Celebrating the Triumph of Good over Evil
Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashami, is one of the major Hindu Festivals celebrated in India and around the world. It celebrates the ultimate triumph of good over evil.
The name Dussehra is derived from the Sanskrit words dasha (ten) and and hara (defeat).
It marks the culmination of the nine-day festival of Navratri and the celebration of Dussehra on the tenth day.
During the 14-year exile of Lord Rama (the Prince of Ayodhya), his wife Sita and his brother Lakshman in the forest, the demon King Ravana kidnaps Sita and takes her to Lanka.
It’s the legendary battle between Lord Rama over Ravana, the ten-headed demon King.
The ten heads of Ravana symbolise ten human qualities that need to be defeated in order to lift the human consciousness to a higher level.
Ego, Cruelty, Injustice, Lust, Anger, Greed, Pride, Jealousy, Attachment and Selfishness.
Ultimately, the spiritual battle of good vs evil, dark vs light is a human experience and universal.
After killing Ravana, Lord Rama returns triumphantly to Ayodhya along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman.
The people of the city of Ayodha celebrate the return of their King and Queen as a symbol of this triumph of good over evil by lighting lamps (diyas) and welcoming them.
On Dussehra, massive effigies of the demon King Ravana are usually set ablaze to signify the victory.
Hindu’s in different parts of India also celebrate this day to mark the victory of Goddess Durga, over the demon Mahishasura.
Goddess Durga is a symbol of female divinity.
In India, Australia and around the world it will be difficult to mark the celebrations with burning effigies and firecrackers as in previous years due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
Hindu’s usually celebrate through prayer and visiting temples, exchanging sweets as gifts with family and friends and receiving blessings from elderly relatives.
Popular sweets exchanged during this festival include rasgulla, gulab jamun, rabri, malpua and jalebi, mysore pak and payasam.
Over the weekend, community organisations in Australia like Gurukul WA in Western Australia will be celebrating Dussehra by uniting the community and showcasing cultural performances.
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