Dussherra - Importance in Sikhi
Bansavalinama written in 1769 CE by Kesar Singh Chibber also mentions the celebrating of Dusshera. Kesar Singh Ji writes:
ਦੁਸਹਰੇ ਦੇ ਦਿਨ ਪੂਜਾ ਸ਼ਸਤ੍ਰਾਂ ਦੀ ਕਰਨ । ਚੰਡੀਪਾਠ ਕੀਤਾ ਰਸਨਾ ਦਾ ਉਚਾਰਨ ।
On the days of Dusshera, worship your weapons. From your mouths you should recite the ballads of Chandi [Chandi Chritars and Chandi Di Vaar].
ਧੂਪ ਦੀਪ, ਪੁਸ਼ਪ, ਬਹੁਤ ਹੋਵੈ ਸੁਗੰਧਿ । ਕੇਸਰ, ਚੰਦਨ, ਚਉਰ ਝੁਲੰਤ ।੩੯੦।
[Worship your weapons by using] lots of Incense, Gee-lamps, flowers and nice fragrances. [Use] Saffron, Sandalwood and a Wisk to wave [above your weapons].
- Bansavalinama pg. 161 ਬੰਸਾਵਲੀਨਾਮਾ ਪਨਾ ੧੬੧
The tradition of celebrating Dusshera continues today in the Sikh tradition followed by most noteably the Budha Dal Nihung Sikhs and Takht Hazur Sahib, who recite Chandi Chritars and Chandi Di Vaar, along with Raam-avatar [a section from Dasam Sri Guru Granth Sahib which deals with the life story of Ram Chandra] and a pothi called Dusshera Mahatam, which is a pothi with various shabads in it dealing with the occasion. This year Dusshera will be held on Sunday October 17th.
For those who think lowly of Raam Chandra, they should ponder over the works of Bhai Gurdas Ji where he writes:
ਰਾਮਚੰਦੁ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਧਰਮਹੁ ਸਾਇਰ ਪਥਰ ਤਰਣਾ ॥
Ram was a spotless person and due to his sense of dharma (responsibility), even the stones floated in ocean.
ਬੁਰਿਆਈਅਹੁ ਰਾਵਣ ਗਇਆ ਕਾਲਾ ਟਿਕਾ ਪਰ ਤ੍ਰਿਅ ਹਰਣਾ ॥
On account of wickedness Ravan went away (was killed) with the stigma of stealing another’s wife.
ਰਾਮਾਇਣੁ ਜੁਗਿ ਜੁਗਿ ਅਟਲੁ ਸੇ ਉਧਰੇ ਜੋ ਆਏ ਸਰਣਾ ॥
Ramayan (the story of Ram) is ever firm (in the mind of people) and whosoever seeks shelter (in it) goes across (the world ocean).
ਜਸ ਅਪਜਸ ਵਿਚਿ ਨਿਡਰ ਡਰਣਾ ॥
Dharma-abiding people earn glory in the world and those who undertake evil adventures get infamy.(18)
Moreover, further historical reference in found in Gurbilas Patshahi 10. Gurbilas Patshahi 10 is a historical book written in 1751 CE by Kuer Singh mainly dealing with the life of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. This is one of the most earliest and detailed writtings dealing with the life of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
ਆਜ ਨੁਰਾਤਾ ਆਦਿ ਨਿਹਾਰੋ । ਪੂਜ ਕਰੋ ਸਬ ਸਸਤ੍ਰ ਨਿਕਾਰੋ " ॥੧੩॥
[Guru Gobind Singh Ji stated] "Observe the first day of Nurate, worship and take out all of your weapons."
ਸੁਨ ਕਰ ਬਚਨ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਧਾਯੋ । ਪੂਜਨ ਕੀ ਸਭ ਸੌਜ ਲਿਆਯੋ ।
Listening to the words [of the Guru] the Khalsa ran to bring back weapons and do worship of them.
ਪਹਿਰ ਰਾਤ ਲੇ ਤੇ ਸਭ ਜਾਗੇ । ਪੂਜ ਕਾਲਿਕਾ ਕੀ ਮਧ ਲਾਗੇ ॥੧੪॥
In the last period of the night they [the Khalsa] awoke, and started to worship Kalika.
ਸਭ ਜਨ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਕੇਸ ਗੜ੍ਹ ਆਵੈ । ਧੂਪ ਦੀਪ ਨੈਬੇਦ ਕਰਾਵੈ ।
All the [Guru's] servants came to [Takht] Kesgarh Sahib, and lit incense, lamps and offered food [towards Kalika].
ਪਾਛੈ ਅੱਛੁਤ ਪੁਸਪ ਮੰਗਾਵੈ । ਕਰ ਚਰਨਾਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਚਮਰ ਝੁਲਾਵੈ ॥੧੫॥
After they would offer rice and flowers toward Kalika, taking the Amrit from the Feet of the Guru and waving the wisk [over the weapons].
ਦੇਵਿ ਚਰਿਤ੍ਰ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਮੁਖ ਗਾਵੈ । ਉਸਤਤਿ ਕਰੈ ਮੋਦ ਮਨ ਭਾਵੈ ।
The stories of the Devi were recited from the Guru's mouth, reading the praises [of the Devi] everyone's mind was left in bliss.
ਨਵਿਨ ਨੁਰਾਤਨ ਪੂਜਨ ਧਾਰੀ । ਪੁਨਹਿ ਦਸਹਿਰਾ ਆਯੋ ਭਾਰੀ ॥੧੬॥
On the ninth day of Naurate the worship continued, then came the [tenth day] Dusshera.
ਸਭ ਸਿਲ ਖਾਨਾ ਛੋਰ ਮੰਗਾਯੋ । ਉੱਚ ਤਖਤ ਕੁਰਸੀਨ ਧਰਾਯੋ ।
All of the weapons were gathered and placed on high platforms.
ਗਿਰਦੇ ਚਮਰ ਧੂਪ ਨਰ ਕਰਹੀ । ਜੈ ਜਗ ਮਾਤ ਕਾਲਿ ਮੁਖ ਰਰਈ ॥੫॥੧੭॥
All around whisks were being waved and incense was being lit, "Jai Jag Maat" [Victory to the Mother of the World] was being recited from everyone's mouth.
ਅੜਿਲੁ । ਰਾਮਾਯਨ ਕਲ ਪਾਠ ਸਭਨ ਮੁਖ ਗਾਇਯੋ ।
[On Dusshera] the beautiful Ramayana text was recited from everyone's mouth.
ਅਜਾ ਸੂਨ ਜਮ ਬਾਹਨ ਭੇਟ ਚੜ੍ਹਾਇਯੋ ।
[During the celebrations] goat's and buffalo's were being sacrificed.
ਦੁੰਦਭਿ ਔਰ ਨੀਸਾਨ ਸੁ ਪੂਜ ਕਰਾਯ ਕੈ ।
The battle drums and battle standards were also being worshiped during this time.