Bangaloreans gear up for Ayudha pooja

Bangaloreans gear up for Ayudha pooja


Makeshift stalls with piles of plantain leaves, flowers, garlands, ash gourd are set up in markets across the City since these are main ingredients required to perform the pooja.  
Ayudha pooja also called as ‘asthra pooja’, which means worship of weapons, falls on the ninth day of Dasara. On this day, Hindus worship the tools, vehicles, electrical appliances or instruments that are used in their occupation. 

 “We constantly fear for our lives and we believe that the Almighty will protect us. On this day, we pray to the him seeking blessings. By offering pooja to tools, machinery and vehicles it is like a promise that Almighty gives us that he will keep us safe,” says Sumitra, resident of Koramangala, who religiously follows the rituals of poojas.

On the day of Ayudha pooja all the implements that are part of ones occupation, such as machines, vehicles, tools etc are cleaned properly, polished and decorated. They are smeared with sandalwood paste (tilaka) and turmeric paste. Flowers are offered. They are worshipped along with the deities or images of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati. This worship is an expression of gratitude to divine force for helping to earn. It is also a prayer and a request for successful execution of duties in the coming year.

“The machinery makes our life simpler and faster. This pooja glorifies this fact and reminds us of the importance of the machinery in our life,” says H Santosh, resident of BTM Layout.

There are two legends about Ayudha pooja. According to the first legend, goddess Durga fought with the demon Mahishasura and killed him with her weapons. After vanquishing Mahishasura, devatas asked for all the weapons that were used by the goddess to kill the demon. They considered the weapons as divine and started worshipping them with great reverence. From then the tradition of worshipping the weapons began a day before Dasara.

Another legend  has it that in  Mahabharata, on this day the Pandava brothers found their weapons after one year in incognito. Pandavas were defeated in a game of dice with Kauravas headed by Duryodhana. According to the challenge they were supposed to live 12 years of exile and one year in disguise and they were not allowed to carry weapons. For the safety of the weapons they kept them on a shami tree.

When they returned they were filled with joy to see the weapons safe at the same place. They celebrated the occasion by worshipping the weapons.

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