It falls on the ninth day or ‘Navami’ of the bright half of moon’s cycle of 15 days.
On the occasion, weapons and tools are worshiped marking the celebration over killing of demon king Mahishasura by goddess Chamundeshwari. After the demon king was slain, the weapons were kept out for worship. Accordingly, soldiers worship the weapons whereas artisans revere the tools.
The Navrathri festival celebrates victory of good over evil. Among the other legends associated with the festival, there’s a legend that Durga’s weapons were polluted before they were washed, and puja was performed on them. In North Karnataka, Ayudha puja is celebrated during the time of harvest season.
“We wash our vehicles, perform puja so that there’s no ill sight on our vehicles and household appliances. We also ensure that equipment are not used on that particular day,” Anita Raghavendra, lecturer, S Nijalingappa College, Rajajinagar, says.
S Seshadri says that they celebrate it auspiciously. “We perform puja to our machinery, car, etc and also wash them.” Rather than waiting for the day, many prefer to celebrate the festival days ahead of the Puja. “We wash our vehicles and apply vermillion on them. Many of my acquaintances, however, performed the puja as they will travel during the festival,” Bhanu Sheshadri says.
“Besides,” Bhanu adds, “We apply sandal and kumkum to TV, computer, refrigerator, electric gadgets, even to gods. Also, we offer beetle leaves, coconut, and clothes to elderly members of the family, married women of the family, young girls under five years.”
Ayudha puja’s significance is attributed to the legend that on Vijayadashami Day, Arjuna took back his weapons which he had hidden in a Banni tree before exile. The falling of the festivals this week-end has prompted citizens to rush to their home towns. Declaration of a holiday on Friday also boosted their planning.
‘Keep City clean’
The BBMP Commissioner Siddaiah has appealed to the masses to maintain cleanliness during Ayudha Pooja and Vijayadashami (Dasara).
Greeting the residents on the festive occasions, Siddaiah said festivities should be celebrated in a way that the City should look clean. Siddaiah has asked the traders to leave the garbage at the collection centre.