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Vijayadasami (Sanskrit: विजयदशमी) also known as Dussehra (Sanskrit: दशहरा) an important Hindu festival celebrated in a variety of ways in India and abroad. Dasha Hara is a Sanskrit word which means removal of the following ten bad qualities (evils) within you:
- Ahankara* (Ego)
- Amanavta* (Cruelty)
- Anyaaya* (Injustice)
- Kama vasana* (Lust)
- Krodha* (Anger)
- Lobha* (Greed)
- Mada* (Over Pride)
- Matsara* (Jealousy)
- Moha* (Attachment)
- Swartha* (Selfishness)
Hence, also known as ’Vijaydashami’ signifying ”Vijaya or Win” over these ten bad qualities (evils).
Happy Vijaya Dasami !!
Deepavali or Diwali, the festival of lights has no religious boundary to celebrate it. Though it is a Hindu festival but nowadays, people of all the religions celebrate this festival. It has not merely remained a national festival of India but has also crossed all the physical boundaries of the country and spread far and wide globally wherever people of Indian origin have settled.
Little clay lamps are lit as an offering to God to ward off evil spirits and to usher prosperity. This is also to welcome the new year on the following day, when businessmen start their new account books. Families visit relatives and friends and exchange gifts and sweets. It is an auspicious day for new beginnings. This is a festival of brotherhood, peace and harmony too because people from all religions are celebrating Deepavali in India.
There are various origins attributed to this festival. Some part of India celebrates it as the marriage of Goddess Lakshmi with Lord Vishnu. In Bengal, the festival is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Kali. In some parts it is also celebrated to commemorate the day on which Lord Rama returned to ayodhya with His wife Sita and brother Laxmana after defeating Demon King Ravana. This is the historical significance of the festival.
Like every year, this year too Durga Puja or Dussera is at our doorstep. All around atmoshphere in the nature and everywhere reminds us about the festival. Today is Mahalaya. Seven days before Durga Puja, “Mahalaya”, an auspicious occasion, is observed. This auspicious occasion heralds the coming of Maa Durga and begins the festivity to welcome her on this earth. It’s a kind of invitation (or we should say invocation) to the mother goddess to descend on earth and that’s why we chant saying – ‘Jago, Maa Jago’. Invocation of Mother Durga is done through the chanting of mantras, singing devotional songs and scriptural verses from “Chandi”. Since early 1930s, the early morning Radio program ”Mahishasura Mardini” of Akashbani Kolkata on the Mahalaya day became a part of Bengali culture and the tradition is still continuing and nothing could change its originality as well as its popularity.
The story line goes like this : due to increasing cruelty of the demon king Mahishasura against the gods, the Gods pleaded Vishnu to annihilate the demon. The Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara (Shiva) come together to create a powerful female form with 10 arms – Maa Durga or Mahamaya, the Mother of the Universe, who embodies the primeval source of all power. The Gods then bestow upon this supreme creation their individual blessings and weapons. Armed like a warrior, the goddess rides a lion to battle with the Demon Mahishasura. After a fierce combat the Durga is able to slay the asura king with her trident. Heaven and earth rejoice at her victory.
Another seven days to go to start the festival. To read more about the festival, please go to My Post : Durga Puja
Deepavali (or Diwali) is the celebration of the Light over darkness, goodness over evil, knowledge over ignorance. Lights are lit on the auspicious day of Deepavali not just decorate the homes but also to communicate this profound truth about life. Light the lamp of wisdom and love in every heart and bring a radiant smile on every face.
On this auspicious occassion, Laxmi, the goddess of wealth is also worshiped. In this festival, sweet is distributed which symbolises the dispelling of the bitterness of the past and renewal friendship.
Wish you all a very happy Diwali. May Diwali bring all happiness, prosperity in your life in the year ahead.
Puri in Orissa, Kolkata and other places in West Bengal celebrated the Rath Yatra today. Thousands of Kolkatans came out on the streets to participate in Rath Yatra. Salt Lake too participated in the festival. The Rath (The Chariot) was pulled along the Broadway of this township. Many pulled the chariot of Lord Jagannath while the rest stood along the way to catch a glimpse of Lord Jagannath, Balaram and Subhadra. Traffic was stopped enroute Rath Yatra. Prasad was distributed to the people while moving the Rath.
ISKCON, like every year, this year too organized Rath Yatra which started from the Park Circus Maidan, went through the central Kolkata streets and journey ended at Ganga Sagar Mela ground near Babughat. The Rath will be parked there till Ulta Rath, on the eighth day, when it will be back to the place of origin.
<- Rath Yatra at Puri Orissa
Devotees of the ISKCON from different parts of the world participated in the festival. Kids dressed as Krishna, Balaram and Subhadra enjoy themselves on the ISKCON Rath.