According to Indian culture and scriptures, first nine days of brighter side of Ashwin month are celebrated as Navaratri. During these nine days, people worship Goddess Jagdamba (Mother of the World) with their heart and soul, and the goddess blesses her devotees with strength and power.
Navaratri is immediately followed by Dussehra, the tenth day of brighter side of Ashwin month. This festival signifies the union of strength and power. The day also inspires us to guard the dignity of culture in our social life and to sing ballads of bravery. India and its culture have always adored the spirit of fearlessness and heroism, and infused the same in people.
Thus, Dussehra (Vijayadashami) is the celebration of victory. In Tretayug, Lord Ram had defeated demon king Ravan in Lanka and came to Ayodhya on Dussehra; thus, the day also marks the victory of good over evil.
Chhatrapati Shivaji had declared war to conquer Aurangzeb and protect Hindu religion and culture.
In Dwaparyug, during the year of disguise, Pandavs had hidden their weapons on the tree of Shami and used the same weapons against Kauravs on Dussehra.
Kauts, the disciple of Vartantu, wanted to set up an Ashram and therefore, he asked for 14 crores gold coins from the King Raghu. The king had already donated his wealth; but to meet the demand of Kauts, Raghu set out for a war against Kuber (God of Wealth). On this, Kuber showered gold coins from the tree of Shami. Raghu donated gold coins to Kauts and remaining coins were doled out to others. From this day, people started worshipping the tree of Shami.
After the Shami Pooja, people hand out leaf of Shami; this is a symbol of a prosperous society and a promise to share the wealth to remove poverty from the world.
Thus, virtues of heroism and social reform are associated with Dussehra. GaneshaSpeaks wishes you a very happy Dussehra.
The GaneshaSpeaks Team