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The celebrations began with a colourful Ramayana Costume Contest from 2 pm onwards. Many tiny tots dressed up as various iconic characters of Ramayana like Sri Rama, Lakshmana, Sita, Ravana, Hanuman etc. and the selected best dressed children were awarded with attractive prizes.
The evening’s program started with soulful rendition of Sri Rama Nama Sankirtana by the devotees of ISKCON between 4 pm to 5 pm. After the Sankirtana, the devotees performed Sri Rama Taraka yajna on the occasion of Vijayadashami.
The assembled crowd of thousands were then enthralled by a soul-stirring performance of devotional music concert on the theme of Dasara, by the renowned playback singer and the current judge of ZEE TV’s Sa Re Ga Ma Pa… Sri Vijay Prakash and his team.
Despite all his might and majesty, Ravana was destroyed for his evil ways by Lord Rama and thus, the day of Vijayadashami marks the victory of good over evil. The evening’s celebration culminated with this symbolic victory and destruction of evil, by setting the 50 feet tall effigies of Ravana and Kumbhakarna ablaze with eco-friendly fireworks. Amar and his team, who belong to a community from Rajasthan whose expertise is in effigy making, put together the large effigies and erected them a day before the festival.
"The effigy-makers are very skilled in selecting suitable ingredients. More carbon neutral materials - bamboo sticks, straw, cardboards, etc. - have been chosen for making the effigies. Minimum number of green fireworks (Sulphur and Barium nitride free) manufactured in accordance with some of the guidelines provided by reputed institutions like NEERI, CSIR etc. are used for the effigy burning to make it a more eco-friendly festival." said Naveena Neerada Dasa, Head - Global Engagement Initiatives of ISKCON Bangalore and Akshaya Patra.
“There is always a war within our own heart, between good and evil. The destruction of Ravana by Lord Rama represents the destruction of evil within oneself and in the society at large. By adopting the process of chanting of the Holy name of the Lord, one can destroy the evil within oneself in the form of lust, anger, greed, and pride.” said Sriman Madhu Pandit Dasa, President of ISKCON Bangalore and Chairman of Akshaya Patra Foundation, during his speech.