Dussehra

Happy Dussehra!

Today is Dussehra and the final day of Navratri. Dussehra is celebrated on the tenth day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin. The first nine days are celebrated as Maha NavratrI and culminates on the tenth day as Dussehra.

Dussehra is the festival of Victory of Good over Evil. There are many variations to this feat, that are believed all across India.

(photos left to right) Lakshman, Shri Ram, Sita, centre-Hanuman

On this day in the Shri Ram, the seventh incarnation of Vishnu, killed the great demon Ravana who had abducted Ram’s wife Sita to his kingdom of Lanka. Ram, his brother Lakshman and their follower Hanuman and an army of monkeys fought a great battle to rescue Sita. The story is available in Ramayan, a Hindu scripture.

Ram had performed “Chandi Homa” and invoked the blessings of Durga, who blessed Ram with secret knowledge of the way to kill Ravana. On this day, Ram found Sita and defeated Ravan.

In India, Ram, Sita, and Lakshman returned to Ayodhya on the 30th day of Ashvin (19–20 days after Vijayadashmi). To mark the return of Lord Rama, in the evening, the residents of Ayodhya lit their city with millions of earthen lamps (Diya). Since then, this day is celebrated in India as Diwali.

Goddess Durga

Victory of Goddess Durga over Mahishasura

Mahishasura, in the form of a buffalo, grew very powerful and created havoc on earth. Under his leadership, the Asuras (demons) defeated the Devas. The Devas joined their energies into Shakti, a single mass of incandescent energy, to kill Mahishasura.

A very powerful band of lightning emerged from the mouths of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva; which formed the Goddess Durga, the Goddess with 10 arms. All if the Devas gave her all their weapons and she rode her lion, who assisted her to defeat Mahishasura. The battle took nine days and nights and on the tenth day she defeated Mahishasura. Hence, the day of Dussehra.

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