We wish all our readers, a Happy Dasara!
Today is Vijaya Dasami, the day of victory. On this day, goddess Durga completed the elimination of demons. This day marks the victory of Ram over the demon king Ravan. This is the day when the Pandava's came out of the 13 year exile/hiding (Aranya + Agnata vasa). On this day, Arjuna conquered the Kaurava (Kuru) army when they tried to invade virata kingdom (Uttara Gograhana)
This history of victories made this day very significant to Indians. Hindus believe that, vixtory is ensured for any task that is started on VijayaDashami.
On Vijaya Dasami evening, devotees first worship goddess Kali/Durga. Then they worship the "Shami" tree (Botanical name: Prosopis Spicigera) with the following prayer:
shami shamayate paapam, shami shathruvinaashini!
arjunasya dhanurdhaari, raamsya priyadasrshini!
Free translation: Shami tree is a symbol of victory. It removes all our sins. It eliminates all our enemies. This is the tree which bestowed victory to Arjuna. This is the tree which joined Lord Ram with his wife.
With this prayer, the devotees adorn the leaves of the Shami tree and embark on their new tasks.