A greeting from Himalayan Regional Academic Director and Assistant Professor, Mr. Nawang Singh Gurung:
Dear respected Future Generations University network and global family members, alumni, friends, and communities around the world,
HAPPY DASHAIN AND DEEPAWALI (TIHAR) TO ALL!
Future Generations is a globally united family, and it may be of interest to learn about a different culture’s religion, beliefs and values! So, I’m sharing a bit about a very special holiday I celebrate in Nepal, Dashain and Deepawali. Dashain has been celebrated since ancient times as the longest-lasting national festival in Nepal. (Similar traditions are also celebrated in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Malaysia, Pakistan, and parts of India).
Dashain is the most auspicious festival of the Nepalese people. During Dashain, relatives from abroad countries come home to celebrate. It starts from Ghatastamna in last week of September (which falls on today!) The main day of Dashain is Bijaya Dashami (Sept. 30).
After the unification of Nepal by Prithvi Narayan Shah (c. late 1700s), a modern Nepal and a new tradition was set by bringing Phulpati and Jamara to our capital, Kathmandu, from the Gorakhkali Temple by a Magar priest.
According to Hindu mythology, a demon called “Mahisasur” had caused pain and suffering amongst humans. Then the goddess Durga Bhawani killed the demon to relieve the humans. In other myths, it is celebrated after the victory of our god, Rama, over the Ravan (devils). In all accounts, Dashain is a festival symbolizing the triumph of truth over evil.
The worshipping of the Nawadurga Bhawani (Taleju Temple) during the Nawaratra (nine nights 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.”
People of any caste, whether Hindu or Buddhist, take Tika (blessings of abundance) from senior family members in order of precedence after worshipping the god Durga and all their machines — like vehicles, computers and other gadgets they use daily to earn a living.
Happy Dashain and Deepawali to all our students, staff, and friends who will be celebrating this week!