Most of us are aware of the epic tale of Ramayana, and Dussehra (Dasha-hara) comes from ‘Dashanan Ravan’, which means Ravana’s defeat. For those of you, who don’t know about the Ramayana, here is a short summary about the Dussehra bit –
The Ramayana, is an epic about the life of Lord Rama, who was the 7th avatar of Vishnu. Dussehra is celebrated because Lord Rama killed Ravana on this day. Ravana, a demon, is the king of Lanka (Who received the boon to never be killed by gods, demons or spirits), and Vishnu incarnated in a human form – Rama, to defeat him. Ravana had abducted Sita (Ram’s wife) to his kingdom in Lanka. Rama, his brother Lakshmana, their disciple Hanuman, and their ape army fought a battle against Ravana to rescue Sita. Ravana, who was depicted to have TEN heads, was unbeatable. While Lord Rama tried to cut off his heads, one arrow after the other, it is said that they would just grow back. After trying again and again, Rama was advised to use the Brahmastra (A weapon created by Brahma, which could cause havoc, and destruction was inevitable as it could not be stopped). And so, Lord Rama took Parvati’s name (Also known as Durga), and aimed the Brahmastra at Ravana’s heart. And this was the end of Raavan, which is one of the reasons to celebrate Dussehra.
We burn Raavan every year, to celebrate this victory. Ramlila plays take place, at the end of which the Ravana’s effigy to burst into fire. According to multiple inferences, Rama, Sita and Lakshmana returned to Ayodhya on the 30th day of Ashwin, which is 19-20 days after Vijayadashami. This is when we celebrate Diwali, which is again not the only reason. We will come to that later on.
DID YOU KNOW?
Lord Rama was known to have performed the ‘Chandi Homa Yajna’ to invoke the blessing of Goddess Durga, during which she granted him the boon of the secret knowledge of how to kill Ravana. Thus, Goddess Durga had a direct contribution in the killing of Ravana.
We in India follow cultures and beliefs blindly, irrespective of whether it’s history is a myth or a fact. I understand how it has been going on for eras, but wouldn’t it be better to know all about it before celebrating it? Subscribe to know more about Indian mythological histories and more.
Also, Happy Dussehra!!