Dushera’, ‘the victory of Lord Ram’.

These rituals are intended to get rid of the household bad tendencies that represents the ten heads of Ravana, like; Kam-Vasna (lust), Krodh (anger), Moha (delusion), Lobha (greed), Mada (over pride), Matsara (jealousy), Manas (perverse mind), Budhi (evil oriented intellect), Chit (wrong will), Ahankara (ego).

Vijaya Dashmi also means the victory of Mother Durga over the demon Mahishasura, who created havoc on earth. The Devas joined their energies and created a single mass, Shakti, the prime goddess of Power, Mother Durga, to fight the demon. The fight raged for ten days and night and finally, on the tenth day Durga was able to kill the demon. This day is also celebrated as ‘Durgotsava’.

The Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh observe this day as very auspicious. Vijaya Dashmi is one of the six festivals that is celebrated with great devotion by the swayamsewaks. On this day pujan is offered to weapons and vehicles. On this very day Arjun picked up his weapons from the Shami tree to fight Duyodhan and free the cows of king Virat. Farmers adore their instrument of production.

On this very day, Goddess Saraswati (the goddess of intellect and fine arts) is venerated in form of books. It symbolizes the conquest over one’s self.

Whatever be the reason it is the celebration of good over evil, of righteousness over injustice, of knowledge over ignorance, of light over darkness.