Vijayadashmi is a popular Hindu festival celebrated in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Vijayadashmi is made of two words, “Vijaya” which means victory and “Dashmi” which means tenth day. The day commemorates the victory of good over evil. It is believed that it was on this day that the demon king Ravana was killed by Lord Rama. The festival is known by different names in different parts of India, which includes Dussehra, Dasara, Dashain or Durgotsav.
Spiritual significance of Vijayadashmi Festival
Lord Rama went on an exile of 14 years along with his wife Goddess Sita and his brother Lord Rama. During the exile, Ravana’s sister Shoorpnakha proposed Lakshmana to marry her but he insulted her and cut her nose off as she tried to harm Sita. To avenge his sister’s insult, Ravana captured Sita. Ram performed Chandi Puja to get the blessings of Goddess Durga and then went into a fierce battle with Ravana that lasted for ten days. On the tenth day, Rama killed Ravana and reunited with his wife.
According to another legend, Goddess Durga killed the demon Mahishasura on this day and freed the people of earth from his wrongdoings.
One of the most important parts of Vijayadashmi celebrations is re-enactment of the triumph of Lord Rama over Ravana. Other scenes from the holy Ramayana are also enacted as a part of “Ramlila” in India. In the evening, effigies of Ravana are burnt and fireworks are displayed to symbolize the defeat of evil and triumph of goodness.
Vijayadashmi is considered a highly auspicious day and people decorate their homes and shops with floral ‘torans’ on this day. People worship their tools and weapons and also prefer initiation of any new task, like construction of a new building, starting a new business or beginning a child’s learning and education on this day. In Tamil Nadu, ten day long elaborate celebrations are done on the occasion of Vijayadashmi.