By Vidhya Sagar Secondary School, Banepa
Our country Nepal is a Hindu country. It is known as the land of festivals and the home of god and goddess in the world. As it is the land of festivals the people of Nepal celebrates a lot of festivals. One of the biggest festivals of Nepal is Dashain. Its actual name is Bijaya Dashami in short it called Dashain. Maximum people resident in Nepal celebrate this festival. Not only in Nepal but the Hindus in other countries also celebrate this festival. Mostly the people of India celebrate this festival. It is called Dashara in India. In Nepal, it is celebrated nationwide. His Majesty's government has declared holiday on the occasion of Dashain.
Today, the scientists of the developed nations are trying to make a living creature with human sense and animal appearance or half human and half animal. But in the ancient times i.e.'yugas'. For instance, in Satya Yuga there were some devils with half human and half animal appearance. The devil having half human and half horse was called 'Keci'. The devil having half human and half ox appearance was called 'Aaris Thasur'. The devil having half crane and half human appearance was called 'Bakasur'. These were some of the devils of Mahabharata. In the same way there was a strong devil called 'Mahesasur' having half appearance like a buffalo and half like human being.
The devil Mahesasur was on a mission to conquer 'Trilok' they are 'Patal lok' i.e. world under earth, 'Dhirti lok' i.e. earth and 'Swarga lok' i.e. heaven. He got victory over Patal lok and Dhirti lok but to get victory over Swarga lok was very hard for him because he had to fight a lot. There was heavy fight between the army of Mahesasur and the army of the king of heaven, Indra. At last Mahesasur won the battle and became the owner of the entire three worlds. He ruled very harshly and injustices were very much made during his reign. Not only was that violation of rights done but also disturbing and troubling to the general people were also done. He was a false ruler. So people could not live their life properly. The people had to live their life with fear. The powers of the sorcerer were snatched. Those people who oppose him were killed. As he had snatched the power of the powerful as well as other sorcerer, he had grown very powerful. Simple power could not kill him. All the gods and goddess were not accepting him and were very much angry with his harsh rule.
All the 'Tettis Koti' god and goddess got together and gave a part of their powers to form a united power. Each of them gave their best to form this united power and get rid of Mahesasur. They began to perform their ritual. When them power of all the Tettis Koti god and goddess were given, suddenly the sky dark sky grew bright with the light of the new power. At that time in the society the women were supreme; the new power became a woman and then a goddess. She was called Bhagwati. She was given all kinds of weapons, swords and other equipments. Now, she was ready for war.
Then she went to do war with Mahesasur. But Mahesasur didn't come at first. He sent his friends at first saying that he won't fight with a woman. At first he sent Chaturangini force with Chamer. After his defeat he sent ten million chariot army with Mahahanu. Again, after his defeat sixty thousand Mahabali force with Udagra. Again after his defeat he sent fifty million army with Aasiloma. Same thing continues here and again he sent sixty thousand army with Baskal who was again defeated. This lasted more than eight days. Lastly Mahesasur came himself. Fierce fight began between them but Devils never lasts more so Mahesasur was killed by Bhagwati as his friends. The day when Mahesasur was killed was on Dashami. As she was able to kill Mahesasur, she was given a new naming i.e. Mahesasurmardini. We worship this goddess on the occasion of the Dashain.
In the Treta Yuga devil Rawana was very powerful. He always used to disturb and trouble the people. He was the king of Lanka. As he had the supreme power he used to misuse his powers. Anybody who used to raise voice against him was killed. No body in his state was impressed by his rule instead they were very much depressed. People were facing injustice. In the course of time he had to do war with Lord Rama. Lord Rama was justice and peace lover. Before starting the war Lord Rama first prayed to goddess Bhagwati as she is the goddess of strength and power. To go to Lanka one has to cross the ocean. He setup a place for his special worship at the bank of the ocean. He brought some soil from the bank of ocean and spread some 'Jau' (barley) seed on it and worshipped goddess Bhagwati. The reason why he planted barley was 'It is a part of nature which give strength. Without nature no living organism can survive. Each and every living organism is directly related with the nature. Thus it is also our god. If he had planted other cereal than it would have taken a longer time to grow. Not only that Jau is the cereal which makes the weak people energetic if they take it. It also makes the body strong.' Then he proceeds for the war. Nine days long war happened. On the tenth day Rawana was killed by Lord Rama. The day when Rawana was killed was Dashami.
Both the devils were killed on the same days but the yugas were different. Mahesasurmardini and Lord Rama got victory on the same date i.e. on Asoj Shukla Dashami. As victory is known as Bijaya, this day is known as Bijaya Dashami. People even call it Dashain as well as Dashara.
The celebration of Bijaya Dashami proves that we still remember the victory of truth and justice. Through this festival we get a lesson that we should always be in the side of truth and justice otherwise we have to face problem as well as death in our life like Mahesasur and Rawana.
We celebrate Dashain in our own ways. It differs according to the caste, place, etc. Dashain falls in Asoj Shukla Pakshya. It is celebrated for ten days. Goddess Bhagwati is worshipped in this festival.
The first day of Dashain is called Ghatasthapana. On this day people make their Dashain Ghar (the place where worshipping of the goddess is done) neat and clean. They make a particular place for keeping the soil that is brought from a holy river. As Lord Rama had taken the soil from the ocean, there is a custom of taking the soil from ocean. As our country is a land lord country there are no oceans at its sides so the people take the soil from the water bodies with links the ocean. Then they put it in the particular place and spread Jau in it. In a part of it a plate is kept with a statue of Bhagwati in it which it to be worshipped. After some nine to ten days, Jau grows and we call it Jamara. In the Dashain Ghar no one else is let to enter except the family members.
Importance of Jamara.
As we all know that human beings are totally dependent on the nature. From the nature we get power, strength as well as life. We get almost everything from the nature. Jamara is also part the nature. We all know that it is impossible to grow a large amount of plants inside our house. But Jamara is such a plant which is made to grow inside the rooms. Most of the plants can't grow with out sunlight but Jamara can grow without sunlight too. When it is covered by something after spreading seed it becomes yellow and when it is not covered it remains green. Thus it is a natural process to grow Jamara in our Dashain Ghar. It is the symbol of our culture, tradition, and custom which have been playing an important role in our ancient period.
In health point of view also it is very important. Jamara is a medicinal herb. It is very good to our health. It is used as medicine for different disease. Many medicines that we use today have Jamara in its ingredient. Scientists have said that Jamara that we obtain in seven to nine days are very much good for the patients of blood pressure, cancer, diabetes. The food item made out of barley is very much good for weak people. Due to its features it is known as the symbol of power as well as Bijaya Dashami. It is also known as the king of cereals.
The seed of barley spread on the day of Gatasthapana will let to grow as Jamara of for nine days and on the tenth day i.e. on the day of Bijaya Dashami it is given as Prasad of goddess Bhagwati along with Tika and blessings. According to our culture, Jamara is put on the head of the people. Jamara, blessings and Tika is given by the elders till the five days after the day of Bijaya Dashami. When the people put on red Tika with Jamara, they really look very nice.
In this way Jamara has great importance on the religious, social, cultural and health point of view.
From the second day of the Dashain to the sixth day people just do simple puja in their Dashain Ghar. Some interested does Chandi Paath. From the first day of Dashain to the ninth day, people worship different appearances of goddess Bhagwati. They are Sailputtri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanteti, Kusmundeti, Skandhamateti, Katyayeniti, Karatrischa, Mahagauriti and Siddhidattri. These are the nine appearance of goddess Bhagwati which we worship in Dashain.
On the seventh day known as Fulpathi, people bring kalasha i.e. a vessel that contains the bouquets of flowers, banana leaves and sugarcane, symbolizing the goddess Bhagwati from the Shaktipith i.e. the temple of goddess Bhagwati nearby. This bouquet of flower is known as Fulpathi. It is believed that those who get a flower from this Fulpathi as Prasad in Dashain, they become powerful and brave.
This is mainly a royal celebration when the kalasha symbolizing goddess Taleju, the family deity of the royal family, is brought to the Capital from Gorkha. Taleju's most important image is at the Gorkha palace. The kalasha is officially received by the King amid a ceremony at Tundikhel. After it is officially received and the military fire a gun salute, the fulpati is carried on a palanquin to the old palace at the Hanuman Dhoka Durbar. Even after development of modern transportation services, the fulpati is transported on foot from Gorkha and usually takes three days to reach here.
Fulpati is followed by Maha Astami and Maha Navami respectively. People sacrifice the animals and birds like hen, goat, buffalo, duck, etc in front of goddess Bhagwati on the day of Maha Astami. It may be in the Bhagwati temple or at the Dashain Ghar. It is not compulsory to follow this practice. In the ancient time people had the knowledge of Tantra Vidhya so they used to create the animals and birds themselves by putting 'Panchatatto'. Panchatatto means the five elements which makes a living creature. They are air, water, soil, sky and fire. They actually don't use these elements but use those substances which are its representative. For instance, fish for symbolizing water, wine for fire, etc. It is not a sin to sacrifice the animal created by own or unnatural animal. This maintains ecological balance and also this never lets to the problems of importing a large number of animals and birds. Maha Astami is also called Kaal Ratri and Kuche Bhuway. The trend of Kuche Bhuway is mostly popular among the Newar community. Its actual name is Kul Chaey Bhuway which means the feast done in the home of our own with all the family members but not others. In the evening the people perform simple puja in their Dashain Ghar. But who want to perform Tantrik puja they perform at mid night. On the day of Kaal Ratri fifty four Buffalo (He) and fifty four goats are sacrificed at Taleju Bhawani Temple at Hanuman Dhoka Durbar and in Fifty five window Palace at Bhaktapur.
On the day of Maha Navami, the vehicles are worshipped. It is said that when Rawana was about to loose the war his army, officers and supporters were very much afraid as they didn't had much time to survive. As they were supporting the bad side it was sure that they would have to die soon. So they took the appearance of the animal like goat. The army of Lord Rama knew the step so they killed the goats thinking that more they kill more they will win. Memorizing this event also people do the sacrificing of the innocent animals which never know who are devils. People sacrifice goat, hen, duck, etc to their vehicles to keep the vehicle, driver and the passengers away from the accidents during the year. Those who don't like to sacrifice the animals, they sacrifice coconut and sweets. On this day not only the vehicles but also the mechanical equipments and such as machines of factory, industries and different offices, sewing machine are worshipped. People believe that this kind of worship keeps the machines free from the danger of damage. On this day Students worship their books.
Maha Navami is followed by Bijaya Dashami. On the day of Bijaya Dashami or Bada Dashain young ones receive Tika, Jamara and blessings from their elders and celebration continues till five days until Katik Purnima, the full moon day. At first they receive Tika, blessing and Jamara at their own houses. After they receive Tika, blessing and Jamara at their houses, they eat Samay Bazzi. Samay Bazzi is mostly popular in Newar community.
Importance of Samay Bazzi.
The word Samay Bazzi consists of two Newari words i.e.'Samaya' and 'Bazzi' which means decorative and beaten rice respectively. Samay Bazzi must look beautiful and should be decorated. Samay Bazzi is not just a decorated dish but also it possesses a huge meaning in itself. All the living beings are made up five elements i.e. Panchatatto. In order to gain strength and be healthy one has to get Panchatatto time to time. Samay Bazzi consist of all the five elements in it. They are:
Sanya : fish dried in the sun. #symbol of water.
Chuwela : like roasted meat. # symbol of soil.
Syabazzi : fried beaten rice with vacant space inside it. # symbol of sky.
Haku Mussya : black soybeans. # symbol of air.
Aaila : wine. # symbol of fire.
Samay Bazzi is kept in a plate socially known as plate of Goddess and we take it as Prasad. It is believed that by eating Samay Bazzi we get strength. These days people use alternative items in its ingredient such as:
Bazzi :beaten rice.
Nyamu :power of fried beaten rice, ginger, garlic, oil and salt.
These items also possess their own symbolization. Other things are also added according to the wish, economic status and religious belief of the people.
In order to receive Tika, Jamara and blessings people go to their relatives and elders. The people living far from their home return to the home in this festival. This is the festival which is celebrated with the family members. In this festival people forgets their sorrows and pains. They try their best to celebrate it nicely. The people buy the new clothes eat good foods. People remain in touch. After the tenth day, people call their friends and relatives to visit their place. In the earlier days most of the people were poor and with a large family so they were not able to buy the clothes when ever they like and eat good foods whenever they like. They used to save money for Dashain and buy it. Now it has become a trend.
In Dashain people want to entertain themselves. There are various measures for their entertainment such as Linge Ping is setup at many places for public. This ping is a traditional way of entertainment as well as our culture. People play cards with their family, friends and relatives. People go for picnic; they do get together, parties. Public entertaining spots are also setup. The main source of entertainment in Dashain is flying Kite. It is said that in ancient times there were no calendars in order to say that Shisir Ritu is coming kite are flied. Kites are flied also to say that Bada Dashain is approaching. Kite is known as the representative of God Indra (king of heaven). Nowadays kites are popular among the people of all the age groups. We find many people flying kites before, after and during Dashain. Even some of the organization launch the kite flying competitions and give prizes to the winner.
This is the way of celebrating Dashain in the Mountainous region. People in Terai celebrate it in different way by making the statues of clay and worshipping it.
Business in Dashain.
This a good time for a businessman to earn. People mostly buy clothes and food items. There will always be pack at clothes shop, departmental stores, shopping complex, etc. Not only has that people bought clothes but also electronic appliances, jewellerys, furniture, home appliances, etc. Not only that but kites are also sold in a large amount. So there becomes the competition among the businessmen. In order to run their business, they offer a special kind of discount known as Dashain Discount. In most of the shop we find 'Dashain Discount' written in its signboard.
For Dashain the businessmen bring their products more than the usual days. In Dashain mostly we find the selling of animals and birds such as Sheep, Goat, Hen, Cock, etc. Even in the public places, we see the people taking sheep, goat, hen cock, etc. Mainly the goats are sold in Dashain. The goats of Nepal are not sufficient for selling so it is imported from the neighboring countries like India and China. Not only goat but also the sheep, hens and cocks are imported in huge amount.
As we known that every thing in this universe has two sides. Dashain also has two sides. We all know the good side of Dashain. Now let us discuss about the bad aspects of Dashain. As we know that Dashain is the big festival and is celebrated by doing huge expenses. All the people don't have good economic standard so they can't meet the high expenses but also they do luxurious things and spent money. Not only that but also the people having large family and poor economic condition cannot afford clothes and good food. But they have to provide the family members clothes and good food. People also feel the If they are not able to get the money by doing their jobs, they take loan which may result in loosing their home and property if not returned at time. So every body should celebrate the festival according to their economic status.
Not only spending the money but people also sacrifices the animals and birds to goddess Bhagwati as well as to the machineries. People enjoy the festival with the meat. To take others' life in the name of goddess and enjoy ourselves is not good. It is a kind of sin. Today people don't have idea about the Tantra Vidhya. As they have seen their fore fathers sacrificing animals, they too sacrifice the animals but the natural ones which lead to ecological imbalance. Morally also we can't say ourselves a good human beings. Every living creature in this earth has equal right of being alive. The life of the entire living creature is very important. They also possess life like ours.
Most of the people play gambling matches. They put their property as well as wealth in the matches. If they loose the game then it is sure that they will loose their property as well as wealth in a single match. Some people also drink a lot of wine, beer as well as drugs in the festivals than in other days. Mainly the wine is popular among the people. Then they quarrel with each others. Also the drunkards have many problems in their family. The fight may occur among the family members, neighbors and also the strangers due to the behavior of the drunkard. Some people may even bring the bad changes in the system of celebration of the festivals for the luxury which may trouble others even their own children. In Dashain there are some strict rules and superstitious beliefs which are hard to bring in practice.
Thus, being a responsible and an ideal citizen we should only follow the good aspects of Dashain and leave the bad ones. The strict rules and superstitious beliefs should be left behind. Over luxury should not be done. Drinking of wine should be limited and taking of drugs should be abolished. Gambling matches should not be played. If one is interested to play then, he/she should not put money and wealth in the game. The sacrificing of animal in the name of goddess or god should not be done. Those who want to sacrifice to the god can sacrifice sweets and coconuts.
Thus, Dashain is our biggest festival we should celebrate it nicely but by remaining in some limitations.
Marriage is literally known as an eternal, biological and psychological relationship and also the legal union between man and woman as husband and wife. In my point of view, marriage is a true relationship between a man and a woman who select each other to spend their whole life, share joys and sorrows, give lots of love and produce their off-spring.
There are mainly two types of marriage. They are :
Arranged marriages : In this marriage, the family members hold the talk with the girl’s and boy’s family. The partner is selected by the family members. The girl and the boy know each other through the one who arrange their marriage.
Love marriages : When a boy and a girl meet, know each other and share their feelings, he/she can be a life partner. It is called love marriage. In this marriage, an individual selects his/her life partner by his own wish. The girl and the boy know each other by themselves.
Our country, Nepal, is a Hindu kingdom. The types of marriage found to be practised in our rural society are given below. Some may be practised in urban areas too.
Marriage by giving nut (Supari Bibaha) : Marriage done by providing girl’s party with nut (supari) by boy’s party for confirmation of marriage is known as Supari Bibaha. This type of marriage is mainly arranged marriage.
Levirate (Bhauju Behorne Bibaha) : This type of marriage is done between a brother (dewar) and a widow sister-in-law (bhauju). After the death of the elder brother, the younger brother has to accept his widow sister-in-law as a wife.
Marriage by taking away secretly (Chori Bibaha) : This marriage is done by taking away secretly without consent of guardians, either by boy’s party or by girl’s party. It is a kind of love marriage.
Marriage by performance (Gandharba Bibaha) : This marriage is done by extra performance and lots of social celebrations, festivals, musical nights, according to the favourable season.
Marriage by paying fine (Jari Bibaha) : This marriage is done by paying necessary or demanded amount of money for taking away another’s legal wife.
Getting married is not an easy task. A lot of responsibility comes along with it. Many boys and girls get married without knowing the meaning and the obligations of bringing up a family. Emotional maturity is a prime requisite of marriage. Marriage should be based on love, care, planning and consideration, their concepts, their beliefs on various things.
Marriage done when the age of any partner is not appropriate is called early marriage. The legal age to get married is 18 years for girls and 21 years for boys. In rural parts of our country, marriage can be done between 14 and 16 years old. But the appropriate age for marriage is 25 years for boys and 20 years for girls. Because boys and girls get physically, mentally and emotionally mature at this age. When early marriage is done, the couple is not mature. They cannot take good care of their family, handle their responsibilities. They may have lots of children whom they cannot guide on the right way. They themselves could not enjoy their child’s rights and would not be able to grant them to their children. They don’t have a chance to achieve education so they cannot get a job in higher positions. They also don’t have any idea of family planning which leads them to have unwanted large family. Due to disharmony in their life, they may commit suicide, divorce or murder. So to avoid these types of problems, age at marriage should be taken care of.