Dussehra is also known as Vijaya Dasami, because of the victory of Ram over Ravana. On this day in Satya Yug, Ram (the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu), killed the great demon and king of Lanka, Ravana.
The festival of Dussehra is celebrated with great fanfare. The ‘Ramlila’ – a theatrical enactment of the life of Lord Rama, is held during the nine days preceding Dussehra. On the tenth day (Dussehra or Vijay Dasami), larger than life effigies of Ravana, his son and brother – Meghnadh and Kumbhakarna are set to fire.
In burning the effigies the people are asked to burn the evil within them, and thus follow the path of truth and goodness, bearing in mind the instance of Ravana, who despite all his might and majesty was destroyed for his evil ways. Dussehra symbolises the triumph of good over evil.
Mahanavmi – the last day of the Navratras. It is said that Goddess Durga on this day succeeded in killing the mighty demon Mahishasura after a long and bloody battle. In Jammu crowds throng the holy temple of Goddess Kali in Bahu Fort since early morning to have Darshan of the Goddess Maha Kali.
Mahishasura was rendered powerful as a result of a boon from God Agni, according to which he could be killed by a woman only. He managed to wreak havoc in heaven by chasing away all Gods from there and at one stage the Gods felt powerless against the onslaughts of the demoniac forces headed by Mahishaasura. All the Gods then offered prayers and approached lord Vishnu and lord Shiva who were aware that only a woman could kill Mahishasura. They decided to create a Goddess out of the collective powers or ‘Tejas’ of all the God’s and so was born Goddess Durga who combined in herself all that was mighty and powerful in each God. She was armed by a trident from Shiva, Chakra from Vishnu, a Lion from Himalayas and bows and arrows from Vayu. The Goddess filled with combined power of all the Gods took on a physical form and was fierce to behold. Mahishasura waged a valiant fight against the Goddess and finally the dreaded demon was slain by Goddess Durga.