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Ayudha Pooja 2017 date during Durga Puja and Navratri

Ayudha Puja is observed on the ninth day of Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) in Ashwin month during Durga Puja and Navratri. In Tamil Nadu, Ayuda Pooja is in Puratasi month and in Kerala it is in the Kanni month. Ayudha Pooja 2017 date is September 29. Literally, Ayudha Puja means the worship of weapons. On the day, books, tools, and objects used for making a living are worshipped and ritual purification is performed. The day is also known as Shastra Puja.

Legend has it that the weapons used by Goddess Durga were worshipped on the day. The day is known as Astra Puja in Bengal and is observed on Durga Ashtami day.

Goddess Durga carries numerous weapons which were given to her by various male deities. Therefore there is a belief that the weapons carried by Durga represent the various forces in Nature – Durga’s energy rests in these weapons.

Symbolism

Ayudha Pooja is a worship of whatever implements, one may use in our day to day life. 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 fulfill one’s duties. Almost all the weapons which we use in our day to day use like knife, scissors, stoves, and in factories all machineries, computers, vehicles will be cleaned and done the pooja with a request and nothing harm shall be done from these utensils and do good to everything.

Reason for observing Ayudha Pooja

It is believed that after the killing of Mahishasura and other demons, Mother Goddess found that there was no more use for the weapons. So the weapons were kept aside and worshiped.

Another legend states that before the final battle against Mahishasura all the weapons of Durga were kept for puja and she took them on the next day to annihilate Mahisha and restore Dharma.

The importance of Ayudha Puja is also due to the fact that on the Vijayadasami day, Arjuna took back his weapons which he had hidden in a Shami Vriksha during the one-year disguise period of their 14-year exile in the Mahabharata. Arujna is believed to have taken back the weapons after performing the Ayudha Puja on the previous day of Vijayadasami.

It is believed that one who begins work or learning on the Vijayadasami day will secure a grand success as Arjuna did in Kurukshetra war.

Another legend says that in ancient times, Kings and soldiers used to perform Ayudha Puja for their weapons. They considered their weapons as their protectors and boon from the Gods.

What to do on Ayudha Pooja?

Books, pen, tools, and vehicles are kept for puja on the evening of Ashtami - the eighth day. The objects that are kept for ritual purification are only taken on the Vijayadasmi day morning after pujas and rituals. The day is also the last day of Saraswati Puja.

The tools and all implements of vocation are first cleaned. All the tools, machines, vehicles and other devices are then painted or well polished after which they are smeared with turmeric paste, sandalwood paste (in the form of a tilak and kumkuma).

Then, in the evening, previous to the puja day, they are placed on a cleaned platform and decorated with flowers. In the case of weapons of war, they are also cleaned, decorated with flowers. On the morning of the puja that is on the Mahanavami day, they are all worshipped along with the images of Lakshmi, Saraswathi and Parvati.

The tools and implements are not touched on the Ayudha Puja day - Navami or the ninth day. It is only taken on the next day morning with renewed vigor after the blessings from Goddess. 

Which tool one keeps during Ayudha Puja depends on his/her trade - this can be a laptop, desktop, cycle, autorickshaw, screwdriver, sewing machine etc. Nowadays, people also do not use vehicles on the day. Cars, scooters and bikes are also kept for puja.

Children and people who are associated with art and literature also participate in the Ayudha Puja; they dedicate the prayers and pooja to Goddess Saraswathi. This is referred as Saraswathi Puja. Here too people abstain from touching books and other written materials.

Visiting temples dedicated to Hindu Goddesses is an important part of Ayudha Puja. Special poojas are also performed at home by elders and books and tools are kept for puja.

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