Dussehra is celebrated on the tenth day of Shukla Paksha of Ashwin month. The Festival of Dussehra is celebrated all across the globe with utmost Joy and Happiness. The decoration is done to celebrate the Day. Effigy of Ravana, Kumbhkaran (Ravan Brother) and Meghnatha (Ravana Son) are made and then Lord Rama along with his brother Laxmana and Wife Sita comes to shoot a fire arrow on their effigies.This Festival name is derived from the Sanskrit Words
Dasha – Means ten
Hara – Means Defeat
(The Victory of Good over Evil)
Everyone in India is aware of Lord Rama. Rama-Lila is quite prominent in the North. The purpose of Lord Rama’s coming as Lord Krishna Says in Bhagwat Gita – 4.8
vinasaya ca duskrtam
sambhavami yuge yuge
To protect the righteous, to annihilate the wicked, and to reestablish the principles of dharma I appear on this earth, age after age.
Lord Rama incarnated to protect innocence and to destroy all evil. Lord Krishna has infinite incarnations. We know from Srimad Bhagavatam that Jai and Vijay, the gatekeepers of Vaikuntha, were cursed to become enemies of the Lord for three lives due to which they came in the form of very powerful demons in three eras.
Satyuga – They incarnated as hiranyaksha and hiranyakashipu who were killed by Varahadev and Narsinghdev.
Treta yuga – They incarnated as Ravan and Kumbhkaram who was killed by Lord Rama.
Dwapar yuga – They incarnated as Shishupal and Dantavakra and their salvation was done by Lord Krishna himself.
Story Behind Dussehra Festival.
Lord Rama accepted the exile of 14 years to fulfill the vow given to Kaikeya by King Dasharatha. Lord Rama’s wife Sita and younger brother Lakshman too decided to accompany him. After wandering in the forest for a while, Goddess Sita was abducted by Ravana from a place called Panchavati near Nashik. Goddess Sita is the eternal companion of Lord Shri Ram. Not being able to find Goddess Sita anywhere, Lord Ram, lamenting like an ordinary human, searches for her.
After some time, he learned about the abduction through Jatayu, and he headed towards the south. On his way he meets the king of the apes Sugreev and Hanuman. And after killing Bali, they plan to attack Lanka (Present Day Sri Lanka) with the ape warriors who were not just some ordinary apes but were all the deities born in the form of apes to render their service in this task of killing Ravana by Lord Rama. Lord Rama arrives at the sea along with the apes because the sea was the only way to Lanka. When the sea does not appear for three days, Lord Rama becomes exasperated. The sea appears in front of him in a human form with pleading hands and apologizes to Lord Rama for not recognizing him in his human form.
Then at the request of the ocean, the bridge Setu is built with the help of all the apes under the direction of Nal and Neel. Through Setu Lord, Rama arrives at Lanka and attacks Ravana. Ravana thinking of him as an ordinary human, undermining the power of Lord Rama, sends his brothers, soldiers, and sons in the war against him, and as a result they all were killed by either Laxman or the apes or Lord Rama himself. Then Ravana himself comes to fight in his flying vehicle while on the other hand Lord Rama comes to the war sitting on a chariot given to him by Lord Indra which was driven by Indra’s charioteer Matali. Lord Rama warns Ravana that he will be punishing him for his sins just the way people are punished for their sins in hell and then begins the fierce battle. Lord Rama shoots an arrow at Ravana but as it is known that Dashanand(one with ten heads) is another name of Ravana, every time Lord Rama detaches Ravana’s head from his torso another head grows out immediately because of which Lord Rama had to cut Ravana’s head many times and at the end, Ravana was crushed to death by Brahmastra and fell on the ground. That’s how Lord Rama killed this ten-headed demon in Treta yuga.
In this way, Lord Rama established the ideals of the most dignified, a true devotee and a true religious entity. And this episode is just a small nectar point in the story of his Ramayana.
Sitaram charit ati pavan,
Madhur saras aur ati mann bhavan,
Puni puni kitane ho sune sunae,
Phir bhi pyaas bujat na bujae
The pastime of Lord Rama and Sita ji is extremely Pure, melodious, Beautiful and so much captivating that no matter how many times we listen to it, or see it, we always tend to grasp it more and more. So on this auspicious day of Dussehra let us pray to Lord Rama that all the misfortunes within us in the form of lust, anger, greed, all of them which are the ten heads of Ravana gets detached by Lord Rama and he gives us refuge in his shelter and Love for him keep increasing.
It is the vow of Lord Rama that the one who comes to him with folded hands devotes their time in praying to the lord, that person will be given his blessings and everything they want along with it.
Sri Sri Rukmani Dwarkadhish Ki Jai
Shobha Radhika Devi Dasi
(ISKCON-Dwarka New Delhi)