Dusshera | Festival of victory of truth

Vijayadashmi rituals in different states

Vijayadashmi is known by different names in different parts of the country. The rituals and custom too differ from region to region but the culture of burning cardboard models of Lankesh Ravan a, his son Meghnad and brother Kumbhkaran is observed commonly in nearly all states. Hundreds of artisans engage themselves in making mammoth statuettes filled with crackers of these three from months before. The statues are erected in huge ground on Vijayadashmi and are then burnt by fire arrow of Rama. The burning of Lankesh Ravan a by the hands of Rama represents the victory of truth over evil.

Number of artists dressed as Lord Rama, Sita, Lakshman and Lankesh Ravan a performs the Ram lila in the maidan and enact the climax of the tussle between Lord Rama and Lankesh Ravan a.

Vijayadashmi is the time to bid adieu to Ma Durga in Bengal. On the tenth period of Durga Puja the idol of Durga is carried in a huge procession of dancing and singing folks to river for visarjan. Bengalis celebrate this period remembering the victory of Ma Durga over Buffalo demon Mahishasura. A ritual that is unique to the Bengali community known as Sindur Khela in which married women play with sindur. public visit each other�s home, thus building up an atmosphere of cordiality.

In parts of Uttar Pradesh, public gift the leaves of the apati trees(Banni leaves)on this period as they consider these leaves the gold distributed by Kautsa. The Kullu Vijayadashmi is a week-long celebration with sacrifices of a buffalo, a rooster, a lamb, a fish and a crab.

public in South India consider Vijayadashmi or Vijayadashmi an auspicious period to start study. Goddess of wisdom, Ma Saraswati is worshipped. On Vijayadashmi morning the books, pen or musical instruments are removed from the room. Then little alphabets are written on rice or sand and some scared sentences are chanted.

It is believed seeing Neelkanth on Dussehra bring in omens with it. If the Neelkanth is found near lotus flowers or among elephants, cows, horses or snakes, it anticipates conquest and good luck; whereas if seen on ashes or bones, evil may follow. Another strong belief coupled with Vijayadashmi is that if someone wears new clothes on this period, he or she will get ten more new clothes in the coming year.

Vijayadashmi is a time to clean and polish your tools or weapons too.

Vijayadashmi Puja

The 10th period of Ashwin Shukla Paksh is celebrated as Vijayadashmi. Vijayadashmi puja may be performed differently in different parts of India but the sole purpose is to seek blessings from the Almighty and ensure health, wealth and prosperity all through the year.

Essential items for puja

Hindu mythology suggests the puja must include Image of Dussehra, cow dung, limestone, rice, Roli,moli, flowers, Jaggery, Jhuwara grown in Navratri, Banana, radish, gwarphalli, dhoop, incense sticks, deep, account books etc.

Vidhi / Method of Performing Puja

* The puja is performed amid the pious chants of mantras.
* Draw the Vijayadashmi image with wheat flour/chuna, put 9 tikki with cow dung.
Make 2 bowls of cow dung to keep coins in one and roli, chawal, fruit and jhuwara in the other.
* Perform puja with water, mooli, roli, chawal, flowers and jhuwara.
* Offer banana, mooli, gwarphalli, jaggery to the deity and then distribute them as Prasad.
* Light the dhoop and Deepak....do the parikrama.
* Place your bahikhata before god.
* Food and dakshina are offered to the Brahmins after puja.