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Vijayadashmi/dusserah Pics India


Sep 13, 2009
Legends of Vijaya-Dashmi/ Dasha-Hara

The history of Dussehra is an ancient one and derives its origin from a number of popular legends found in the scriptures.
[edit] Victory of Prabhu Ramachandra over Ravana

On this day in the Treta Yug, Shri Ram (7th incarnation of Vishnu), killed the great demon Ravan who had abducted Ram's wife Sita to his kingdom of Lanka. Ram, along, with his brother Lakshman follower Hanuman, and an army of monkeys fought a great battle to rescue his wife Sita. The war against Ravan lasted for ten days.

Rama had performed "Chandi Hom” and invoked the blessings of Durga to kill Ravana. Durga blessed Rama with the secret to kill Ravana. Ravana was defeated in his own kingdom of Lanka by Rama & the vanarsena. Rama with Sita & Laxman returned victorious to his kingdom of Ayodhya on the Ashwin Shukla dashami. This victory of Rama is since then celebrated as “Vijaya Dashami”.

So also prior to the defeat of Ravana, when Rambhakt Shri Hanuman went to Lanka to search Sita, he found her on the day of Ashvin shukla dashami.

During these 10 days of Dasha-Hara, huge idols of Ravana, Kumbhakarna (brother of Ravana) & Meghanad (son of Ravana) are erected and are set on fire by the enthusiastic youth at the sun set.

After Dasha-Hara, the hot weather of the summer ends, especially in North India and as the winter starts, the cold weather becomes breeding ground for many kinds of infections. Hence burning huge Ravana statues filled with the crackers containing phosphorous purifies the atmosphere. At the same time the temples perform Chandi Homa or Durga Homa which also helps in purifying the atmosphere.

Many houses also perform Aditya Homa as a Shanti Yagna and recite Sundara Kanda of Srimad Ramayana for 9 days. All these Yagna Performances are to create powerful agents into the atmosphere surrounding the house so as to keep the household environment clean & healthy.

The purpose of performing these homas is also to kill & sacrifice the 10 bad qualities, which are represented by ten heads of Ravana as follows:

(1) Kama vasana (Lust), (2) Krodha (Anger), (3) Moha (delusoion), (4) Lobha (Greed), (5) Mada (Over Pride), (6) Matsara (Jealousy), (7) Manas (Mind), (8) Buddhi (Intellect), (9) Chitta (will) & (10) Ahankara (Ego).

Some houses perform Yagnas 3 times daily along with sandhya vandana, called as Aahavaneeya Agni, Grahapatya Agni, Dakshina Agni. In addition to this, the Aditya Homa is performed with the Maha Surya Mantras and the Aruna Prapathaka of the Yajurveda. The effect of these mantras is to keep the heart, brain and digestive functions of the body in balance. The imbalances in these occur in the absence of adequate sunlight in the winter months.
[edit] Victory of Durga Mata over Mahishasur

Some of the Aasuras (Demons) were very powerful and ambitious, and continually tried to defeat Gods and capture the Heaven. One such Aasura called Mahishasur, who looked like a buffalo, grew very powerful & created havoc on the earth. Under his leadership the Aasuras even defeated the Devas (Gods), all of whom were powerless including Brahma, Vishnu etc... Finally, when the world was getting crushed under Mahishasura's tyranny, the Devas came together & contributed their individual energy to form “Shakti” a single mass of incandescent energy to fight & kill Mahishasur.

A very powerful band of lightening dazzled from the mouths of Brahma, Vishnu & Mahesh (Shiva) and a beautiful, magnificent, radiant young virgin with ten hands appeared. All the Gods gave their special weapons to her. This Shakti coalesced in the form of Goddess Durga.

Durga with weapons in her ten hands, riding on Lion, who assisted her in the fight, took on Mahishasur. The battle raged for nine days and nights. Finally on the tenth day of Ashwin shukla paksha, the evil demon Mahishasur was defeated & killed by Durga.

Hence Dasha-Hara is also known as Navaratra or Durgotsava and is a celebration of victory of Goddess Durga. Durga as Consort of Lord Shiva represents two forms of female energy - one mild & protective and the other fierce & destructive.
[edit] Home Coming of Durga Mata

Daksha, the king of the Himalayas, and his wife, Menaka, had a daughter called Uma. Uma, right from her childhood, started worshipping Lord Shiva as her would-be-husband. Lord Shiva, being pleased with the worship of Uma, came to marry her. Daksha was against their marriage but could not prevent it to happen. A liitle time later, Daksha arranged a `yagna` where everyone except Lord Shiva was invited. Uma, feeling ashamed of her father`s behaviour and shocked by the attitude metted towards her husband, killed herself. There was no end to his anguish when Lord Shiva came to know about this. He lifted the body of Uma on his shoulders and started dancing madly. With the supreme power dancing with wrath, the World was on the verge of destruction.

Then Lord Narayana came forward as a saviour and used his `Chakra` to cut Uma`s body into pieces. Those pieces started falling off from the shoulder of the dancing Shiva into different parts of the World. Shiva was finally pacified when the last piece fell off from his shoulder. Lord Narayana, however, revived Uma to new life. The places where the pieces had fallen are known as the `Shakti Piths` or energy pits. Kalighat in Kolkata, Kamakshya near Guwahati and Vaishnav Devi in Jammu are three of these places.

In her next birth Uma was born as Parvati/ Shaila-Putri(First form of Durga), the daughter of Himalaya. Lord Narayana asked Shiva to forgive Daksha. Ever since peace was restored, Durga, with her children, Kartick, Ganesh and her two `sakhis` - Jaya and Bijaya, comes to visit her parents each year during the season of `Sharatkal` or autumn when Durga-Puja is celebrated. Thus the other name of Durga-puja is `Sharodotshob`.
[edit] End of Agnyatwas of Pandavas

In Dwapar Yuga, after Pandavas lost to Kauravas in the game of Dice, they had to proceed to 12 years of “Vanawas” (exile to forest) followed by one year of Agnyatawas. Pandavas spent 12 years in forest and hid their weapons in a hole on a “Shami” tree before entering the Kingdom of Virat to complete the last one year of Agnyatwas. After the completion of that year on Vijayadashmi they took the weapons from the Shami tree, declared their true identity & defeated Kauravas, who had attacked King Virat to steal his cattle wealth.

Since that day the exchange of Shami leaves on Dassera day became symbols of good, will and victory. Hence on Dasha-Hara Shami Tree & the weapons are worshipped.
[edit] Kautsa's Gurudakshina

Kautsa, the young son of Devdatt, a Brahmin, was living in the city of Paithan. After completing education from Rishi Varatantu, he insisted on his guru accepting Guru Dakshina (present).

But Guru said, "Kautsa, to give 'dakshina' in return for learning wisdom is not proper. Graduation of the disciple makes the guru happy, and this is the real Guru Dakshina."

Kautsa was not satisfied. He still felt it was his duty to give his guru something. Finally the guru said, "Alright, if you insist on giving me dakshina, so give me 140 million gold coins, 10 million for each of the 14 sciences I have taught you."

Kautsa went to king Raghu. Raghuraja was an ancestor of Lord Rama, famous for his generosity. But just at that time he had emptied all his coffers on the Brahmins, after performing the Vishvajit sacrifice. He asked Kautsa to give him three days' time. Raghuraja immediately left to get the gold coins from Indra. Indra summoned Kuber, the god of wealth. Indra told Kuber, "Make a rain of gold coins fall on the "Shanu" and "Aapati" trees round Raghuraja's city of Ayodhya."

The rain of gold coins began to fall. King Raghu gave all the coins to Kautsa, and Kautsa hastened to offer the coins to Varatantu Rishi. Guru had asked only 140 millions, so he gave the rest back to Kautsa. Kautsa was not interested in money. In those days honor was considered more valuable than wealth. He asked the king to take the remaining gold coins back. But the king refused to take them back as kings do not take back the daan (gift).

Finally Kautsa distributed the gold coins to the people of Ayodhya on the day of Ashwin shukla dashami. In remembrance of this event the custom is kept of looting the leaves of the "Aapati" trees, and people present each other these leaves as "sone(gold).
[edit] Simollanghan – crossing the border - War Season

In ancient times kings used the feast of Dasha-Hara to cross the frontier and fight against their neighboring kingdoms. This border crossing is known as "simollanghan". Thus Dasha-Hara also marks the beginning of the war season.
[edit] Dasha-Hara in different parts of India and the world

In Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Western Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, it is traditional to plant barley seeds in earthen pots on the first day of Navrathri. On the day of Dussehra, the nine-day old sprouts (called noratras or nortas) are used as symbols of luck. Men place them in their caps or behind their ears.
Ravana effigy being burned in Hyderabad

In most of the northern India (Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi, Hariyana etc...) and some parts of Maharashtra, Dasha-Hara is celebrated more in honor of Rama. During these 10 days many plays & dramas based on Ramayana are performed. These are called Ramlila.
[edit] Mysore
Main article: Mysore Dasara

The legend associated with the Shami tree finds commemoration during the renowned Navaratri celebrations at Mysore. The Mysore celebrations also strongly emphasize the Durga legend described above, as may be expected in the city built at the very site of the events of the Durga legend. On Vijaydashami day, at the culmination of a colorful 10-day celebration, the goddess Chamundeshwari is worshipped and then borne in a grand procession on a Golden Ambari or elephant-mounted throne through the city of Mysore, from the historical Mysore Palace to the Banni Mantapa. Banni is the Kannada word for the Sanskrit Shami, and Mantapa means "Pavilion".
[edit] Karnataka

In Karnataka, Ayudha Puja, the ninth day of Dasha-Hara, is celebrated with the worship of implements used in daily life such as computers, books, vehicles, kitchen tools etc.

It is an effort to see the divine in the tools and objects one uses in daily life. Basically it includes all tools that help one earn one's livelihood. So knowledge workers go for books, pen or computers, plough and other agricultural tools by the farmer, machinery by industrialists and cars/buses/trucks by transporters are decorated with flowers and worshiped on this day invoking God's blessing for success in coming years. It is believed that any new venture such as starting of business or purchasing of new household items on this day is bound to succeed.
[edit] Orissa
Goddess Durga Idol in Bhubaneswar, Orissa

Vijoya Dashami or Dussehra is celebrated as Durga Puja in two different ways in Orissa. In Shakti Peethas (temples of goddess), the Durga Puja is observed with rituals for a period of 10 to 16 days, known as Shodasa Upachara. Goddess Durga is also worshipped by devotees in different pendals in form deities across the state. The pendals are beautifully decorated. The last day of the Sharodiya Durga Puja is known as Vijaya Dashami. After the last ritual Aparajita Puja is offered to the Goddess, a tearful farewell is offered to the Goddess. The women offer Dahi-Pakhal (cooked rice soaked in water and curd), Pitha ((baked cake), Mitha(sweets) and Fish fry to the Goddess. Most of the community pujas postpone the farewell as long as possible and arrange a grand send-off. The images are carried in processions known as Bhasani Jatra or Bisarjan Jatra around the locality and finally is immersed in a nearby river or lake. After the immersion of the idol, people across the state celebrate "Ravan Podi" (burning a huge effigy of demon Ravana).
[edit] Andhra Pradesh

Vijaya Dashami has great importance in the Telugu household. For life events such as starting a business, or buying a new home or vehicle, rituals take place on this auspicious day. They perform Ayudha Puja where they sanctify vehicles and other new items. In the evenings, a procession is taken up in all major cities where people dress up as characters from the Ramayana and perform stage shows. Huge effigies of Ravana and Kumbhakarna are burned, signifying victory of Lord Rama.

People believe this to be an auspicious day for anyone starting a new venture, bringing victory. In the Telangana region, younger family members usually pay respects to their elders by giving them leaves of Jammi tree, and seeking their blessings.

This festival is celebrated in all temples of Goddess Durga. Shodasa Upacharam (Aavahanam, Aghyam, Padyam, Simhasanam, Snanam, Yagnopavetam, Vastram, Gandham, Pushpam, Dhoopam, Deepam, Naivedhyam, Aachamanam, Taamboolam, Neerajanam, Mantrapushpam) is offered to the Goddess. During Navratri ("nine nights"), Goddess Durga is decorated in various features like Bala Tripura Sundari, Mahishasura-Mardhini, Annapoorna, Kali, Raja Rajeshwari, Kanaka Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati and Gayatri Devi. On the river banks of Krishna at Vijayawada, at an age-old temple of "Sri Durga Malleswar Swami" on a hill called "Indra-Kila-Adri", Dushera Navaratri is celebrated every year with great pomp and tens of thousands of people visit this temple during this time. These celebrations are concluded on the tenth day of "Vijaya Dashami" usually a national holiday. In Vijayawada on Vijayadashami day, a big celebration of "Teppa Utsavam" (boat shire) is celebrated, a big boat decorated with flowers and lights and Goddess Durga's status being placed on the boat and taken a boat shire in the evening of Vijaya Dashami day. Usually people of Andhra Pradesh wish to start any new venture or start anything on Vijaya Dashami day, with a belief that it will be successful.
[edit] Madikeri

In Madikeri Dasha-Hara is celebrated in a different style.Madikeri Dasara has a history of over 100 years. Here Dasha-Hara starts of with Kargas from four Mariamma Temples. There will be a procession of 10 Mantapas from 10 Temples on the night of Vijayadashami.

At night, effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Meghanada are stuffed with firecrackers and set alight. Children especially enjoy seeing this because of the beautiful fireworks on the ground. The festival, which is thought of as the "Victory of Good over Evil" and "Return of Rama from Exile" is celebrated in grand style. Because the day is auspicious, people inaugurate new vehicles, machines, books, weapons and tools by ceremonially asking god to bless the new items.
[edit] Maharashtra

In Maharashtra, the festival is celebrated on the tenth day of the Ashwin month (around October) according to the Shaka Hindu Calendar. This is one of the 3 and a half days in the Hindu Lunar calendar, whose every moment is considered auspicious. On this, the last day (Dasha-Hara day), the idols installed on the first day of the Navratri are immersed in water. This day also marks the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana. People visit each other and exchange sweets. On this day, people worship Aapta tree and exchange its leaves (known as golden leaves) as symbol of gold and wish each other a bright prosperous future. The tradition of exchanging aapta leaves involves Raghuraja, an ancestor of Ramachandra and Kubera. There is also another legend about Shami tree where the Pandava hid their weapons during their exile. The weapons were retrieved on this day. Similar to Ayudh puja in Karnataka, many communities but mainly the artisan castes celebrate the day before Dasha-Hara as Khande navmi when tools of all kinds are given rest and ritually worshipped (Puja). In Maharashtra, people also ritually cross the border of their village / town. This ceremony is known as Seemollanghan. This tradition has its roots in this day being auspicious to start wars or any new venture.
[edit] Bengal

In Bengal, Dasha-Hara is celebrated as Durga Puja. Idols of the goddess Durga are worshipped for nine days, and on the tenth day immersed in a river or pond. In Bengal, Assam & Orissa, Durga is also worshipped as Kali Mata as a symbol of Shakti (Power).

Special festive meals are cooked on this day.

* Luchi
* Aloor Dum
* Cholar Dal
* Begun Bhaja
* Payesh
* Khichuri

[edit] Ashok Vijaya Dashmi

The Ambedkarite people in India, specially from Maharashtra celebrate this festival as Ashok Vijaya Dashmi, since the Mauryan Emperor Asoka is believed to have converted to Buddhism on this day.[1] Also Dr. Ambedkar had converted to Buddhism on this day at Deekshabhoomi, Nagpur in 1956, which fell on October 14 in that year.

Vijayadashami is the biggest festival of the year in Nepal. The 10th day of Dashain is Vijaya Dashami, where elders put tika and jamara on the forehead of younger members of the family.

Vijayadashami, as the last day of Navarathri, is celebrated in Mauritius as one of the largest and most popular Hindu festivals on the Island nation. According to Baree [on Alaivani.com], "Vijaya Dashami was celebrated in the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, on 21 October [2007]. Various activities were organized by socio-cultural organizations; one amongst these was the processions that converged to the west of the island at the Flic en Flac beach." Baree also shared that the major ritual and celebration includes the creation and immersion of a bejeweled and decorated statue of Goddess Durga into the ocean.

In USA there are many social & community groups celebrate Durga Pooja.
[edit] Variations across South India

Dussehra is celebrated in various ways in different parts of South India. In Bengal, the festival is celebrated as Durga Puja, while in Tamil Nadu, the festival incorporates worship of the goddesses Lakshmi, Saraswati, and Shakti.
Golu display during Navratri

Forms of celebrations can take on a wide variety of manifestations, ranging from worshipping the goddess Chamundeshwari (Durga) to exhibiting colorful toys on the day of bombe habba in Karnataka.

There is a legend related to the exhibition of toys that is known as "Bombe habba" in Karnataka and Golu (spelled Kolu in some regions) in Tamil Nadu. Since the goddess Durga needed tremendous power, all other gods and goddesses transferred their power to Goddess Durga and they all stood still as statues. To respect the self-sacrifice of these deities during the festival days, Hindus revere morities (small statues representing gods and goddesses) that are in shape of particular gods and goddesses.

Dasha-Hara is the festival marking end of Navratri and the immersion of Durga idols which are worshipped for nine days prior to Dussehra.

Vijayadasami is also the auspicious day for Keralites for starting formal education. Students keep their books and workers their tools for puja on the eighth day of Navarathra (Durgashtami); these are taken back and used after puja on the tenth day (Vijayadasami). The practice has been so old that in many parts of Kerala, even non-Hindus follow this tradition. In 2004, many churches in Kerala formally adopted the same tradition of introducing young children to education on Dussehra day.

The Dasha-Hara celebrations in Mysore are popular with tourists, and are conducted with great pomp. Dasha-Hara is celebrated in Nepal by the name of Dashain.






Mar 6, 2009
This individual has posted yet another Idol worship thread despite being warned not to:


Quoting Asim Aquil:

Proselytizing of any religion has no place on this forum. If you want to create a thread about Durga Puja event in Pakistan then thats a different story, the subject matter of this forum is Pakistani.

We've been deleting threads about Islamic proselytizing too. I understand cultural aspect, but the only culture we're interested in is Pakistani.

We have no opinions on idolatry and would encourage that remarks against it are kept out of this forum. However, this thread is closed as its got nothing to do with Pakistan.

Incredible India

Dec 13, 2006
Be it Hindus, Muslims or Christians, thousands of children in Kerala will write their first letters on a plate of rice as they are initiated into the world of learning on the auspicious occasion of 'Vijayadashami' at temples, churches, Mosques and schools across kerala.
Thousands of small children in the age group of two and three when they are initiated to the world of letters on Vidyarambham (Vidya means Knowledge and Arambham means beginning) day. It is a momentous occassion. Initiation into the world of alphabets for a child usually begins with the writing of the mantra 'hari sri ganapataye namah.' 'Hari' refers to the Lord, 'sri,' to prosperity. At first, the mantra would be written on sand or in a tray of rice grains. Then, the guru using a gold ring, a Malayalam word is written on the child’s tongue. Writing on sand denotes practice. Writing on grains denotes the acquisition of knowledge, which leads to prosperity. The day is considered auspicious for learning and in many places across Kerala, the child's parents, eminent litterateurs, teachers and even politicians hold the hands of the tiny tots and help them write Malayalam letters on a plate of rice. While Hindus write ‘hari sree Ganapathaye namaha’ in praise of Lord Ganesha, Christians write ’sree Yesu mishihaye namaha’, hailing Jesus Christ.

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