Dussehra, as the name suggests is the tenth day of the Navratras of month of Sharad i.e. September-October and hence, marks the portion of the year when the sun relaxes the earth from it’s scorching rays and cold winds start wrapping the atmosphere of the Northern Hemisphere.
How to celebrate Dussehra
In the evening, one must offer prayers to Ram darbar and one must offer bhoga to them. One must collect the burnt wood from the effigies and store them in the house to ensure peace.
It is celebrated every year since time immemorial by burning the effigies of Ravana, Meghanada and Kumbhakarna, the three demons who performed great austeriries to please the Lord.
But there are some facts about Dussehra which are still unknown to us.
- Srimati Sita Devi never went away with Ravana. No one can touch her since she is the eternal consort of Lord Ramchandra. In her disguise, Agni went to Ravana’s Lanka
- It was Agni Sita who sat on the tail of Sri Hanumanji and burnt the whole Lanka instead of Hanumanji.
- Ravana and Kumbhakarna were actually the two gatekeepers of Lord Sri Hari namely, Jaya and Vijaya who took the form of enemies of Lord to assist him in his past times.
- Despite Lord Ramchandra knew about Amrit Kalash, still Ravana was invincible. Lord Ram chanted Aditya Hridaya strota to get the power to kill Ravana.
- Jambavant who appeared in Ramayana lived long to meet the next form of Lord Krishna, he himself. He presented to him, his daughter, Jamvanti.
- Though Sri Hanuman was a strict celibate, still a female alligator bore progeny out of his sweat drop.
- Ramayana was completed before the happenings of the actual Ramayana. But Mahrishi Valmiki never disclosed it to anyone.
- Out of 1 Lakh sons and 1.25 lakh grandsons, no one remained. Ravana had all of the them killed in the wat
- Sri Lanka is the only place where the idols of Ravana are worshipped.
- It is a traditional custom to bring the burnt logs of wood of Ravana to kept in home. It ensures peace.
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Hanuman’s Son Makar Dhwaja was born to a mighty fish of the same name when Hanuman after burning the entire Lanka with his tail had dipped in the sea to cool off his body. It is said that his sweat was swallowed by the fish and thus was Makar Dhwaja conceived. The fish was caught by Ravana’s step brother Ahiravana who ruled Patal, the nether world. When Makar Dhwaja grew up, Ahiravana was impressed by his strength and virility. He then made him his soldier.
Lord Hanuman is highly adored with butter and betel leaves while performing the puja ceremony. Let’s explore the significance behind these offerings.
They are specially offered to Lord Hanuman as once Mata Sita expressed her gratitude and and blessings to Him by showering the betel leaves upon him. It is said that the betel leaves were the token of appreciation and blessings of Lord Rama and Mata Sita for Hanuman, after winning over Ravana.
Moreover betel leaves are known to be offered to the intellectual one who is well versed with the sacred knowledge of Vedas and shastras. Thus the huge bank of knowledge of Hanuman and his intellect to use that knowledge in every difficulty made him get respect and love from Rama and Sita ji.
At the time of battle between Lord Rama and Ravana, both were trying their best to defeat each other. Unlike the huge chariot of Ravana, Lord Rama was being carried by Hanuman ji. When all the tactics of Ravana failed he thought to attack Hanuman instead of Lord Rama.
As soon as the arrow hit Hanuman ji and wounded him, Lord Rama was unable to see his devotees’s plight and fought vigorously with Ravana. The situation became worse for Ravana and he had to give up. When Lord Rama and Hanuman returned to their camp, Lord Rama himself applied cool butter on Hanuman ji’s wound to cool down his burning wounds.
Following the age old traditions began by Lord Rama and Mata Sita, betel leaves garland and butter are still offered to Lord Hanuman by his devotees, to express their love and respect for Him.
The nine blissful days of navratri boosts the devotees with positivity and strength. These days finally comes to an end by celebrating the glory of positivity over negativity and praying for retaining these blessings throughout the year. The auspicious festival of Vijaya Dashami or Dussehra is a reminder of getting rid of evil traits and inculcating the positive sanskars.
Apart from the huge history of Ram-Ravana battle and victory of goodness over evil, the festival inspires us to quit our deviation towards material world. In the busy world of materialism all of us are running after external comforts and achievements. We are far away from focussing on our internal health and comfort. Due to this shift in focus, the world has turned upside down.
These nine days followed by the festival of Dussehra marks the victory of a devotee where the focus is returned back to the base. The devotees seek forgiveness for their mistakes and realize the power of goodness within them. The Goddess Shakti bestows the devotee to choose the path of positivity and live with internal and external bliss. The self-purification process makes this process easier and also inspires the sadhaks to retain this divinity around and within.
May Goddess Durga bless each one of us with supreme grace and may these blissful days become our style of living.
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