Submitted by: Vidianand Baree
Part 1 of 2. (Additional Photos taken by Baree posted on flickr.)
This year (2007), Vijaya Dashami was celebrated in the Indian ocean island of Mauritius, on 21st October. Various activities were organized by socio-cultural organizations; one amongst these was the processions that converged to the west of the island at the Flic en Flac beach.
Statues of the Goddess Durga were submerged in the ocean amidst thousands of devotees.
The final event was the worshipping of the deity Venkateshwara. Lord Venkatashwara was then carried to a shami tree, where a prayer was performed, after which the deity was taken for a small journey to the sea (photo, left, click on photo to see larger size). This was followed by fireworks which were a marvelous spectacle in the dark ocean.
Vijaya Dashami is also known as Dasara. Navaratri is one of the most important and fascinating festivals celebrated by Hindus all over the world. It is celebrated in the lunar month of Ashwin (usually in September or October) in the Hindu calendar.
In Sanskrit, 'Vijaya' means Victory and 'Dashami' means 10th day. 'Thus Vijaya Dashami' means victory on the 10th day. Dasara is synonymous with Navaratri (nine nights), as in the preceding nine days the Divine Mother Goddess Durga is worshipped and invoked in different manifestations of her Shakti. (Shakti meaning force, power or energy is the Hindu concept or personification of God's female aspect).
Vijaya Dashami (day of Victory over evils), is celebrated in honor of Durga Devi (photo, right, click on photo for larger size). The basic purpose behind this festival is to worship feminine principle of the Universe in the form of the divine mother as per the teachings of the Upanishads. (The Upanishads form part of the Hindu scriptures and primarily discuss philosophy meditation, and the nature of God.)
At the social level, Navarathri reminds us to respect all the women, who are the guardians of the family, culture, and national integrity, to take lead in times of crisis to guide the humanity towards the path of social justice, righteousness, equality, love, and divinity.
The root sentiment of Vijaya Dashami is victory of self over one's mundane faculties. A human being wishes to be victorious over others and over creation forever. Moreover, the triumph of victory leads him/her to luxury and extravagance which finally leads to ruin. Therefore the scriptures advise us to attain victory over the mind. One who has not conquered the mind has not conquered anything.
End Part 1. Part 2 to be posted on November 21, 2007.
tags: navrati, navrathri, navaratri, navarathri, mauritius, "navarathri mauritius", "navarathri outside india", "outside india", "hindu holidays","vijaya dashami navarathri","vijaya dashami","vijaya dashami outside india" "devi festival" "hinduism outside india" "hinduism in mauritius" "alaivani contributors"
updated October 2008
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