Review Nepal News

'Dashain' the Great Nepal’s National Festival

By Dirgha Raj Prasai
  Kathmandu, Nepal      September 23 2017

Dirgha Raj Prasai

 

The most popular festival- Dashain is celebrating in this year on 21st September 2017, (5th Ashoj 2074 BS) this day is known as ‘Ghatsthapana’-The first day of Dashain festival.  Dashain comprises of ten days worship of lord Durga. The tenth day is the main day and celebrated as the “Vijaya Dashami” which is on 30th Sept. 2017, (Ashoj 2074 BS). The tenth day is celebrated as the main day by putting red mark in the forehead followed by best wishes which is called ‘Tika’. The Dashain ends on 5th Oct 2017 (this year), on Purnima (full moon). Dashain is a traditional cultural festivity in Nepal and in all over the Hindus world. 
 
In Nepal, before Prithvi Narayan Shah (1768), the festival of Dashain and Tihar had been revered as a common culture of all castes. After Prithvi Narayan Shah, created a modern Nepal a new tradition was set by bringing Phulpati and Jamara to Kathmandu from the Gorakhkali Temple by a Magar priest. People from both the religion of Hindu and Buddha take Tika from senior family members in order of precedence after worshipping the main gate on the occasion of Vijaya Dashami. In the festival, interested Hindus, Buddhists and member of Muslims used to visit the royal palace to take Tika from the King. 
 
But, the situation completely changed. On 24, April, 2006, the uprising came to a stop after an agreement was reached between the monarchy, NC and UML and Maoist included. The agitators were pleading for monarchy as an alternative force in times of crisis. An agreement was reached to reinstate the House of Representatives, which was dissolved under NC recommendation four years ago, although the monarchy did not possess the right to reinstate it. The monarchy reinstated the parliament and appointed Girija Prasad Koirala to the post of premiership. The king himself in the royal palace premises gave the oath of office ceremony of Prime Minister. Gradually, the agreement reached with the king was broken and the royal institution attacked, which is a work of huge betrayal. A political agreement- 24 April, 2006 was a political betrayal.
 
Some people are also dissatisfied owing to the forceful displacement of the monarch following unconstitutional process. Hence, it has become a dilemma in our national politics. Nepal was created with a joint effort between the monarch and the people. We Nepali are very much concerned about the forceful displacement of the monarch following unconstitutional process. Currently, fiends are ruling Nepal. The traitors are playing with the identity of Nepal under the guise of wolves and the Indian direction. Patriotic people are pondering how to save the nation and chase these evil elements. The agendas of republic, secularism and federalism will disintegrate the nation. Nepal has been orphaned without the monarch. In such situation also, many Nepalese people go the King Gyanendra’s resistance in Nirmal Niwas for Tika.  In fact, the Dashain celebrated in the absence of the monarch is like a nation without identity. Therefore, constitutional monarchy needs in Nepal. 
 
The identity of a nation fades away when its cultural belief is in a sequence. To avoid this Hindus, Buddhists and patriotic Nepali people scattered across the world must launch an initiation. We patriotic people of the nation pray to goddess Nava Durga Bhawani to be prosperous to the Nepalese People all around the world. Durga is the symbol of truth which annihilates Mahishashura, representative of devil.Including, the all political Parties have to work far to come on the track to save the national traditions and culture. A country's existence and prestige can gradually be eroded by finishing off its faith and belief tradition and culture traditional faith and cultural beliefs. If anyone wants the assurance of integrity and lasting peace in this country, one must not be confused about the country's century's old customs and religion. 
 
Among all religions of the world Hindu religion is considered as the most liberal. According to renowned philosopher Voltaire, Hinduism is the best gift of the East to the West. Similarly, George Bernard Shaw, Irish litterateur also said 'Hindu religion is the most important and the most liberal religions of the world. According to Encyclopaedia of Religions and Ethics, signs of Hindu religion are even found in the present Islamic country like Iran. Stone scriptures of 486 BC found in Iran contain the words Hindu and Hindus. Even an ancient Parsi scripture 'Shatir' has lifted a word of Veda-Vyasa, 'I am a true Hindu-born in a Hindu country'.
 
Hindus and Buddhists celebrate Dashain as national festival. Buddhist families in Stupas also celebrate Dashain cheerfully. According to them Lord Buddha has said Sanatan Dharma is chief religion. They also believe that there should be no penetration of religion and politics in traditional festivals. Buddhist Chandramukhi Lama says Dhashain is national heritage. Buddhists accept Red (few white) tika on forehead. Whatever colour it is, it is symbol of victory of truth over untruth. Gyanibajra Lama (79 years), Chief of Buaudhha has residence aside of Stupa. He welcomes his guests in Dashain with Tika and Jamara. He says as that of Hindu tradition, they (Buddhists) also celebrate Dhashin with Tika and Jamara. Similarly, Nepalese Muslim community also respect Dashain. Muslim community in Nepalgunj celebrate Dashain taking Red Tika and Yellow Jamara as Prasad of Devi. (Kantipur Daily 3rd Kartik, 2067) This is an example of respect of one religion to another.
 
Dalai Lama, in an interview to Panchjanya Hindi Weekly (Nov 22, 1992), told that he believes Hinduism and Buddhism as brothers. These two religions follow many similarities like Samadhi, Yoga, Tantra etc which were adopted by Buddhists from Hindus. Similarly Bhutanese King Jigme Singhe Wangchuk spoke on Dashain "I actively participate in Dhashain. Our goddess (Ista-devata) is Mahalaxmi and we worship Shiva and Vishnu." This of King Jigme was published as interview on 'The Times of India' in January 7, 1993. Since the tradition of people to equally participate on worship to Shiva and Buddha, Nepal never encountered conflicts among followers of these two religions. Festivals like Dashain, Tihar, Teej, Buddha Jayanti, Indrajatra etc are life styles of Nepalese people.  In this great festival of Dashain countless Hindus, Buddhists and several Muslims demonstrate hearty association to Dashain.
 
 In the name of transforming the country into 'New Nepal' the Maoists including the so-called democrats-Congress and UML are trying to destroy our culture and traditions. A prominent journalist Mr. Pushpa Raj Pradhan wrote- 'The Maoist ministers cut down the budgets of such festivals when they were in regime. The Maoist ministers had shown the same type of reluctance while marking other festivals which has been continued in the Nepali society for 1400 years. During the Indra Jatra festival (2008), the Newar community was agitated when they were faced with the budget cut for marking the festival. The Maoist leaders are seen reluctant in preserving our own identity.' Until, the Maoist leaders are going to undermine the Nepalese culture- Dashain & Tihar. The Maoist leaders and former Prime Minister Prachanda have violated our traditional dress for official functions which demonstrate Nepalese identity. 
 
Dashain (worshipping Goddess Bhagawati for Power) and Tihar (worshipping Goddess Lakshmi for wealth) is a knot of cultural interrelationship among the Nepali people. Nepalese residing outside the nation take the festival as the identity of Gorkhali Nepali people spread across the world regardless of their caste and they exchange greetings and celebrate the festival in perfect cultural harmony. There are many Goddess's Power centre (Saktipith) in Nepal. 
 
The goddess Gorakkali at Gorkha and Manokamana, Tansen Bhagawoti-Palpa, Bageshori at Nepaljung, Saileshori at Doti, Tripurasundari at Dolpa, Pathivara at Taplejung, Singhbahini at Terathum, Dantakali at Dharan, Maisthan at Biratnagar, Shakhadadevi at Rajbiraj, Rajdevi at Dhanusha, Maisthan at Birgung, Gadimai at Bara, Churiyamai and Bhutan Devi at Makawanpur, Kalingchok at Dolakha, Bidyabasini at Pokhara, Chandeshori and Palanchok Bhagawoti at Kavre, In Kathmandu vally- Guheshori, Dakhinkali, Bhadrakali, Naksal Bhagawoti, Kalikasthan, Maitidevi, Shobha Bhagawoti, Sankata, Indraani at Kathmandu and Bhaktapur, Nawadurga at Bhaktapur, Bagalamukhi, Taleju Bhagawoti, Bagrabarahi, Bagrajogini-Shakhun, Naradevi, Raktakali have been worshiping with great devotion. Augratara at Dadeldhura, Malikadebi is famous at Kalikot at Karnali. Similarly, we have thousands temples of Goddess in Nepal which have been devoting by the various castes and tribes in local areas. 
 
In Darjeeling, Sikkim, Duarsh, Asaam and Deharadun and Bhutan Dashain and Tihar is taken as an occasion of Gorkhas unity. Hindus in India, Burma, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Hongkong, America, Britain, Germany and Australia including other nation (where Nepali and Hindus are living) around the globe celebrate Dashain in their own ways. Dashain is common festival of poor and rich. Tika, a mixture of cord, red vermilion and rice is placed on the temple of the body by seniors with Jamara (nine days old barley seed) as flowers. The ritual starts from Bijaya Dashami and lasts till full moon day with much zeal and merriment. Tika is received from father-mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, teachers and other revered senior members with blessings. Dashain is also important to Indian Hindus celebrate the occasion without receiving Tika.
 
Since time infinitive, Dashain is celebrated as a widespread festival and as a symbol of power. According to Hindu mythology, an ogre 'Rakshes' (monsters) by the name of Mahisasur had caused pain and suffering amongst humans. Then goddess Durga Bhawani killed the monster to relieve the humans. Dashain is the festival symbolizing victory of truth over evil. The worshipping of the Nawadurga Bhawani during the Nawaratra (nine night of worship) from Ghatastapana is an ancient tradition. It is mentioned in the Devi-Puran-'Ram had proposed of launching war against Rawan in Lanka on the occasion of Bijayadashami in Ashwin Shukla Nawaratri'. Similarly, it is mentioned in the Padma-Puran- 'Rama had killed Rawan on the day of Chaitra Shukla Chaturdashi.'
 
A cultural scholar Gopal Sengupta writes in Weekly Blitz (Bangaladesh) 'People on Earth were already disturbed with loads of dissatisfactions; and it became worse when Mahishasura came with his evil power. Gods in heaven were assaulted and finally demons seized the deities and took their place. The green demon in the disguise of gigantic buffalo with fierce iron weapons attacked the King of the Lords Indra. The Lord was defeated in almost no time and Mahishasura won the throne of heaven, driving out the gods from heaven. They went to the trinity deities Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar (Lord Shiva) and prayed for themselves and the people on Earth. This invasion of heaven by Mahishasura and his army enraged the Supreme Gods. Flashes flew, thunderbolts tore the skies apart and fires illuminated the three world heaven, the earth, and the nether world with glaring beams of light.’ 
 
‘The supreme powers merged together and formed a shape of a young Goddess, who was empowered with eternal power, three eyes and ten hands with a celestial weapon in each, mounted on a lion with awesome power. Her exquisitely beautiful look with glowing face and wide-open eyes added a special glory to her personality. She was the one and only one in the whole universe who could abolish the evil power by killing Mahishasura. She was named Durga the Goddess of war, invincible lord of power and symbol of goodness. Durga means" unattainable" in Sanskrit. She is also known Mahishasura Mardini (killer), because she was the only power to demolish Mahishasura. She is Maha Devi, the Great Goddess, who is treated as the Mother of all mortal beings as well as the divine powers.’
 
Nepali influenced by Christian religion has been creating numerous illusions with an aim to urge people to boycott the great festival. But some Christians celebrate Dadhain as a cultural value without Tika. There have been efforts to pollute the holly festival with the color of the political-party. The leaders of Democratic and communist party in Nepal are not following the norms and values of their respective parties. But they do everything what the South Block, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) advices them. This is the regretful matter for our country. Some people belonging to indigenous groups are competing with each other to show there are better by boycotting Dashain. But indigenous people living abroad are lashing out at the concept.
 
 Prof.Gopinarayan Pradhan of Darjeeling said- 'the attempt to reduce the extensive Nepali identity to class based identity is sad.' Swami Prapnanacharya said- 'Estadev Mahadev, Parwati and Drawasam and Yumasan. Worshipping Nawadurga in Nawaratra is an ancient tradition. To pollute the ancient culture of receiving Tika on the day of Dashami or Bijayadashami at the right time is not wise.
 
People observe Tika receiving ceremony as an opportunity to resume past broken relations with their relatives and friends. This is a joyous festivity. Those have chosen to boycott the festival have made a mistake. This is their defeat. What can be achieved from loosing the identity? Dashain is an immense opportunity for the relatives living abroad to come together. The poor people, victims of perennial shortages, gather some to wear good clothes eat good food and celebrate the festival with joy. In reality it is not a Dashain religion, it is a traditional cultural belief. It should be kept alive. I extend to everyone the Greetings on the occasion of Vijaya Dashami-2017 (2074Bs).
 
                    Email; dirgharajprasai@gmail.com