The Hindu festival Dussehra holds great significance in the account of Hindu religion.  It’s the day which marks the victory of Good over Evil and is known by many other names which include Vijayadashmi, Durgotsav, etc.  Dussehra is the day on which Lord Rama succeeded to slay the 10 headed King of Evil Ravan and the same day marks the victory of Durga over Mahishasur. The word “Dussehra” is basically derived from Sanskrit language and is the amalgam of two Sanskrit words “Dasha” and “Hara” indicating the defeat of Dashanan Ravan. 

This sacred day is also known by the name of Vijayadashmi because of the fact that Rama claimed its victory over Ravan on the day of Dashami. “Vijay” stands for victory while as “Dashmi” is the 10thday of Hindu month Ashwin.

On the day of Dussehra, Shri Ram successfully defeated and killed Ravana and blistered his empire into ashes and took back his wife Sita who was kidnapped by Ravana. The two most trustworthy companions of Shri Ram were his brother Lakshmana and Hanuman. They together fought a great battle to kill Ravana and take Sita back. This epic battle story is preserved in an ancient Hindu sculpture, Ramayana. After successful victory in the battle, Ram, Lakshman and Hanuman along with Sita retired back to Ayodhya on the 30th of Ashwin, Hindu Month. 

Thus there is 19-20 days time gap between Dussehra and their return to Ayodhya and the day of return is celebrated as Diwali. On the day of Diwali, the people of Ayodhya lit Diya’s / Deepak all over the city to mark the return as well as an act of expressing happiness and gratitude.

During the festival of Dussehra, Hindu people recite various religious mantras, perform “Aditya Homa” and believe that these mantras keep evil things away from their houses. Various holy rituals done by Hindu people these days keep them away from 10 bd qualities which Ravana possessed. Those bad qualities include:
  • Lust
  • Anger
  • Attraction
  • Greed
  • Jealousy
  • Over pride
  • Injustice
  • Selfishness
  • Ego
  • Cruelty

Besides this epic battle of Shri Ram, The day of Dussehra recalls the victory of Durga Mata over Mahishasura. This victory is so important because Mahishasura wasn’t an ordinary demon but he was a very powerful and greedy Demon who had grew so powerful that he defeated the Devas. Latter on Devas condensed their powers to form one powerful being that could kill Mahishasura and that powerful God was Durga Mata sitting on her lion. She fought against Mahishasura for 9 days and nights and defeated him on the 10th day. That’s where Dussehra got it’s another names of Navratri or Durgotsav. 

Due to the two remarkable victories of good over evil, the day of Dussehra is celebrated many forms in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. One of the most extensively ct of celebrating Dussehra is doing Ramlila through which different acts of Rama’s battle are performed. This act of celebration is most commonly seen in Northern India.  In some other parts, images of Ravana, Kumbhkaran and Meghnath are burned during Ramlila and especially in Kullu; this act is performed for 5 days consecutively. Likewise people from other parts of India celebrate Dussehra via different forms.