Conquering the darkness within
Vijayadashami is a composite of two words “Vijaya “and “Dashami” which respectively mean “victory” and “tenth,” connoting the festival on the tenth day celebrating the victory of good over evil. Vijayadashami also known as Dussehra, is a major Hindu festival celebrated at the end of Navaratri every year. It is observed on the tenth day in the Hindu calendar month, which typically falls in the Gregorian months of September / October.
Dussehra is observed for different reasons and celebrated differently in various parts of the Indian subcontinent. In the southern, eastern, north-eastern, and some northern states of India, Vijayadashami marks the end of Durga Puja, remembering goddess Durga‘s victory over the buffalo demon Mahishasura to restore and protect dharma. In the northern, central and western states, the festival is synonymously called Dussehra. In these regions, it marks the end of “Ramlila” and remembers God Rama‘s victory over the Ravan. On the very same occasion, Arjuna alone decimated more than 1,000,000 soldiers and defeated all the Kauruv warriors including Bhishma, Drona, Ashwatthama, Karna and Kripa, a significant example of victory of good (Dharma) over evil (Adharma). Alternatively, it marks a reverence for one of the aspects of goddess Devi, such as Durga or Saraswati.
The performance arts tradition during the Dussehra festival was inscribed by UNESCO as one of the “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” in 2008. People all over the country participate in the occasion in their own way, with great zeal and enthusiasm. Dasha Hara is a Sanskrit word which means removal of ten bad qualities within you:
Kama vasana (Lust)
Mada (Over Pride)
Hence, also known as ‘Vijayadashami’ signifying” Vijaya” over these ten bad qualities. So, this Dussehra “Don’t kill but conquer, the Ravana in you.”