Festival brings happiness in a family by integrating relations and friends together. Festive celebration will always be a fun filled activity along with genuine prayers to God. Ayudha Pooja (Ayudha Puja) or Saraswati Pooja (Saraswati Puja) is one such festivity which creates a wonderful environment of both pleasure and joy. Herewith, we are going to see interesting procedures and different methods of celebrating Ayudha Puja or Saraswati Puja. The note from Dravidian will also guide you on how to celebrate Ayudha Puja or Saraswati Puja.
Ayudha Pooja – The Festival of Triumph celebration
Ayudha Pooja, the name by itself indicates that it is a festival celebrated to respect the implements of God. ‘Ayudha’ means weapon and Pooja are nothing but worshiping the Lord. Ayudha Pooja is done to respect weapons and it does not mean literally. The weapon includes all the things which a man uses to attain wisdom and prosperity. Weapons, books, vehicles, household Appliances and so on are the things included for Pooja celebration. Ayudha Pooja is an auspicious day for Hindu people and considered to be holy spiritual activity.
Ayudha Pooja is also called as Saraswati Pooja and called as Dussehra in North India. Ayudha or Saraswati Pooja is celebrated differently in various places according to one’s own religious customs. Ayudha Pooja falls on the ninth day of the Moon cycle and during Navratri (Navaratri). Ayudha Pooja is celebrated all over India, Sri Lanka. Veneration of God given objects is really an essential action and is accomplished on Dussehra day. Three phenomenal goddesses of worshiped during Ayudha Pooja are Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth), Saraswati (Goddess of wisdom) and Parvati Devi (Goddess of Divinity). Ayudha Pooja is an enjoyable and the most important festival of India.
History and the story of Ayudha Pooja (Ayudha Puja) or Dussehra
Ayudha Pooja (Ayudha Puja) is a traditional festival from ancient times. It is believed that Ayudha Pooja is celebrated due to a good incident happened long before. There are two legends told which narrate the story of Ayudha Pooja and its commencement details.
Mahabharata and Arjuna’s tie up with Ayudha Pooja
According to the Historical significance, Mahabharata is one of the main epics for human life. Mahabharata is related to Ayudha Pooja in one aspect. Mahabharata, a war between the Pandavas and Gauravas was a real lesson for the livelihood of people.
Pandavas included the five incomparable men namely Bheeman ( Bhima), Arjuna, Nakulan, Sahadevan. Amongst everyone Arjuna is a courageous and brave man who excels as an Archer. Once upon a time, there happened an incident due to which Arjuna has to move to forest for his living as a punishment. Before he moved to a forest, he kept his weapons hidden in a tree. After his thirteen years of punishment, he returned back on Vijayadasami day and took out his weapons from the Shami tree. That day was very auspicious and full of holiness. Since Arjuna took out the weapons on that day, it is also celebrated as Ayudha Pooja. Ayudha Pooja is a day of prosperity and hence a new start on that day is considered to be auspicious.
Mahishasura Varthini – Legend of demolishing Evil
According to the Hindu Mythology, Goddess Chamundeshwari (Goddess Durga Devi) freed the world with her powerful weapons. She killed the demon called Mahishasuran who was very strong and mighty. Devas ruled the whole world by their amazing capabilities. The demons or the asuras were very jealous and always wanted to rule the world. Several asuras tried defeating the Devas but failed on every attempt. Then came the Mahishasura who was damn powerful and courageous. He led all the asuras in fighting against Devas.
All the Devas decided to put their powers together to bring about the super power. That super power is a lady with ten hands named to be Goddess Durga Devi. She had ten weapons in all her ten hands. Mahishasura fought against the Goddess Durga Devi continuously. Both of them battled for nine days continuously. On the tenth day, Durga Devi sliced the head off from Mahishasuran body. That day was a Navami day. The death of Mahishasuran gave the enlightenment and peace for the world. Hence Ayudha Pooja or Dussehra or Vijayadasami (Vijayadashami) is celebrated on this day of extreme goodness.
Ayudha Pooja ceremony in Different places
South Indian Jubilation of Ayudha Pooja or Saraswati Pooja
In southern parts of India, Ayudha Pooja or so-called Saraswati Pooja is celebrated in a grand manner. Ayudha Pooja falls during Navratri (Navaratri) and hence has an additional significance. During Navratri, people of South India will celebrate another important festive ceremony called Golu (kolu). Golu is an interesting celebration which fully comprises of dolls (Bommai in Tamil).
All the dolls of God like Radha Krishnan, dancing and head shaking Tanjore Doll, Durga Devi, animals, birds, swing and so on items are kept on steps so as to show off magnificent attire. All the dolls will be kept for nine days and nine nights. Golu is a very auspicious occasion for having a bright future.
Ceremonial proceedings of Ayudha Pooja (Ayudha Puja) or Saraswati Pooja (Saraswati Puja)
On the Navami day of Navratri season, Ayudha Pooja is celebrated. Pooja preparation starts from the prior day itself. You should start with the cleaning works starting from vessels to the entire house. Everything must be cleaned in advance to carry out the Pooja at the earliest. After cleaning and washing, Santhanam (Sandalwood) is sprinkled on all the things which are being used. Then kumkum is placed on top of Santhanam sprinkles. Floral decorations and thoranams have to be hung in the entrance of the house.
Next step is to make sweets and snacks including Suyyam, Kadalaiparuppu Paayasam, Sundal, Medhuvadai, etc. For lunch, Sambar, Rasam, vegetable curry, the vegetable fry will be made.
All the items prepared are kept in reference to Gods. Goddess Durga Devi, Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Saraswati are the main gods of worship. The lamp is lighted and Pooja is commenced with a good fragrance of Agarbathi and Sambraani. Then water is sprinkled for three times in a circular manner as a tradition. With that, the procedures for Ayudha Pooja is over. This is the formal procedure for Ayudha Pooja or Saraswati Pooja followed in Asian countries like India, Sri Lanka and most importantly in Southern parts of India.
Vijayadasami or Vijayadashami
Ayudha Puja also called as Vijayadasami is considered as a day of complete fortune. On the day of Ayudha Pooja or Vijayadasami or Saraswati Pooja, small kids who haven’t entered school are admitted into school. Before that, Goddess Saraswati is prayed for giving prosperous wisdom. After sincere Prayers, Child’s hand is grabbed by parents and the first word of Tamil is drawn on Paddy rice. This is followed as a traditional custom and it is believed that Goddess Saraswati will bless with enormous knowledge. Vijayadasami is a very good day for a bright startup. Anyone starting a new venture can proceed with their work on Ayudha Pooja for an enlightened success.
Celebration of Holistic Dussehra in North India
In North sides of India, the same festival is named to be Dussehra (Dasara) which enacts the killing of Demon. The festival will be celebrated for ten long days which portrays the war between Durga Devi and Demon Mahishasuran. Or in other words, we can call it as the celebration of the conquest of good over bad. During Dussehra or Ayudha Pooja, Barley plant will be planted on the first day of Dussehra. The barley will start sprouting and at the end of the festival, it will be used by people. The people of North India will take the sprouts and keep it with them as a thing of Luckiness.
Along with these practices, prayers will also be done with sweets and presents during Ayudha Puja or Dussehra. In some other parts of North India, People used to celebrate Ayudha Pooja or Dasara will start with the worshiping of Lord Rama. Ramayana and its related scenes will be acted in stages as a custom. Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana is taken into consideration for this traditional practice. However the festival is being celebrated, Ayudha Pooja or Dussehra has the same kind of goodness and spirituality.
Ayudha Pooja and its delights of Celebration
Ayudha Pooja altogether has an unbeatable celebration fun and enjoyment. We have seen the celebration of Ayudha Pooja or Saraswati Pooja or Dussehra in different methodologies in different places. Only the method of celebration varies from place to place but the main theme of it is the same. The festival of Ayudha Pooja not only gives wealth to people but also offers the unlimited wisdom of everything. Festival also teaches an incomparable behavior of lending to the needy. It is really a very big sacredness when you just give whatever you have at least. It does not matter how big or small it is but the action you are doing is valuable. Hope so you gained a satisfied explanation on Ayudha Pooja and Saraswati Pooja as well as about Dussehra. Have a great celebration of Ayudha Pooja!!