Ayudha Puja: The Festival Of Southern India
Ayudha Puja is a prominent festival celebrated in much of Southern India. Also known as Shastra Puja and Ashtra Puja, Ayudha Puja is a festival mostly celebrated in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Kerala. Ayudha Puja falls on the ninth day of Navratri, which is called Maha Navami.
Ayudha Puja Festival: Varying Names In Different Regions
In various parts of India, the festival of Ayudha Puja is named little differently. Here is what it is called in different states:
Andhra Pradesh & Telangana: Aayudha Pooja
Karnataka: Ayudha Puja
Kerala: Ayudha Puja
Maharashtra: Khande Navami
Tamil Nadu: Ayudha Poojai
The Legend Surrounding The Ayudha Festival Concerning Goddess Durga
The legend about Ayudha Puja is related to Navratri itself. It is believed that the Goddess Durga slew the demon Mahishasura at the juncture of Ashtami and Navami and then laid down her weapons. Thus her weapons are worshipped. Ayudha Puja is the celebration of Maa Durga’s victory over the king of demons.
The Legend Surrounding The Ayudha Festival As In Mahabharata
As per the story in Mahabharata, after being forced to go on exile (Vanvas), Arjun hid his weapons (Ayudha) under a Shami tree. When the Pandavas returned to the tree after one year of exile, they found that his weapons were still there as the day he left them. After getting back the weapons, Pandavas worshipped them. Little later they won the battle of Kurukshetra. They came back on the day of Vijayadashami and worshipped the Shami tree as well. Therefore in some parts of India, Shami trees are also worshipped on the day of Dussehra.
The Importance of Ayudha Pooja
Ayudha stands for the weapons. In ancient times, Ayudha Puja was the day to worship weapons. But in the present times, it has been changed to showing reverence to the instrument or the tools of the craftsmen, just like Vishwakarma Puja. Besides, Ayudha Puja holds special significance for the artisans and craftsmen, as it is believed that tools and instruments help them achieve success in their respective profession, and they should be worshipped and respected to perform well and be rewarded. Worshipping a Vyapar Vrudhhi Yantra would help you improve your professional relationships, bring positivity to your business, and expand it.
In recent times, people also worship their vehicles, and thus it is called Vahana Puja as well. People venerate their cars, trucks, scooters, and motorbikes on this day to get rid of all sorts of evils.
Ayudha Puja Date and Timings Of Muhurat:
Now, that we know about the significance of Ayudha Puja, let us understand the timings to perform the Puja on this auspicious day.
Ayudha Puja Date: October 25, 2020, Sunday
Ayudha Puja Vijaya Muhurat - 01:57 PM to 02:42 PM (45 Mins)
Navami Tithi Begins - 06:58 AM on Oct 24, 2020
Navami Tithi Ends - 07:41 AM on Oct 25, 2020
The Rules, Procedure and Rituals Of Ayudha Puja
The procedure to perform Ayudha Puja differs across the states. However, you can follow these steps to perform Ayudha Puja:
On the evening of Puja, start with washing or cleaning your tools, instruments of vocation, or your vehicles. You can also paint or polish them if required.
Mark a tilak on them with turmeric, kumkum, and sandalwood paste.
For weapons, you should also clean and wash them. Mark a tilak on them as before and put them in line against a wall with flowers. Marigold is a very significant flower in the celebration of Ayudha Puja.
Next morning, on the day of Maha Navami, worship all the instruments and tools, or weapons by putting them with the idols or pictures of Maa Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati.
In some places, Maa Aparajita is worshipped before Puja with Ayudha Puja Mantra:
‘जयदे वरदे देवि दशम्यामपराजिते। धारयामि भुजे दक्षे जयलाभाभिवृद्धये।।’
Musical instruments and books can also be worshipped this way. On the day of Ayudha Puja, these instruments, weapons, or tools are not supposed to be disturbed.
The Learning From Ayudha Puja
On the day of Ayudha Puja, people worship the weapons, tools, mediums of earnings and contemplate their role in their lives. In ancient times, it was more about weapons that conquered the enemies and protected the yielder. Whereas the modern definition of the Puja is about being grateful to the things that help us make our lives better.
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With Ganesha’s Grace,
The GaneshaSpeaks.com Team
Ayudha Puja: The Festival Of Southern India