Dussehra or Vijayadashami is a religious Hindu festival celebrating the victory of good against evil. This historic celebration is renowned with great pride and excitement across India.
On this day, life-sized effigies of Ravana are destroyed and burnt with fireworks as an act of conquering the evil. It is believed to be the day when the Hindu legendary Ramayana, Lord Rama, ended Ravana.
The entire country celebrates by showcasing its traditional rituals to mark the event. Together, in this guide, let us get a feel of what this celebration is all about, its meaning, history, and its importance to the modern zen life— the yoga lifestyle.
Dussehra: History & Significance
Dussehra is a Hindu festivity celebrated each year between September to October. It is one of the most anticipated Indian festivals, and it is celebrated across India.
Dussehra comes from the Sanskrit words ‘Dasha’ representing the ten heads of Ravana and ‘Hara,’ which means ‘defeated.’
The event commemorates Lord Rama’s success over the oppressor of Lanka, Ravana, in the Hindu epic battle of Ramayana. Lord Rama defeated Ravana, king of the demons, and saved his wife, Sita, from imprisonment.
According to the Hindu epic Ramayana, Ravana, the demon king of Lanka, abducted Lord Rama’s wife, Sita. Ravana took Sita to his territory and held her captive. Lord Rama then went to Lanka together with his brother Lakshman, Lord Hanuman, and an army of monkeys.
In Lanka, he ended the ten-headed demon Ravana on the tenth day of their heated fight. From that moment on, the ten heads of Ravana effigies are torched annually on the said celebration.
The burning of these effigies signifies the victory of good against evil.
How it’s celebrated
The events that mark in Dussehra festival are:
– The death of Ravana
– The end of the banishment of Pandavas and their comeback to the kingdom
– The feast of Goddess Saraswati, the God of learning and knowledge
Dussera is celebrated with rituals that come from different regions, and each is done with the same amount of enthusiasm. On this day, people praise the Goddess Durga, the re-enactment of Ramleela, and torching the effigies of Ravana.
These effigies’ burning symbolizes the victory of good against evil and encourages people to end the ugly deeds and take the path of goodness from henceforward.
All parts of India are filled with massive processions and colorful fairs in celebrating this religious event.
Since ancient times, Dussehra is celebrated by worshiping the instruments used to make money. In this era, that includes cellphones, computers, and automobiles.
According to the epic Mahabharata, Arjun buried his tools in a tree; a year later, he returned and safely recovered them on the day of Dussehra. From that moment on, he worshiped the tools along with the tree.
Ravana is depicted as a ten-headed demon with twenty limbs. Ravana often represents negativity or evil thoughts that reside in all humans. His heads relate to an opposing side that must be overcome: lust, anger, delusion, pride, selfishness, jealousy, cruelty, hatred, and ego.
As inspired by myths, King Mahabali ordered Ravana to conquer his negative or terrible side. However, Ravana rejected his father, declaring that they were essential for him to be complete and powerful.
As the head controls our decisions, the inability of Ravana to surpass his emotions and aspirations paved the way to his ultimate demise.
Dussehra & Yoga Lifestyle
Of the many things that we continuously see, of the many things that shape and sustain our lives, the essential parts that we use in making our lives worthwhile and successful are our body and mind.
Being one with the earth that we live in, the air that supplies us, the water that we consume, the food we feed, and the people we come in touch with will inspire us to have a better perspective on how we handle our daily lives.
Being integrated and devoted in line with all these aspects is a process of securing your success in every path you may take in the future.
Adding yoga to your everyday routine will help you wake up to that realization. It has the intention to build strength, reinforce awareness, and spark harmony in both the mind and body.
Because there are so many different yoga routines, anyone can get started— from laidback Hatha yoga to intensive Power yoga. Each yoga forms encourage your physical activity to a sense of mind-body connection.
It can enable you to relate and focus while increasing your flexibility and strength.
Although there are lots of instructional books and DVD copies about yoga online, it is still best to invest your time in legit classes with a professional teacher who can lead you the way and teach you each posture properly.
Chances are, certain yoga forms are perfect for your unique goals and fitness capability. It is always an advantage to have a holistic approach towards improving your well-being.
Meditation and breathwork are proven to help improve a person’s mental stability significantly. Regular yoga practice inspires clarity of mind, reinforces body awareness, relaxes the body and mind, and refines concentration.
These aspects can help to detect early physical problems and provide early preventive actions.
Yoga is not for someone who wants fast-paced, competitive exercise. Be receptive since there are therapeutic qualities you can reap by incorporating yoga into your fitness activity, even if it does not ring a bell to your original preference.
Celebrate Dussehra in good health
Since ancient times, in Indian tradition, Dussehra was always filled with dances, the whole community is uniformed, singing, and mingling. But because of foreign influences and invasions for centuries, we have neglected that today.
Dussehra was always full of colors. Although it is still celebrated in selected places, it is being neglected in most of India. It’s high-time to wake up and bring it back. The Vijayadashami or Dussehra festival is an auspicious time to celebrate. Regardless of ideologies and beliefs, it should be celebrated with joy and love and, of course, in good health. Namaste