The festival season has begun!
The best thing about Indian festivals is that most of them bring with them a moral lesson. One such renowned festival is Dussehra. The festival of Dussehra celebrates the triumph of good over evil. This auspicious festival gives everyone the message that, no matter what, the truth will always be victorious. As per the Hindu calendar, the festival of Dussehra is celebrated on the Dashami Tithi or the 10th day of the Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) of the month of Ashwin, which customarily falls in the Gregorian months of September and October. The festival of Dussehra falls precisely 20 days before Diwali.
Dussehra or Vijayadashami is celebrated with great pomp throughout the country. It is believed that the day of Dussehra or Vijayadashami is incredibly auspicious for everyone, thereby making it perfect for any new task that you want to start. It is believed that if you do any auspicious activities on this day, it will bear fruits. According to astrologers, success can be achieved in whatever new work you do on this day. Furthermore, as per astrology, it is also believed that this day is auspicious for construction of house or shop, Mundan, Annaprashana, Karna Chedana or piercing of the ears, Bhoomi Pujan, naming of your child, Griha Pravesh (which is a ceremony that is performed on the occasion of an individual’s first-time entering their new home), etc. However, conducting a marriage ceremony is prohibited on the day of Vijayadashami.
Additionally, it is also believed that reciting Ramayana, Sri Rama Raksha Stotram, Sundarkand, etc. on this auspicious day can help you fulfill all your wishes and prayers.
This year both Navratri and Dussehra festivals are starting a month late due to Adhik Maas. As per Hindu Panchang, the festival of Vijayadashami or Dussehra 2020 is on 25th October 2020. This year Asthami and Navami are falling on the same day. On 24th October 2020, Asthami is only till 6:58 a.m. After that, Navami will begin. Due to this, Dussehra 2020 is falling on 25th October (Sunday).
Dussehra 2020: Vijay Muhurat
25th October 2020
Dashami Tithi Starts - 07:41 (25th October 2020)
Vijay Muhurat (Time) - 13:55 to 14:40
Aparahna Puja Time - 13:11 to 15:24
Dashami Tithi Ends- 08:59 (26th October 2020)
According to Hindu mythology, Dussehra is celebrated because Lord Rama achieved victory by killing the demon king Ravana. After a fierce battle for 9 days, Lord Rama defeated Ravana on the 10th day and freed his wife, Goddess Sita, from Ravana’s captivity.
Dussehra is celebrated differently in different parts of the Indian subcontinent. In some parts of India, especially in West Bengal, this day is celebrated as Vijayadashami. ‘Vijaya’ means victory, and ‘dashami’ means tenth. Vijayadashami marks the end of Durga Puja. Devotees remember Goddess Durga’s victory over the demon Mahishasura to restore order and protect dharma. It is also believed that Lord Rama had prayed for strength from Goddess Durga so that he could defeat Ravana. He worshipped Goddess Durga by offering her 108 blue lotuses. Goddess Durga gave him her divine blessings, which gave him the strength to defeat Ravana and become victorious. As both the mythological tales portray how Goddess Durga and Lord Ram defeated injustice and evil, it gives us the lesson that goodness and truth are always victorious over evil. Therefore, Dussehra or Vijayadashami becomes a festival that celebrates the victory of good over bad.
The festival of Dussehra is usually celebrated with great fervour and excitement all over the country. Huge melas or fairs are organised on the day of Dussehra. Giant effigies of Ravana, his son Meghnad, and brother Kumbhakaran are constructed and brought into open fields for Ravan Dahan. The practice of Ravan Dahan, where these huge effigies are lit up and burnt, is seen as a symbol of Lord Rama’s victory over evil. This act of burning down the effigies, known as Ravan Dahan, teaches us that we should always follow the path of virtue, truth, and goodness.
Moreover, on the day of Vijayadashami, the clay statues of Goddess Durga are immersed in rivers or water bodies. This is often an emotional day, especially for Bengalis, as this marks the departure of Goddess Durga. On this day, Bengali married women gather at the puja pandals and smear each other with sindoor or vermillion. This is done as a ritual to bid farewell to Goddess Durga. People also exchange sweets and gifts with their loved ones on this day.
Even though Dussehra or Vijayadashami is a major festival, the excitement and enthusiasm have simmered down this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. As the Coronavirus pandemic is still wreaking havoc, this year’s Dussehra should be celebrated cautiously while following the Government guidelines. To maintain safety, everyone must follow social distancing norms. Devotees desirous to go out for darshan should strictly follow the social distancing norms and wear masks. The event of Ravan Dahan should also be held adhering to social distancing norms. It is also suggested that devotees opt for digital darshan through streaming formats and social media to avoid crowded affairs.