Dussehra is also known as Vijayadashmi. It is celebrated as a victory of good over evil. There are two stories associated with the celebration.
- Goddess Durga Kills the demon (Asura) Mahisasur.
- Lord Ram Kills the 10 headed Ravana.
How do we celebrate Dussehra?
Dussehra is a Sanskrit word and it means getting rid of 10 Evils. As a part of the celebration, people organize Ram-Leela to depict the story of Ramayan and in the evening people across India burn Effigies of 10 headed demon Ravan, to mark the end of evils.
Short Story of Ramayan
Ramayan is the story of Lord Ram, he was exiled for 14 years in the forest. Lord Ram was the King of Ayodhya, and when he was exiled, he lived in the forest with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman.
One day Sita saw a pretty deer in the forest and she wanted to take that deer to Ayodhya, so Lord Ram went to catch the deer. While Ram and Lakshman were away from their hut in the forest the demon Ravan who was king of Lanka abducted Sita in the absence of Lord Ram and Lakshman.
Lord Ram then made all efforts to rescue Sita and bring her back. Lord Ram created an army of monkeys to attack Ravan in Lanka. It was tough to beat the big army and mighty Ravan but Lord Ram could finally defeat Ravan and rescue Sita. Thus, Dussehra is celebrated as Rama’s victory over Ravan.
Short Story of Goddess Durga Killing demon Mahisasur
Mahishasura was the ruler of Patal-Lok (Underworld). He was greedy for power and he wanted to conquer Bhu-Lok, where humans lived, and Swarg-Lok, the heavenly abode.
He went to the jungle and sat down for meditation or penance. At last, Lord Brahma appeared and Mahishasur asked for a boon to become immortal. But the Lord said that “All who are “I cannot grant you immortality, but I can grant you choice over how you die. Choose how you wish to die.”
Mahishasur was smart and he said fine but “If I die, let me die at the hands of a woman,” because he was confident that no woman would ever be able to defeat him.
But Lords were worried and they had to create a woman who could be powerful enough to destroy Mahishasur. Therefore, a lady appeared from Vishnu at the flash of light in the presence of Shiva, Brahma, and all the other Devas. She was Durga, the Invincible One.
Shiva handed over Trishul, to Durga. Durga marched forward to fulfill her destiny – to kill Mahishasur. The demon sensed a big problem and got out of his bed. Like a dreadful warrior seated on a lion, Durga scared the army of demons. Even Mahishasur was worried for a while and that seeing a woman he was even more scared.
Durga fought bravely with Mahishasur and she killed the buffalo demon with her sword.
Thus, during Dussehra, people pray to Goddess Durga and Lord Ram. We celebrate the victory of Gods and Goddess over the evils of demons.