The entire country celebrates the holy festival of Vijayadashami on the tenth day of the Ashvin month of the Hindu calendar. Call it Vijayadashami or Dussehra; the core principle of the victory of light over darkness remains the same. The whole nation breaks into overwhelming mirth to celebrate the day on which Lord Rama slew Ravana and Goddess Durga saved the world from the devious plans of Mahishasura. Let’s explore some interesting facts which you might not have heard of.
Ravana is also worshipped.
Ravana is often called the anti-hero but did you know that he is also worshipped in some parts of India? Mandsaur and Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh have gone so far as to dedicate temples to him. The people in Mandsaur hail him as their son-in-law besides being a treasure trove of knowledge and an ardent follower of Lord Shiva.
The Gonds in Maharashtra worship both Ravana as well as his son, Meghananda. They believe that the intentions of Ravana have in fact been misinterpreted and often cite the Valmiki Ramayana to emphasize on his knowledgeable and virtuous side.
Sri Lankans worship him for his unparalleled contribution to science and medicine. In fact, it is interesting to note that several books on Ayurveda written by Ravana are still in existence.
Mysuru gets its name from Mahishasura.
Mysuru started celebrating the festival of Dussehra way back during the days of the Vijayanagar dynasty in the fifteenth century. People here celebrate the victory of Goddess Chamundeshwari over Mahishasura, hence the name.
Unique celebration in Telangana and Tamil Nadu
Telangana and Tamil Nadu have their own unique ways of celebrating this festival. While the people in Telangana, rejoice in their devotional spirit towards Goddess Gauri, Tamilians try to imbibe the fierceness and glory of Goddess Kali in their lives.
Om Hari Shree Ganpathaye Namah
Vidyarambham or Ezhuthiniruthu marks the initiation of children aged between three to five years in the world of letters. Study materials such as slate and pencils are gifted to these children. They take their fest step in the world of knowledge by writing “Om Shree Ganpathaye Namah” on a tray of rice grains.
Holy festival for Buddhists
It is not just Hindus who celebrate Vijayadashami. This festival holds a special place in the hearts of Buddhists too who believe that Ashoka converted to Buddhism on this auspicious day. This is one of the reasons why Vijayadashami is celebrated as Ashoka Dashami in Nagpur.
Indians take pride in their culture of unity in diversity, and the festival of Vijayadashami exemplifies it. Every community has its own way of celebrating it, making it all the more special. So, wherever you are, we wish you a happy and prosperous Vijayadashami. May the light of knowledge guide you through