Learning About The Legends Associated With Dussehra
The festival of Dussehra, which is also popular by the name of Vijaydashami, is celebrated across India and Nepal to commemorate the victory of good over evil. The festival also marks the end of the nine day long Navaratri festival and falls on the tenth day of the month of Ashwin of Hindu calendar. Various legends are associated with the celebration of this festival as explained below.
Killing Of Ravana
The most popular and accepted legend about the celebration of Dussehra, is derived from the Hindu mythological epic of Ramayana. According to the legend, Ravana abducted Devi Sita, the pious wife of Lord Ram and placed her under captivity in his golden city of Lanka, located 100 miles across the sea. Lord Ram then build a bridge of stones to reach Lanka, along with a huge army of monkeys. After having given ample warnings to return Sita, to which Ravana paid no heed, Ram fought a nine day long war with the demon king, finally killing him on the 10th day. This day came to be celebrated as Dussehra, from then on.
Killing Of Mahishasur
This legend is related to Goddess Durga and explains why the festival is also known by the name of Vijaydashami. It is said that once the fierce and tyrant demon Mahishasur had created havoc on earth and even terrorized the gods and made them captive.
To overcome his brutality and end his atrocities, the gods combined their energies to give birth to Goddess Durga, a deity having ten hands each of which featured a different weapon provided by the gods. Goddess Durga fought a fierce battle with Mahishasur for nine days and nights before slaying him on the tenth day. This day on which the goddess attained victory over the demon began to be celebrated as Vijaydashami, which means the tenth day of victory.
End Of Agyatvas Of Pandavas
According to yet another legend taken from the Hindu mythological epic Mahabharta, it was on this day that the agyatwas of Pandvas came to an end. This was the day when the Pandvas, took up their weapon for the first time after having lived incognito for a year in the kingdom of Virat.
They were forced into this action by the sudden attack of Kauravas on the, kingdom and after Duryodhana suspected them of being there in hiding. The ensuing war was the first step in the taken by the Kauravas and the Pandvas in the direction of fighting the great battle of Kurukshetra.