KARACHI: On Tuesday, when like other parts of the world, in Karachi also, tens of thousands Shia Muslims took out on the roads to mourn and remember the sacrifices in Karbala for their right, large number of Hindus also gathered in historical Swami Narain Temple to remember another war for the right that their deity Lord Rama fought against Ravana.
Local Hindus gathered at Swami Narain Temple, located on M.A Jinah Road (Formerly Bunder Road) to celebrate their religious festival of Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashmi. Like other parts of the world, every year, Hindus of Karachi start celebrating Navratri, the first of a series of festivals ahead of Diwali, which will be celebrated on October 30. During last nine nights, Hindus worshiped two goddesses revered in the Hindu religion, Saraswati and Durga, while a third goddess, Lakshmi, will be worshipped on Diwali.
According to Goswami Vijay Gir Maharaj, pundit of Darya Laal Mandir, Karachi, the celebration of Dussehra which is mentioned in Hindus' holy book of Ramayana, according to which, Lord Rama, killed the ten-headed demon Ravana, as Ravana had abducted Rama's wife Sita and Rama, along with his brother Lakshmana, follower Hanuman and an army of monkeys, headed towards Lanka in order to enter a war with Ravana and rescue Sita. On his way to Lanka, Rama organized Chandi Pooja to seek the blessings of Ma Durga, the Goddess of power and courage. After seeking her blessings, Lord Rama defeated and killed Ravana, with the help of his fellow beings. Therefore, the day was celebrated to commemorate the victory of Rama over Ravana, which later came to be known as Vijayadashmi or Dussehra.
"It was fight for the right," said Vijay Gir Maharaj.
Usually, for the celebrations of the festival, children and adult gathered at the temple and after prayers, they play Dandia dance and in the last they set a huge effigy of Ravana on fire. But this year, the local Hindus have postponed setting the effigy of Ravana on fire and playing the Ram Leela play in respect of the Muharram.
"Since, this year the Dussehra has fallen with Muharram, therefore, in the respect of Muharram, we have postponed it," said Daya Ram, a member of the celebration committee.
Just like Ashura Sabeel (water facility) outside the Swami Narain temple, set across the city everyone especially for Shia mourners, Ashok kumar and his friends have set a sabeel inside the temple premises during Navratri, where clay pots were lined across a table and a young man seemed to fill these pots with cold water. "We collected donations from the local Hindus to set this sabeel," said Ashok.