Ayudha pooja is a part of the Dussehra festival which is usually celebrated on the ninth day of Navratri festival. It is a worship of whatever implements one may use in one’s livelihood. 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. It will also help one to maintain constant remembrance of the divine. (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 helping one to fulfil one’s duties.)
Children traditionally place their study books and writing implements on the altar. On this day, no work or study is done, that one might spend the day in contemplation of the Divine.
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.
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.
Customs and traditions 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.
One 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.
The celebration of Ayudha Pooja 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 Recipes
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.
SOURCE: indian mirror