The ninth day of Navaratri festival is also Ayudha Puja; worship of weapons
Ayudha Puja is the most awaited religious ritual of Navratri festival, which is observed on the Penultimate day or the ninth day of Navratri festival all over India, worshipping all sorts of weapons and implements.
Why we do Ayudha Puja?
In accordance with Indian mythology, Ayudha Puja is celebrated on the ninth day of Navratri festival, when the good wins over the evil. This ritual is performed to mark the culmination of Goddess Chamundeswari eliminating all the demons including Mahishasura. On the ninth day, when all the demons are wrecked and slayed by the Goddess, the weapons were rendered useless. So, the weapons were kept out for the altar of the divine.
But, there’s another story behind the Ayudha Puja in the legend: Pandavas lived incognito for a year. When the Pandavas lost to the Kauravas in the gamble of dice, the Pandavas had to go into exile for 14 years and live incognito for another year as per the condition of the gamble. During the period of incognito, the Pandavas weren’t allowed to take their weapons with them. So they stored them atop a Shami tree and hid them from anyone’s vicinity.
After one year of incognito, all the Pandavas came back and took their weapons back. To celebrate their successful completion of one year of living incognito, ayudha puja is performed marking the Dussehra occasion.
On this auspicious day, all tools, arms, machineries, gadgets, appliances and especially weapons are worshipped. As it evolved, the modern day weapons included computer, printer, television, phone, kitchen equipment and all the electronic items, etc. While the Navratri festival is observed in homes, offices, businesses and temples for nine-days, Ayudha Puja takes place nationwide on the ninth day by worshipping vehicles, weapons and implements.
You must be feeling nostalgic at this moment and remembering the experiences that you had in your childhood on the Navratri festival. When your cycles as well as bikes, cars and all kind of vehicles are washed before and worshipped for Ayudha Puja. Also, people wash their shops, paint and decorate them beautifully to start their business. And, when you visit their shops, they used to give you fruits and prasadam.
The worshippers strongly believe that the Ayudha Puja or the worshipping of vehicles, weapons and implements will save you from all the evil and unfortunate things throughout the year. May goddess bless you under all her care with good things and happiness in life. Happy Navratri!