Vijaya Dashami is a day of victory of good over evil as Mother Durga, an incarnation of Devi Parvathi, killed the demon mahishasura.
This battle occurred over the duration of Navaratri as Mother took various forms during the battle to kill that demon. This festival is a victory for all as it signifies good over evil and light over darkness however, Vijaya Dashami is also directly related to the power or Shakti that women do in fact possess and the fact that women can overcome all their battles with shear devotion, love, righteousness and faith.
The demon mahishasura was filled of pride, lust and basically all negative qualities that one could possess. He took advantage over many women, thinking of them to be the weaker gender, unimportant and just as objects of desire. He was also a powerful demon and so achieved a boon to be able to choose his own death. Since he did not value, nor respect women, he said that only a woman can kill him, thinking that no woman can have such power to kill him and ignorantly assuming his immortality.
This demon, upon gazing at Mother Parvathi, the Mother of the Universe, was filled with lust of Her beauty and tried to mock Lord Shiva, saying that he would take Devi away. Lord Shiva and Devi Parvathi knew that this was the time in which Mother would incarnate to end mahishasura, thus the reason for Navaratri (the battle between Devi and the demon) and the festival and celebration of Vijaya Dashami (Mothers victory of ending mahishasura).
In the modern world, especially in the age of Kali Yuga, there are many mahishasura’s disguised as men, who take advantage of women, finding them to solely be objects of lust and physical enjoyment, who physically abuse women, misuse their trust and so on. Men who take advantage of women in the work field as well, who suppress women and don’t acknowledge their worth in business, also have demon like qualities of mahishasura. There are also many Shiva’s in this world, disguised as men who value women and respect them as the way Lord Shiva respects and honours His wife Parvathi, these noble men see women as daughter’s, sisters, mothers and wives in their respective roles. And are fit to marry a woman who have qualities of Devi. Together, these noble Shiva like men, and victorious Devi like women, shall unite and rid the negative and demon like men and even women, like mahishasura who are filled with pride, lust, anger, jealousy, hatred and envy.
When we fast for Navaratri, abstaining from general foods and salt, and taking in only fruits and milk and prasad offered to Devi, (or fast according to your means if you cannot abstain from salt due to health reasons) then we purify the body, mind and soul and rid ourselves of negative qualities of mahishasura (thus killing mahishasura within us) and instill good, divine qualities within us, as that of Devi, to have the strength to rid the mahishasura’s in the outer world, who try to suppress or hurt us.
So the festival of Vijaya Dashami is to celebrate Mothers triumph over evil and darkness and also to celebrate our journey during Navaratri which, with our fast and prayers, shed layers of ignorance and darkness within us and granted us strength to serve and stand for all that is good and pure. This fast also helps women to become more like Devi and distinguish between men like mahishasura and good pure men like Shiva, when choosing a life partner. This vrat also helps men rid all negative qualities and makes them more Shiva like, to ready them to marry a good, pure woman who is Devi like.
A blessed day of victory on Vijaya Dashami. May all women who observe Navaratri, become as pure as Devi Parvathi and may all men observing, become as valiant, brave, and strong as Shiva.
Aum Namaha Shivaya
Author: Salona Surjoo