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Dussehra is the most important Hindu festival. It is an auspicious occasion that represents the triumph of good over evil.
Why is Dussehra observed?
Because India is a place of varied cultures and traditions, the Dussehra festival is celebrated in various ways. Dussehra is the victory of Goddess Durga over the evil demon Mahishasura. It starts on the first day of Navratri and lasts nine days.
King Dasharatha wanted to crown Rama, his eldest son, as King of Ayodhya a long time ago. Everyone in the kingdom was delighted with the choice and looked forward to the coronation ceremony. On the other hand, most northern and western Indian states commemorate Dussehra as Lord Rama's victory over Ravana.
Queen Kaikeyi, on the other hand, desired her son Bharata to be King of Ayodhya. She hopes that Rama is imprisoned in the wilderness for fourteen years and Bharata will be anointed King of Ayodhya. So, on the eve of the event, she claims two boons bestowed on her by King Dashratha years before.
King Dashratha had no choice but to bestow these boons on her. As a result, Lord Rama, his wife Sita, and his brother Lakshmana were exiled. They gave up all royal comforts and walked the woodlands for thirteen years.
Surpanakha, a Rakshasi, attempts to entice the two brothers during their final year in exile. She fails and then tries to murder Sita. On the other hand, Lakshmana stops her and cuts off her ears and nose. Surpanakha, wounded and humiliated, returns to her brother Ravana, the terrible lord of Lanka.
Ravana decides to capture Sita to avenge his sister's disgrace. He kidnaps Sita and takes her to his country, where he proposes marriage to her. Sita resists because she loves Lord Rama. Ravana then imprisons her in the Ashoka grove.
When Lord Rama and Lakshmana learn of this, they set out to rescue Sita. On the road, they meet Lord Hanuman, a devoted devotee of Lord Rama. After getting to Lanka, Hanuman finds Sita and tells her that Lord Rama will soon come to save her.
They all proceed to Lanka when Hanuman informs Lord Rama of Sita's safety. A massive battle breaks out between Lord Rama's and Ravana's armies. He slaughters the majority of the Lankan army and confronts the ten-headed Ravana.
Lord Rama eventually kills Ravana and is reunited with Sita after a fierce struggle. When their exile is done, they all return to Ayodhya, where Lord Rama is crowned King of Ayodhya.
How is Dussehra observed?
Dussehra is widely celebrated on the 10th day of Navratri and is also known as Durga Puja. The first day of Navratri is dedicated to Maa Shailaputri, followed by Maa Chandraghanta, Maa Skandmata, and the other incarnations of Goddess Durga.
Dussehra is celebrated for ten days throughout India's northern, western, and central areas. People put on dances and theatrical plays based on the Ramayana. These RamLeela skits and plays are well-known throughout the world.
RamLeela tells the complete story of Ravana's kidnapping of Maa Sita and Lord Rama's courageous battle against the evil monarch. On the tenth day of Dussehra, huge effigies of Ravana are set on fire to show that Lord Rama won and that he and Maa Sita were able to be together again.
On the other hand, the eastern and southern states of India celebrate Dussehra in a completely different way.
While the first nine days of Navratri are dedicated to different manifestations of Goddess Durga, the tenth day, Durga Puja or Dussehra, is an emotional one for devotees. On this day, Goddess Durga's idols are submerged in rivers, oceans, or other bodies of water.
After the immersion, Goddess Durga is said to return to Mount Kailash and reunite with Lord Shiva. During the immersion, people pray to Goddess Durga, sing passionate hymns to her, and ask for her blessings.
Devotees in the eastern states worship the nine avatars of Goddess Durga throughout the nine days preceding Dussehra or Durga Puja. Each of these nine avatars represents a unique aspect of the Goddess Durga. Maa Bramhacharini is seen as a symbol of peace and purity, while Maa Kushmanda is seen as the source of all energy in the Universe and is worshipped as such.
On Dussehra, many also prefer to purchase new vehicles, real estate, or other items. It is a lucky day and is thought to be the best day to start a new initiative or business.
Devotees share gifts and sweets with their family and friends, and they believe in enjoying this event with their loved ones. People frequently pray for a fresh start in their lives and for forgiveness for wrongdoings.
The Dussehra festival is an essential aspect of Indian culture. It has a unique place for worshippers and is typically followed by Diwali, the festival of lights. Foreign tourists are drawn here by the brilliant colors, massive idols, and relatable themes.