For good days ahead

For good days ahead

INVOKING Blessings

For good days ahead

The makeshift stalls, with piles of plantain leaves, flowers, garlands, at the markets in the City echo the sentiments of the people as Vijayadashmi arrives. The festival comes with interesting stories and beliefs, not to forget the feast.   

For Sharmista BS, a financial analyst, the day is about food and decorating the house. “We believe that it was on this day that demon king ‘Mahishasura’ was killed by goddess ‘Chamundeshwari’. After she killed him, the weapons she used were kept for worship. It is in this remembrance that we keep our tools for puja to signify that good will always win over evil. ‘Knowledge is power’, which is why instruments and books are also kept for puja,” she adds.

“We also keep different household items like kitchen utensils, radio, light, which are used in our day-to-day life in front of the gollu. The whole house is cleaned up and the items are marked with vibhuti and kumkum. On Vijayadashmi day, all the utensils are used again, and the books which were kept for ‘puja’ will be read from. Eatables like sweets and kadale puri are consumed and given to the people at home,” she adds.

Venugopal Gowda, who works as a team leader, will be heading back to his hometown in Tumkur, for the day. Venugopal, who hails from a farming community, says that Ayudha Puja is considered one of the most important days for the family. “This day is held in remembrance of how the Pandavas during the vanavasa, pulled out hidden weapons to defend and save animals that were taken away during an attack on the kingdom. On this day, great importance is given to the bullock cart, farming equipment, animals like bulls and cows, and tractors. Puja is done for all of these,” he says. 

The story behind the festivities differs, though the festivities remains the same. Jaiprakash A, a technical executive, says, “On the day of the ‘puja’, we keep utensils and tools like hammers, wrench and spanner for puja. These are the ayudha of today and these help us to get through our daily life.” 

The day has its own relevance for each one. The puja instills a positive energy which keeps us going,” he says.

While for many the day is about Ayudha Puja, some celebrate Saraswati Puja on this day. Rajeswari Devi, a Tamilian, says, “Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge and the last three days of Navarati are dedicated to the goddess. The puja is done seeking knowledge;  be it in your career or for studies.

Books and instruments are covered with a white cloth to depict purity and serenity. On the first day we do the avahana (invoking the goddess) by keeping books for puja, the second day has an elaborate puja for the vehicles etc, on the third day ie. Vijaydashmi, we use the items kept for puja. Puja is done to invoke blessings for a smooth year ahead,” she adds.