||Ayudha Puja also observed as Saraswati Puja
|| Ayudha Puja and Saraswati Puja - oct 2 2014
Aayudha poojai is the worship of the weapon. Aayudham literally means weapon. Individually, we all use weapons. What it means here is that the tool one uses in his or her profession, may be a pen in case of a writer, a machete in the case of a butcher, a computer and keyboard in the hands of a computer professional and so on.
It is believed that living and non living things, all of them have an element of the divine. It is by way of this symbolism that we have to pay obeisance to all those, living and non-living that Aayudha poojai is celebrated in Tamil nadu.
On this day, right from a spoon to a major machine, all instruments are cleaned, wiped, sprayed with sandal paste, kumkum applied on them with reverence, shown lighted camphor and made ready for the next day restart, while giving them one day rest.
It is on the Vijayadasami day, the day after Aayudha poojai that the instruments are started again for regular use, with the firm belief that the coming year will be better than the last.
Importance and significance of ayudha puja
Ayudha puja is quite significant and integral part of the festival of Navratra in the south. This puja is performed in South India on the ninth day of the navratri. The puja of Ayudha is also called astra puja as it involves basically worshipping weapons ad equipments. On the last of the Navratri puja weapons and equipments are worshipped to celebrate the killing of the demon ruler Mahishasura by Goddess chamudeshwari. It is believed that after killing the demon king the weapon was kept aside for worship and this belief is still followed and hence the ayudha puja takes place.
Significance of the puja
The significance of the puja can be gauged by the fact that people of South India worship almost every equipment that they use in their daily life. It can be any equipment related to agriculture, industry or anything. Ayudha puja is also quite important for Hindus as due to the fact that on the day of vijaydashmi Arjuna decides to take back his weapons that he had hidden in a tree for a long period to live a secure life during the period of the exile of their family. This fact signifies that anyone who starts or remodels something on this day will achieve a great success in their work as did Arjuna in the war against his enemies.
The ayudha puja is basically worshipping equipments that are used for profession. On the evening of the ninth day of the navratri festival it is believed to be auspicious to place the equipment on the altar and worship it. The equipment should be looked as something in which the divine exists, this mindset helps in making one feel that every work that they do through the equipment is an offering to the almighty. This belief helps one in ensuring prosperity and profitability in their business or work.
The puja and the celebration
The festival of Navratri is made special with the celebration of Ayudha puja. This puja is mainly the worship of every equipment of importance in the house or business. The puja is mainly celebrated in South India and is quite similar to Vishwakarma puja which is celebrated in North India. Ayudha puja is celebrated is celebrated In Kerala and is celebrate during the Navratri spread across ten days. The practice of worshiping is spread in two days. On the first day of the puja the equipments are placed on the altar and are worshipped. The second day follows the practice of taking down equipments from the altar and brings the equipments to their normal use.
The ayudha puja earlier only involved worship of equipments but as the time progressed people started worshiping all kinds of equipments related to work or profession. This puja is also called Saraswati puja and worship of books and stationary is also performed by children to bring them prosperity and success in education. The puja is celebrated with full joy and happiness and many activities like dance and martial arts is also performed to give the ayudha puja more significance and popularity.
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