Today is Vijayadashami, commonly known as Dussehra, which marks the conclusion of the auspicious Durga Puja celebrations. It is said that on this day, Goddess Durga engaged Mahishasura’s army in battle and finally killed the buffalo demon. Traditionally, the event tells the story of Ayodhya prince Ram and evil ruler Ravana. According to mythology, Lord Ram saved his wife Sita from Ravana’s grasp, demonstrating the victory of good over evil. This is the reason the day is known as Vijayadashami (the day of victory).
According to folklore, the Gods combined their spiritual energies to create Durga because they want to produce an ultimate form of “Shakti” that could destroy the demon-god Mahisasur. Every year, Goddess Durga descends to earth with her four children, Ganesh, Kartik, Lakshmi, and Saraswati, to visit her parents and battle evil. She arrives on her lion mount while holding a variety of weapons in her ten hands as a depiction of Shakti, or feminine strength. Mahisasura and other demons are killed by her, representing unstoppable divine might. It is on this day that the Durga Puja festival is held.
Goddess Durga travels back to Kailash on Vijayadashami after spending 10 days in her parents’ home on Earth. During the festivities, Kartikeya, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesh, and Maa Durga’s idols are paraded to a body of water. Music and chanting are used to accompany the procession before the pictures are submerged into the sea for disintegration and farewell.
The legendary conflict between Sri Ram and Lankan ruler Raavan comes to a conclusion on Dussehra. With pyrotechnics, the effigies of the ten-headed demon ruler Raavan, his brother Kubhakaran, and son Indrajit are set ablaze to symbolize the defeat of evil. Twenty days following Vijay Dashami, the event ushers in one of the most frequently observed holidays: Diwali, popularly known as the festival of lights.
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