Vijaya Dashami or Dussehra was celebrated with the traditional fervor in Vrindavan. People celebrated the victory of righteousness over evil by burning the effigy of Ravan in several places around the town. The towering effigies of Ravana symbolizing evil were burnt with fireworks to celebrate the destruction of evil.
Vijayadashami also marked the end of Durga Puja, when we remember goddess Durga’s victory over the buffalo demon Mahisasura that helped restore dharma. More than two dozen Durga Pujas were organized around Vrindavan. Vijaya Dashami celebrations included the processions of Goddess Durga and her associate gods and goddess, to the riverbank for immersion.
The ritual of worshipping the Shami tree was also performed at the Katyayani Temple and the Bade Baicha of Bhagwan Shri Rangnath ji Maharaj in the evening. Lord Rangnath Bhagwan was taken to His spacious garden in a procession to witness the ritual.
Swami Shri Vidyananada Ji Maharaj, Chief Priest of the Katyayani Mandir, performed the Shami Puja at the temple. According to the Hindu division of the day, these rituals should be done in the ‘Aparahna’, i.e afternoon. Shami Puja is traditionally done by Kshatriyas and Kings. Any Shami tree situated in the North East part of the city is preferred.
The Shami tree is the tree that hid the Pandavas during their last year of exile. The Pandavas won the war, and hence, it is believed that the Shami tree gives power and victory to those who pray to it. During the day on Vijayadashai, people exchanged Shami leaves and greeted each other.
Shami tree pooja
Shami Puja is also known as Banni Puja and Jammi puja in some of the southern states in India.
The festival also marks the beginning of preparation for one of the most important and widely celebrated festivals – Diwali, the festival of lights, which is celebrated twenty days after Vijayadashami.
Since Lord Ram conquered Ravana on Dussehra, Thakur Shri Radha Raman performs a victory ride on a huge sliver elephant on this day. Devotees gathered at the temple in large number and waited anxiously to relish the incredible darshan. Every year Thakur Shri Radha Raman ji wins the hearts of devotees by giving this special darshan.
Lord Rangnath Bhagwan was taken to His spacious garden in a procession to witness the ritual.
Shami tree pooja
Radharamanji on his victory ride