Bhubaneswar: Vijaya Dashmi, also known as Dussehra, is among the most important and significant festivals celebrated in India.
It is said that it was on this day that goddess Durga defeated Mahishasura after a fierce battle lasting for more than nine days.
According to the Hindu calendar, Dussehra is observed and celebrated after the nine-day-long Navratri festival. It marks the triumph of good over evil and usually falls in the month of Ashvin, or Ashvina.
As per Hindu mythology, Dussehra is celebrated after Navratri because it is believed that Lord Ram worshipped Goddess Durga before starting his journey to defeat Ravana, on Lord Vishnu’s advice. The festival marks the victory of Lord Ram over Lanka king Ravana (the 10-headed demon).
After a long battle, Lord Rama defeated Ravana, who was also called Dashmukha, on Dussehra.
For the uninitiated, each head of Ravana highlights a distinct quality that symbolises Kama (Lust), Bhaye (Fear), Moha (Attachment), Ahankar (Ego), Lobha (Greed), Jaddata (Insensibility), Mada (Pride), Ghrina (Hate), Krodha (Anger), and Irshya (Envy).
Also, the term Dussehra is derived from two Sanskrit words – ‘Dasha’ that means ten (representing Ravan) and ‘Hara’ meaning defeat or overthrow.
Various special rituals are being performed at various puja pandals and temples across the State amid the imposed Covid restrictions.
Pandals, which are usually found with hundreds of devotees, are empty due to government restrictions and social distancing norms.
Dussehra for many also marks the beginning of preparation for Diwali, which is celebrated 20 days after Vijayadashami, the day when Lord Rama reached Ayodhya with Sita.