Vijayadashami also known as Dussehra or Dasara is a festival celebrated at the end of Navratri every year. It is the time of the year when we celebrate the victory of good over evil. The festival is observed on the tenth day in the Hindu month of Ashwin, which falls in the Gregorian months of September or October.
According to Samkhya philosophy, in Hinduism, there are three categories of qualities – Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas. Sattva is the quality of harmony, goodness, creative and purity. Rajas is the quality of passion, dynamic, egoistic and self-centeredness. And Tamas is the quality of chaos, disorder, negative, violent and imbalance. The nine-days of Navratri is divided into three groups with three days each. The first three days of Navratri are Tamas – where the Goddess is aggressive, like Durga. The next three days are Rajas – where the Goddess is gentle, like Lakshmi and the last three days are Sattva, related to knowledge and enlightenment, like Saraswati. Means if one invests in any one quality one will be powerful in a certain way. But if one goes beyond all these three qualities it is about liberation.
After the nine-day festival comes Vijayadashami meaning conquering all these three qualities and not giving into any of them. The day of victory on all these three qualities. It gives a message that if one shows gratitude towards everything that concerns our lives it helps to attain success and victory.
The festival is celebrated differently in different parts of India. In Maharashtra, the day is considered auspicious and people tend to buy new home or gadgets. In Kerala, on Vijayadashmi children are introduced to formal education. In West Bengal, Goddess Durga is worshipped from the sixth to tenth day. In Delhi, huge effigies of Ravana, his son Meghnad and his brother Kumbhakaran is burn signifying good over evil. In Telangana, women make flower rangolis called Bathukamma, meaning Mother Goddess come alive – to welcome Goddess Durga. In Mysore, Goddess Chamundeshwari is worshipped. The celebration here includes a grand procession with thousands of lights and decorated elephants. In West Bengal, Durga Puja begins on Shashti, the sixth day of Navratri, and ends Vijayadashmi, on the tenth day, when the idols of Goddess Durga are immersed in water bodies.
Dashami tithi begins on September 29, 2017, at 11:49 pm
Dashami tithi ends on October 1, 2017, at 1:35 am