Vijayadashami Dussehra Dasara Dashain
“Dashahara” is a compound Sanskrit word composed of “dasham”(दशम) and “ahar” (अहर), respectively meaning “10” and “day”. UNESCO describes it as the tradition of performance arts one of the “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” in 2008.
Vijayadashami is observed for different reasons and celebrated differently in various parts of India and the neighbourhood. In the southern, eastern, north-eastern, and some northern states, it is remembering goddess Durga’s victory over the Mahishasura to restore and protect dharma. In the northern, central, and western states, it is remembering Rama’s victory over Ravan. The day also is a celebration of the victory of Pandavas over Kauravas. In Kullu Himachal Pradesh, it is a symbol of victory of good over evil by Raghu Nath.
Ravana being killed by Rama the god’s incarnation as a human being, conveys lessons to be learnt. It is believed that after his successful penance and pleasing the god, Ravana sought a boon of protecting his life from the gods, demons, or spirits. His arrogance made him not to ask for the same from human beings. That led to the god’s incarnation as a human being in the form of Rama. Lot of management lessons to be learnt.
While the observation of Vijayadashami is on the same day across India, the festivities leading to it vary. Drama, Music and Dance and plays based on the Ramayan and Ramcharitmanas (Ramlila) and burning of an effigy of the demon Ravan. People join and participate spontaneously, in the festivities supporting fine arts and artists, including those who set up the stage, make-up, effigies, and lights. Kullu Dussehra celebrated in the Kullu valley of Himachal Pradesh, is known for its large fair and parade witnessed by a large number of people. If you come to South India, the celebrations include Golu, displaying colourful figurines. Dasara-Vijayadashami celebrations of Mysore attract people from all over the world.
In several South Indian regions, it is also the dedication of this festival to Saraswati, Kids start their education on this Day. The festival is also an occasion of people do the maintenance of the vehicles, clean, and worship their instruments, work tools, and implements of their livelihood.
Both the goddess Durga and Lord Rama are revered in Gujarat. Fasting and prayers at temples are common. How can one forget: Dandiya Raas” display of colourfully decorated sticks and Garba dancing in traditional dress and the festivities through the night. In Nepal, Dashain (Vijayadashami) marks the occasion of people visiting the family members and coming to native villages and students visit their schoolteachers.
O COVID what have you done! Taken away, the spirit of coming together and celebrating. Hopefully, we restrain ourselves only for this year and come next year, we would get back to our old routine.
The fear in the minds of many is whether these festivities would halt the decline in the number of COVID positive cases and enhanced recovery. Remember how Kerala was admired by all for sound management of COVID, came “ONAM” and we all know where Kerala stands now.
In the fight against evil to be successful, we all need to cooperate and leave the destruction job to the Almighty.
Let good sense prevail, and all of us contribute for the victory of Good over Evil.