Navaratri is one of the most colorful, dutiful and longest festival observed by Hindus in India. A nine day festival Navaratri (Nava means nine, Ratri means night) is also called as Dasara/Dushhera which usually falls some time between last week of September and first week of October. The dates are set according to the Hindu calender.

Navarathri means ‘nine nights’. What does the nine signify? There are nine grahas (planets. The human has nine openings. If a deep inquiry is made, it will be found that mankind is dependent on the planets (grahas). Although astrologers speak about nine planets, in reality, there are only two ‘planets’ that matter. They are raaga (attachment) and dwesha (hatred).

In the worship of the deities during Navarathri, every day, one of them should be worshiped, not only externally but with one’s heart and soul. Therefore, the Navarathri festival is observed, by contemplating on God for ten days, cleansing one’s self of all impurities, to experience the divinity within.

The penultimate day of the festival is dedicated to what is termed Aayudha Puja. The Hindus, on this day, Worship of arms, ammunitions, weapons, hardware and the software. In substance the weapons to be worshiped are the divine powers in man. When the divine is worshiped in this way, one is bound to progress materially and spiritually.

According to Indian Mythology, after the slaying of Mahishasura and other terrorists by Chamundeswari, there was no more use for her weapons. So the weapons were kept aside and worshiped. This Ayudha puja is being celebrated since time immemorial.

The importance of Ayudha Puja on this occasion may also be due to the fact that on the Vijayadashami day, Arjuna took back his weapons which he had hidden in a Bani tree in order to lead a life in disguise for the promised period of exile. It is believed that one who begins or renovates his learning to work on the tenth day-Vijayadashami will secure a grand success as Partha did in Kurukshetra warfare.

Be it the plough, be it a vegetable cutter or be it Soorya Kiran Air Craft, the Ayudha Puja is a worship of whatever implements one may use in day-to-day life. On the preceding evening, it is traditional to place these implements on an altar to the Divine. If one can make a conscious effort to see the divine in the tools and objects one uses each day, it will help one to see one’s work as an offering to God.

In India it is customary for one to prostrate before the tools one will use before starting one’s work each day; this is an expression of gratitude to God for granting us the tools to fulfill our duties.

Although the nine day festival is observed in homes, offices, workshops and temples, the Ayudha pooja is a widely visible festival as it is manifested on the streets and corridors of buildings. All types of Vehicles including the bicycles will be out in the streets after grand water wash and decorated with flowers and frills. Its a treat to watch drivers going for a jolly ride on their trucks, cars, vans, coaches playing their favorite music, a bit loudly!

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Ayudha Puja is a part of the Dussehra festival which is usually celebrated on the ninth day of Navratri festival. It is a celebration involving the worship of the tools which makes ones living. It is believed that by placing these implements in front of the Divine on this day will ritually purify the tools.

It is believed that by this way of worshipping we consider those tools and implements which make our living as God. In South India Ayudha Puja is also celebrated as Saraswathi Puja where children pace their study books on an altar and worship the Goddess Saraswathi who is considered to be the God for education. Otherwise the general belief behind the celebration of this day is to commemorate Goddess Durga’s victory over the demon Mahisasur.

History:

According to history Ayudha Puja is the celebration of the victory over evil where Goddess Durga, as Chamundeshwari killed Mahishasura who was a famous demon king. Once after the demolition of Mahishasura the weapons used by Chamundeshwari were not used. So these weapons were kept aside and worshipped. There is also another story associated with the Durga Puja/Ayudha Puja which says that Lord Arjuna took away his weapons from the Vani Tree which he kept as a hidden secret during his period of exile. This happened on the day of Vijaya Dashami.History also says that it is a very auspicious day to start of with a business or study or for it promises success.

Legends

Of course the most common legend associated with Ayudha Puja is the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon king Mahishasura. Another legend associated with Ayudha Puja says that it is on the day of Vijayadashmi, Arjuna got back his weapons from the Shanmi tree which he hid before going for a period of thirteen years of exile. Once he returned back from his exile period he retrieved his weapons from the tree and was back in the warfront for the battle with the Karakas and then subsequently in the Kurukshetra war he was successful. Thus the story ends which says that it is very auspicious to start any new venture on the day of Vijayadashmi.

Another legend associated with the Ayudha Puja is the sacrifice of human before and after a battle. Though this is not in practice today there are still some Hindu communities which follow the sacrifice of buffalo and sheep. A reference of this is also made in the epic Mahabharatha.This ritual was referred as Kalapalli, a sacrifice to the battlefield for success. There are legends which says that Duryodhana was advised by an astrologer the best time to perform a kalapalli is on an amavasya day which fell just before the Kurukshetra war. Also Iravan, son of Arjuna said that Aravan was ready to be as a victim for the kalapalli.Lord Krishna was also for this and they sacrificed the Aravan to goddess Kali as a part of Ayudha puja.

Customs & Tradition :

 TOne of the foremost customs to be followed on the Ayudha puja is to first clean all the tools and implements which makes our living. Then it is either polished bright or painted followed by smearing them with chandan or the sandalwood paste and then kumkum.Then in the evening these are placed on a raised platform or an altar in front of the God’s picture and are decorated with flowers. Children study books, office accounts book are also kept for the worship.

The vehicles are also washed and decked with plantain leaves ,sometimes sugarcane and flowers are all set for the puja.The main goddess of worship on this day are the images of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati.Generally on the day of puja neither of the tools nor the books are disturbed. Only the next day after the performance of a small puja and after thanking the God these things are disturbed from its place.

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Celebrations:

The celebration of Ayudha Puja mainly involves the “Worship of Implements”. It is a part of the celebration of the Namarari or the Golu festival. It is celebrated in the month of September/October and it generally falls on the navami of the bright half of Moon’s cycle. The streets and the market places will be very busy selling flowers, decorative colour papers and thoranam for vehicles, home and offices along with fruits. Celebration many involves cleaning up of the tools and then performing puja for the implements along with the worship of the three main goddess namely Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati.Various rituals are performed along with the worshipping ceremony.

Ayudha Pooja Receipes:

 

Though there is nothing specific for the occasion sweet forms a major part of the menu. As a custom generally in work places and at homes after the puja some puffed rice along wit jaggery is given to the coworkers and also distribute among family members. Though there are number sweet shops selling sweets for the occasion we always get a good feeling when the lady of the house makes special recipes for the day. Generally on auspicious day in India non vegetarian food is avoided. Dairy products fruits and nuts form the staple diet of this occasion.

Ayudha Pooja Gifts:

Celebration never goes without gifts for it is one of the best ways to show your feelings and love for each other. It is a wonderful opportunity to send good wishes to near and dear ones in the form of Gifts like sculptures and idols of Saraswathi,Lakshmi and Parvathi,books,cassettes and CD’s on hymns and devotional songs.

Festival of Tools – Every man who earns a livelihood depends on one tool or the other. It may be a pen or knife, a sickle or hammer or whatever it may be this festival is to mark the gratitude of man towards his tools. The festivities connected with this pervades every home, shop, factory, workshop and what you have. Everything undergoes thorough cleaning and poojas are performed and ‘prasadams’ distributed. Time of this unique festival is during the Tamil month of Avani i.e sometime in August/September.

Ayudha Pooja at TAMILNADU

Ayudha pooja is meant to 1 of the foremost necessary pageant in TamilNadu. The Ayudha pooja pageant is well known by everybody within the  TamilNadu. If we tend to are about to do some new business based mostly on the tools and therefore the mechanism then it’s higher to travel for the new business on the date of Ayudha pooja. There are numerous special days for the individuals of  TamilNadu and therefore the special days are celebrated as a result of several reasons. The Ayudha pooja pageant is additionally celebrated and given importance within the similar manner. This resource can give the mandatory data on why the Ayudha Pooja pageant is well known in TamilNadu.

We perform a decent day and that we worship the god in that auspicious day. within the same approach we tend to additionally worship the lord of fireplace and therefore the lord of water within the special day and within the special days. within the similar approach the materials that we tend to are using ought to even be given importance. The Ayudha pooja pageant {is celebrated|is widely known|is we tend toll known} so as to honor the materials that we use in day to day life. The materials around us are honored by performing pooja to them. The Ayudha pooja {can additionally|also can|can even|may also|may} be celebrated for the protection purpose also. it’s simply a pageant to honor the materials that we tend to use in day to day life.

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People of  TamilNadu celebrate the Ayudha pooja pageant in many ways. There are several strategies within which the Ayudha pooja pageant is well known. during this special day individuals don’t use the materials that they use in day to day life and that they honor the materials on this specific day. each material together with the vehicles is given special pooja and therefore the individuals thank them for creating everything safe. no matter tools that are employed in day to day life they’re kept within the Ayudha pooja and are worshiped. when the pooja is over the materials and therefore the tools are used once to provide a decent begin for succeeding year.

On the Ayudha pooja day the vehicles are aligned and are embellished accordingly and therefore the special pooja is finished to the vehicles. principally the individuals don’t use the vehicles on that individual day. this can be how the vehicles are honored within the day of Ayudha pooja. All the kinds of vehicles are given importance on this specific day and are given correct pooja. it’s embellished with the flowers and embellished with sandal everywhere. With this decoration the vehicle is given remainder of in some unspecified time in the future and for that whole day the vehicle isn’t taken anywhere for the ride. this can be how the Ayudha pooja celebrations are done to the vehicles.

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Traditions of Saraswathi Pooja

Goddess Saraswati is adorned in yellow or white clothes (at home or at the mandir) as yellow is considered to represent the sattva guna – characteristic of purity, prosperity and love.

The beej or seed mantra for invocation of Saraswati Devi is

AUM shreem bhreem saraswataye namah

This mantra is often used during the ceremonies conducted to start the formal education of a new child on the occasion of festival. The traditional first lesson or first words are taught to children by their parents on this day.

But we chant the following slokha in front of the God.

“Saraswathi namasthubhiyam varade kamarubhini vidhyarambham karishyami siddhibhavatume sada”

In our house,we celebrate it by keeping the Sarawathi Idol in a decorated plank.Garland with flowers and lotus.We arrange the books and other tools by cleaning them.We keep  turmeric & KumKum dots on all the books,tools,laptop and other accessories.The previous day, we sweep the entire house including doors, windows,all electronic & electric items and keep the turmeric, kumkum dots.So if you celebrate Saraswathi pooja at home,u must keep your house clean.

If you are already doing Navratri Puja/Kept golu, you can use the same decorations. Make sure everything must be ready by the evening of the 8th day of Navratri.

On Saraswathi Pooja day ie ninth day of Navratri, books and tools that are kept for Saraswati puja should not be touched.

Pooja Requirements

Image or idol of Goddess Saraswati

Plank/Peeta or a wide plate for placing the idol.

A white cloth (vastram)

Flowers – lotus or jasmine.

Mango leaves & other decorations

Turmeric

Kumkum

Raw Rice

Coconut,betel leaves & nuts

Banana & Locally available Fruits

Banana leaf for keeping neivedyam

Other pooja items like oil,ghee,camphor,incense stick and sambrani/Dhoop.

Puffed rice with gram dal,peanuts and jaggery

Soak raw rice for an hour,Drain the excess water.Mix grated jaggery & cardamom to this.We call it as THULLU MAAVU.we keep this for neivedyam along with other dishes.

 

How to perform the pooja

If you are already doing Navratri Puja ie golu, then you can place the idol of Goddess Saraswati in front of your Navratri Golu display. If not, you can place the idol in the puja area.

Draw the rangoli in front of the pooja room.

Keep the Goddess over a wooden plank or peeta.

Decorate the image or idol of Goddess Saraswati using flowers, garlands etc.

A white cloth is used to cover the idol of the Goddess. If you are using an image you can skip the white cloth or place it on tray near the image. Usually my mom arranges the books & keep the sarawathi idol over it by covering the books with a dhoti.My MIL Keeps the idol on a wooden plank and arrange the books & tools in front of the GOD.So keep it as us wish.Sprinkle some flowers on the books and objects.

Pray to Lord Ganesha first by chanting a simple prayer “ Suklam Baratharam”.

You can light the lamp. Next do the archanai for Goddess Saraswati with flowers and show the agarbhati/ incense by chanting any shloka dedicated to Goddess like Sakalakala Valli Malai in Tamil or any saraswathi sthothram from a book. Click THIS LINK & THIS LINK for slokha in HINDI.

After doing the archanai,You can offer the prasadam or neivedyam that you have made.

Lastly show the Aarti and finish the pooja.

On Sarawathi puja evening,we offer sweet appam, Nei appam OR u can offer idli/dosa if u have fershly ground batter in hand.

Some people do Saraswati Dhanam to a young girl on the day which includes dress material, betel leaves, betel nuts, bananas, bangles and cosmetics.

The books and tools are removed on the Vijaya Dasami day after doing the pooja in the next day morning by lighting a lamp and offering some fruits.Make your kids to sit & read before the GOD.Remove the setup in the good time.Check for raahu kalam,Yamakandam.

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