Also known as Dussehra, Vijaya Dashami is the celebration of Rama’s victory over the asura Ravana. Vijaya means victory and dashami means tenth and so Vijaya Dashami is the victory on the 10th lunar day.
The story of Rama’s killing of Ravana is found in the Ramayana. If the navaratri are a time of purification and the attainment of spiritual powers and wisdom, the Vijaya Dashami celebration, which follows the day after the last Navaratri in the fall is the culmination of that time of purification with the final conquering of evil symbolized by Rama’s killing of Ravana. Commonly an effigy of Ravana is burnt when a flaming arrow is shot into Ravana’s heart by a devotee dressed up like Rama.
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