On Dussehra day Sri Ram killed the great demon Ravana, who had abducted Sri
Ram's wife Sita to his kingdom of Lanka. Sri Ram was a great believer in the
powers of Goddesss Durga, and He prayed to Her for nine days before He Himself
entered the battlefield on the 10th day. Dussehra is also called Vijayadashmi or
the ‘Victorious tenth Day’.
It is believed that Ravan had 10 faces. They are probably symbolic of the 10
evil facets of his character.
The word Dussehra comes from the word 'Dus' meaning 'Ten' and 'Hara', meaning
'annihilated'. So Dussehra is the day in which the 10 facets of Evil were
One must not forget that Ravana was a great scholar and a tremendous
worshipper of Lord Shiva. His weakness,
'that of wanting to possess Sita' destroyed him. But you will be
surprised to learn that Ravana’s enmity and therefore obsession with Sri Ram
fetched him Liberation.
Do you know what ‘Liberation’ means? Hindus believe that we take birth
into the world many times, in order to learn our lessons. It is like, if one
fails an examination, one continues to appear for the examination until one
succeeds. Liberation ‘happens’ when you do not need to take birth, any more,
but enjoy happiness forever.
Hindu Scriptures claim that you may think of the Lord in whichever way you
please, you may pray to Him, complain to Him, talk to Him, fight with Him...Your
obsession with Him will make you a candidate for a Release from the Wheel of
Life and Death. It is clearly mentioned in the Scriptures that Sri Ram
Himself could not wound Ravana while the latter had his mind fixed on Sri
Ravana's destruction came in, the moment that his concentration was
On Dussehra day, people worship weapons. I believe, that maybe one worships
weapons, to remember to use them in a wise manner.
On Dussehra day, it is customary to exchange leaves of the Apta tree. There
is a story connected with the above custom.
Sri Ram’s ancestor relative’s name was king Raghu. He was very generous.
After a great ‘Yagna’ (Prayer) the king had distributed all his wealth among
Raghu had nothing left to give a poor boy, who came to his door step asking
for alms. Raghu attacked Kuber, the God of Wealth. As gold rained on earth, some
of it fell on the Apta tree. Therefore, since then people exchange leaves of the
Apta tree on Dussehra day.
In Bengal the occassion is celebrated as the day on which Durga Ma killed the
terrible demon Mahishasur.
The most important point to remember is that, Dussehra is celebrated all over
India as a symbol of victory over evil.
Shall we also destroy our 10 faces of Hypocrisy and deceit, triumph over
our negative tendencies and march forward in our flower bedecked cars towards
Dadi Ma Nani Ma