Creation Of Goddess Durga
Goddess Durga represents a united front of all Divine forces against the
negative forces of evil and wickedness. The gods in heaven decided to create
an all-powerful being to kill the demon king Mahishasur who was ready to
attack them. At that very moment a stream of lightning dazzled forth from
the mouths of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh and it turned into a beautiful,
magnificent woman with ten hands. Then all the gods furnished her with their
special weapons. The image of Durga, the Eternal Mother destroying the
demon, Mahishasur is symbolic of the final confrontation of the spiritual
urge of man with his baser passions.
As per our great epic Mahabharat, Pandavas after wandering in the forest
for 12 years, hung their weapons on a Shami tree before entering the court
of king Virat to spend the last one year in disguise. After the completion
of that year on Vijayadashmi the day of Dassera they brought down the
weapons from the Shami tree and declared their true identity. Since that day
the exchange of Shami leaves on Dassera day became symbols of good, will and
This festival has immense mythological significance. As per Ramayan, Ram
did "chandi-puja and invoked the blessings of Durga to kill Ravana, the
ten-headed king of Lanka who had abducted Seeta and had charmed life. Durga
divulged the secret to Ram how he could kill Ravana. Then after vanquishing
him, Ram with Seeta and Laxman returned victorious to his kingdom of Ayodhya
on Diwali day.
Kautsa, the young son of Devdatt, insisted on his guru Varatantu to accept "gurudakshina",
after finishing his education. After lots of persistence his Guru, finally
asked for 14 crore gold coins, one crore for each of the 14 sciences he
taught Kautsa. Kautsa went to king Raghuraj, who was known for his
genorisity and was an ancestor of Rama. But just at that time he had emptied
all his coffers on the Brahmins, after performing the Vishvajit sacrifice.
So, the king went to Lord Indra and asked for the gold coins. Indra summoned
Kuber, the god of wealth. Indra told Kuber, "Make a rain of gold coins
fall on the "shanu" and "apati" trees round Raghuraja's
city of Ayodhya." The rain of coins began to fall. The king Raghu gave
all the coins to Kautsa, who gave 14 crores gold coins to his guru. The
remaining coins were lavishly distributed to the people of Ayodhya city.
This happened on the day of Dussehra. In remembrance of this event the
custom is kept of looting the leaves of the "apati" trees and
people present each other these leaves as "sone" (gold).