The Dussehra history goes back to the time of Lord Ram and Hanumanji, eminent figures of Hindu religion. Dussehra celebrations involve a lot of grandeur and cheerfulness.
It is the peak of the 9 day long festival called ‘Navratri’, which is observed prior to Dussehra. The team at 123NewYear did some research into the history of Dussehra and here is what they found.
History behind the Origin of Dussehra
- Defeat of the Demon king Ravana by Lord Rama
The roots of the festival of Dussehra lie within Ramayana, a great Hindu epic. According to Ramayana the eight incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Lord Rama, killed the demon king Ravana who has ten heads, in Satyug.
Ravana had kidnapped Ma Sita, Lord Ram’s wife. Lord Rama, alongside his sibling Lakshmana, devotee Sri Hanuman and a multitude of monkeys, proceeded towards Ravana’s Kingdom, Lanka. Lord Ram had the intention of defeating Ravana so that he could rescue Ma Sita.
On his approach to Lanka, Rama offered Pooja to Ma Durga, Goddess of energy and fearlessness, so that he would receive her blessings. With her blessings, Lord Rama was able to crush and execute Ravana, with the assistance of his followers and army. Hence, the day has ever since been observed to honor the triumph that Lord Rama won over Ravana, which is now referred to as Vijayadashmi or Dussehra.
- Death Of the demon Mahishasura at the hands of Goddess Durga
Another story that is associated with Goddess Durga, involves the assassination of a demon named Mahishasura. As indicated by the story, every one of the Gods in Heaven or Swarglok and the living creatures on earth were terrorized by the oppression of the evil demon Mahishasura. He has a Vardan and could not be defeated even by the Tridev – Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva. Hence every one of the Gods took a decision to make a power, which would defeat Mahishasura to liberate all living creatures from his oppression and re-establish the swarglok to them. This led to creation of Maa Durga, a symbol of Shakti. With the weapons presented to her by the Gods, Maa Durga battled against Mahishasura. She vanquished the demon effectively, and re-established the Swarglok to the Gods. Her triumph is observed as Dussehra or Vijayadashmi, by many individuals.
- Shower of Gold Coins
As per a story, Kautsa, child of a Brahmin called Devdatta, was dwelling in the Paithan city. Once he had completed his education under Rishi Varatantu, Kautsa wanted to give his Guru dakshina. Despite the fact that the master rejected at first, he later requested 140 million gold coins. Kautsa requested King Raghu to help him as the king was well-known to be generous. King Raghu requested Kuber, the God of Wealth for a shower of gold coins close to the Shanu and Apati trees. After giving his Guru the dakshina, Kautsa gave the remaining of the coins to the poor, on the occasion of Dussehra. From that day onward on Dussehra, individuals have been plucking Apati tree leaves and presenting to each other to represent gold.
- Shami Tree
Another legend associated with the source of Dussehra is embedded in Mahabharata, another Hindu epic. As per the story, Pandavas were exiled by Kauravas for a period of twelve years and a year to be spent in disguise, because the Pandavas were defeated by Kauravas at gambling.
Since they had to spend a year in disguise, the Pandavas could not expose their true identity to anyone during this period of one year. for that they had to hide away their weapons and they did so under the Shami tree, that was near the place they lived in disguise. Kauravas tried to find them because if the identity of the Pandavas were discovered in this one year of disguise, their exile would be extended but they failed.
Pandavas went to the Shami tree at the end of the year and retrieved their weapons. After that they declared a war against the Kauravas and Pandavas won the battle. the occasion took place on Dasami, which is now known as Vijayadashmi. From that time, individuals embrace one another under the Shami tree after which they exchange the leaves of the tree.