Vijayadashami: Celebrating Dharam over Adharma

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Vijayadashami, another name for DussehraDashain or Dasara, is a major Hindu festival celebrated yearly at the end of Navaratri. Vijayādaśamī is an amalgamation of the two words Vijaya and daśamī, which signifies the celebrating festival of victory of good over evil on the tenth day. Vijayadashami, or Dussehra, is the celebration of restoring Dharma by defeating evil.

Vijayadashami: Celebrating Dharam over Adharma

Vijayadashami is observed for different reasons. And in various parts of the Indian subcontinent, it is celebrated differently. Vijayadashami marks the end of Durga Puja in the eastern, southern, northeastern, and some northern states of India. Mahishasura was defeated by goddess Durga’s victory over the buffalo demon to restore and protect Dharma. It marks a reverence for one of the aspects of the goddess Devi. The celebrations include processions to a river or oceanfront that involve immersion of the clay statues of Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesha and Kartikeya.  

Vijayadashami: Celebrating Dharam over Adharma
Durga Puja

Dussehra (also spelt Dasara, Dashahara) is called in the northern, central and western states. God Rama’s victory over Ravana marks the end of Ramlila in these regions. Here, towering effigies of Ravana, symbolising evil, are burnt with fireworks, marking evil’s destruction.

Vijayadashami: Celebrating Dharam over Adharma
Ravan Dahan

Alternatively, Arjuna alone decimated more than 1,000,000 soldiers on the same occasion. All Kuru warriors, including Bhishma, Ashwatthama, Drona, Karna and Kripa, were defeated to set a significant example of the victory of Dharma over Adharma. 


The history of the Dussehra and the Vijayadashmi festival is steeped in mythology and folklore, making it a significant and revered celebration in India. Let’s delve into the historical aspects of Dussehra. It is an ancient saying that one should live like Rama and not like Ravana because Rama and Ravana are two men of contrasting characters in the Ramayana. Both had knowledge, wealth and power. Ravana had studied the Vedas but needed to have modesty. He tried to rule the three worlds and used his power to harm the noble and the pious. In contrast, Rama used his power and wealth to serve the people.

Vijayadashami: Celebrating Dharam over Adharma
Ram & Ravana War

The defeat of evil by the good means something for us. Evil and the good are within us, and it is an eternal fight. We’ve made a handy post to help us burn the evils and strengthen the good within us. And it is an excellent reminder to all of us that no matter what we possess. Indulging in worldly things like anger and revenge can take it away and cost us dearly. It may be challenging to achieve a victory, but it is equally difficult to maintain. 

Dharma Victory over Adharma

On the other hand, Vijayadashami is a day that marks the triumph of victory of Goddess Durga over the buffalo demon Mahishasura. Mahishasura is a Sanskrit word composed of Mahisha, meaning “buffalo”, and asura, meaning “demon”, translating to “Buffalo Demon”. Mahishasura had gained the boon from Lord Bhramha that “no man or animal” could kill him. With his army, Mahishasura attacked Trilok (the three worlds of earth, heaven and hell) since he was high on the power of “immortality”. He also captured Indralok (the kingdom of Lord Indra).

Vijayadashami: Celebrating Dharam over Adharma
Mahisasue Mardini

Since “no man or animal” could kill Mahisasur, Goddess Durga’s birth took place with the combined powers of Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. An incarnation of Goddess Parvati -Goddess Durga is the daughter of Himavan, the lord of the mountains- Shakti -the power that runs the universe. Goddess Durga fought the shape-shifting demon Mahishasura for ten whole days. And there was no match for the radiant and robust goddess. On the tenth day, she slayed him.

Goddess Durga

However, another 3000-year-old folklore says Mahishasura was a non-Aryan king who worshipped buffalo. He was strong and skilled; hence, many Aryan kings in the northern kingdom of Aryabarta were defeated by him. Then, a queen came to rule the northern part of Aryabarta. The kings whom Mahishasura already defeated pledged their allegiance to the Queen.


Thinking a woman couldn’t defeat him, the Queen sent messengers to become his consort. The Queen refused, but Mahishasura could not back off quickly and remained reluctant. On the other hand, the Queen was planning an attack on the buffalo king. The skilled Queen defeated Mahishasura, killed him with her spear, tore his chest and fed him to his pet lion.

Mahisasur defeat

It is believed every man at the physical, mental & emotional levels is in an ongoing fight between good and evil. Our lives, due to egos & negativity, start losing their grip. With surrender & unconditional love, our stronghold becomes evident. Ego & negativity are replaced by Divine knowledge, love & happiness – the victory of good over evil.


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