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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in India Lesson 20 - Celebration of Lord Ram's Victory
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in India Series at HindiPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Hindi holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 20, Celebration of Lord Ram's Victory. In Hindi, it’s called Dussehra.
On the tenth day of Durga Puja comes a festival based on the Ramayan in which people reenact the assassination of the powerful demon king Raavan. Do you know about this day?
In this lesson, you will learn about Dussehra, which is celebrated on the tenth day of the Hindu month of Ashwin. It’s also the last day of Navratri, and takes place sometime during September or October.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
In the Ramayan, a special monkey god with magical powers comes to the aid of Lord Ram and is today worshipped by all Hindus. Do you know who this is?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
Dussehra marks the tenth and last day of Navratri when the Goddess Durga finally killed Mahishasur after nine days of fighting. That is why this day is also referred to as Vijay Dashami – the Tenth Day of Victory. In West Bengal, people greet one another on this day by saying Shubho Bijoya meaning "Happy Victory".
The other story related to this day has to do with Lord Ram. Lord Ram was known as a virtuous ruler who gave up his throne based on a promise made by his father. Because of this promise, Lord Ram went into exile in the wilderness with his wife Sita and his brother Laxman for fourteen years. Some Hindu communities worship Lord Ram as a God, or Bhagwan. During exile, when the demon king Raavan kidnapped Sita, Lord Ram defeated the demon forces with the help of the monkey army, or Vanaar sena. Dussehra celebrates the assassination of the demon king Raavan.
On Dussehra, people come together to re-enact the assassination of Raavan. Raavan had been blessed by the gods with magical powers so he could take the form of a gigantic, powerful ten-headed demon. On this day, massive wooden idols of this ten-headed form are erected in fields, and a young man dressed as Ram comes down and lights the idol on fire with a flaming arrow. Thousands gather to see this spectacle depicting Raavan’s end.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
In the Ramayan, a special monkey god with magical powers comes to the aid of Lord Ram and is today worshipped by all Hindus. Do you know who this is?
This Monkey-God with magical powers is Hanuman, who helped Ram defeat Raavan and gave Sita reassurance. Hanuman is a popular figure in Indian mythology, and appears in many different tales.
How did you like this lesson? Did you learn something interesting?
Do you have any tales or festivals related to the worship of a deity or assassination of a demon in your country?
Leave us a comment telling us at HindiPod101.com!
And we’ll see you in the next lesson!

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Do you have any tales or festivals related to the worship of a deity or assassination of a demon in your country?