Dussehra 2022: Dussehra is a prominent Hindu festival that commemorates the triumph of goodness over evil. The event marks the closing of Navratri. The celebration honours Lord Rama's victory over the ten-headed demon king, Ravana. It also commemorates Goddess Durga's victory over the demonic Mahishasura. On this day, fireworks are set off along with the burning of Ravana statues to symbolise the defeat of evil. In the northern, central, and western states, the festival is synonymously called Dussehra. The celebration also heralds the beginning of Diwali, the significant festival of lights that follows Vijayadashami by 20 days. Dussehra is being celebrated this year on October 5, 2022. Bengalis celebrate Bijoya Dashmi, the tenth day of Durga Puja, on the same day.
On the occasion, let's take a look at the lesser known facts about Ravana:
- Ravana was gifted at playing excellent Veena music. His Raagas were exceptional and he was able to combine them flawlessly. It is believed that he had a strong passion for music.
- The bridge to Lanka is claimed to have been built by Rama's troops, according to the Ramayana, who also set up a Yagya to ask Shiva for his blessings. Ravana was the world's most fervent devotee of Shiva. He was therefore the best person to do the yagya. Ravana performed the yagya and bestowed his blessings on Rama.
- Pushpak Vimana was an aircraft that only a few could master, and Ravana learnt to fly it on his own.
- Ravan was aware that he would eventually die at the hands of a Vishnu avatar, which would enable him to achieve moksha and shed his demon form.
- According to some versions of the Ramayana, Ravana once gave the illusion of having ten heads. Although he only had one head, he used to deceive his opponents by giving the impression that he had ten heads. According to the Ramayana, Ravana engaged in battle with Lord Rama on the night of the new moon and used to lose one head every day. He lost his tenth and final head on the dashami, which is celebrated as Vijayadashami. Some versions also claim that Ravana had a necklace of nine big gems, which reflected his nine heads.
- Ravana was a master of statecraft. When Lord Rama killed the dying demon king Ravana, Rama gave his brother Lakshmana the task to visit Ravana and take his wisdom on diplomacy and statecraft.
- Ravana had obtained a blessing from Lord Brahma by pleading that no deity, demon, kinnar, or gandharva could ever kill him. He was given this blessing without realising that he had not asked for it in order to be protected from humans. Rama, as a human, was ultimately responsible for Ravana's death.
- When Lord Rama built the Rama Sethu to lead his monkey army to attack Lanka, it was Ravana, a Brahmin, who performed the rites of a purohit.
- Ravana had assassinated King Anaranya of the Ikshawku dynasty, to which Lord Rama belonged. As he was about to pass away, King Anaranya cursed Ravana, predicting that the future King Dasaratha would slay him. That is why Dussehra commemorates Lord Ram's victory over the evil Ravana.
- Along with being a fantastic combatant, Ravana was also an expert on the Vedas and a master in astrology. It is stated that Ravana "instructed" all the planets and the Sun to be in their correct positions for the auspicious "lagna" when his son Meghanada was to be born from his wife Mandodari's womb so that his son would become immortal. Ravana was enraged when Saturn abruptly altered its position, so he struck it with his mace and severed one of its legs, leaving him permanently disabled.