As Navratri draws to a close and the month of Ashwin ends, the Hindu calendar sees the dawn of a new day and another festival – Dussehra, which is celebrated at the end of 9-day Navratri festivities. Also known as Vijay Dashami, it is traditionally considered one of the most auspicious days in the Hindu almanac. People buy new things, start new projects and invest in gold and silver to mark the day and also ensure their success.
Vijay Dashami or Dussehra is considered to mark the triumph of good over evil, the coming together of all the positive forces and rendering the negative elements completely toothless. One of the key features of the Dussehra celebrations is the burning of Ravana’s effigy and bringing in Shami leaves to our homes. While burning Ravana’s effigy indicates nullifying the demonic forces, the incoming of the Shami leaves signals prosperity and success.
What Is A Shami Leaf?
Shami is traditionally a tree found in the Thar Desert region of Rajasthan; it is also common in several other parts of the world. In different countries, Shami is known by different names and constitutes as an important fodder for the animals in heat. The extreme weather turns everything lifeless, but the Shami manages to beat all odds and remain green and full of life all year round. Its flower is called Minjr and the fruit Sangri. Even its wood is important for farmers to burn as well as make furniture.
Significance of Shami
That brings us to the reason why Shami is considered so auspicious and its cultural relevance. As the story goes, a king in the desert region once built a temple. He got a beautiful idol of the presiding God and Goddess and called in a well known Brahman to perform the ritual of infusing life into the idol.
After the ceremony was over, the king asked the Brahman what he would accept as a gift. To this, the humble Brahman replied that he would like “1 Lakh Gold Coins.” The king got very worried on listening to this as he did not have that many gold coins in his treasury at that time. At the same time, he did not want to refuse the price that the Brahman had asked either. As a result, he decided to delay the matter till he could and requested the Brahmana to spend the night in his castle.
After bidding good night to the guest, the king lost in thoughts of how to arrange those gold coins dozed off. Just as it happened, the Almighty appeared in his dreams and ordered the king to get as many Shami leaves as he could to his castle and with that directive vanished just as rapidly as he had arrived. The king woke up soon after; though, he did not believe much in the dream, he decided he might as well do as directed. In the morning, he was surprised to find that the pile of those Shami leaves have turned into gold coins, and his problem was solved.
Even till this date, people follow the tradition of Vijay Dashami day in the hope of attaining prosperity, riches and success in every venture that they undertake. We wish you a bountiful Dussehra and let the Shami leaves double your wealth and prosperity as well this Dussehra.
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