Wednesday, 21 October 2015


 Mahashtami,also known as Maha Durgashtami,is the second
 day of Durga Puja.Maha Ashtami is one of the most important days
 of Durga Puja.on Maha Ashtami begins with Mahasnan and Shodashopachar Puja which is very similar to Maha Saptami Puja
except Prana Pratishtha which is done only on Maha Saptami.
      On Maha Ashtami nine small pots are installed and nine shaktis of Durga are invoked in them. All nine forms of Goddess are worshipped during Maha Ashtami Puja.
      Young unmarried Girls,being treated as Durga itself, are also
worshipped on Maha Ashtami.Worshipping of young girls during Durga Puja is known as Kumari Puja. In many regions Kumari Puja is done during all nine days of Durga Navratri,Kumari Puja on a single day during Durga Puja is preferred on Maha Ashtami.
       The legendary Sandhi Puja is also falls on Maha Ashtami. The time window of the last 24 minutes of Ashtami Tithi and the first 24 minutes of the Navami Tithi is known as Sandhi time or the holy juncture during Durga Puja.Sandhi time is considered the most auspicious time during whole Durga Puja.Sandhi Puja is the culmination point and the most important ritual of Durga Puja. It is customery to perform Balidan or animal sacrifice at this sacred juncture. Devotees who abstain from animal sacrifice perform symbolic Bali with vegetables like banana,cucumbar or pumpkin. For Brahmins any type of animal sacrifice is prohibited by scriptures and Brahmin community does only symbolic Bali. Even the famous Belur Math in West Bengal does symbolic Bali with banana during Sandhi Puja. It is customery to light 108 earthen lamps during Sandhi Kaal.

Ayudha Puja

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wealthymatters Ayudha Puja also called Astra Puja is the “Worship of Implements”.It is part of the Navratri celebrations.
All the implements that are part of one’s occupation, such as machines, vehicles, tools,computers etc. are cleaned properly, polished and decorated. Then they are smeared with sandalwood and turmeric paste. Flowers are  offered. The implements  are then worshiped along with the image of Saraswati ,for wisdom.
This worship is an expression of gratitude to the divine forces for helping us earn our livelihoods and also prayers or the successful execution of duties in the coming year.
So you can see all types of vehicles including bicycles out on the streets after a wash , decorated with flowers and frills.
Business establishments,offices and factories  are spruced up and bedecked with fresh flowers, banana leaves, plantain saplings and other festival related festoons.
In royal families,traditionally weapons are worshiped on this occasion for it is said that on Vijayadashami day Arjuna, third of the five Pandava brothers, retrieved his weapons of war from the hole in the Shami tree where he had hidden it before proceeding on  forced exile. After completing his exile period of 13 years including one year of Agyatavas (living incognito) before embarking on the war path against the Kauravas he retrieved his weapons. In the Kurukshetra war that ensued, Arjuna was victorious.
In times past,a pre-battle ritual involving human sacrifice was part of Ayudh Puja . Dussehara festival  starts after the rainy season,when raids and campaigns were traditionally started and the Devi was propitiated with such a sacrifice before launching military campaigns. In Tamil Nadu, there is the tradition of ‘Kalapalli’  a “sacrifice to the battlefield”, which involved human sacrifice before and after battles.In the Mahabharata, Duryodhana, the Kaurava chief was advised by the astrologer Sahadeva that the propitious time for performing Kalapalli was on amavasya day (New Moon day), one day before the start of the Kurukshetra war. Iravan  agreed to be the victim for the sacrifice. But Krishna, the benefactor of Pandavas, smelt trouble and he devised a plan to persuade Iravan to be the representative of the Pandavas first and then of the Kauravas. Krishna suggested to Yudhishtira-the eldest of the Pandavas, to sacrifice Iravan to goddess Kali as a part of Ayudh Puja. After this sacrifice, Kali according to legend blessed the Pandavas for victory in the Kurukshetra war. The practice of human sacrifice is no longer prevalent in India. Now, instead of a human sacrifice, buffalo or black goat sacrifice is in vogue, in some Hindu communities.Others have substituted with coconuts and ash gourds.
Even today the armed forces and the police observe Ayudha Pooja. Below is a picture of Narendra Modi at an Ayudha Puja with weapons,

About Keerthika Singaravel

2 Responses to Ayudha Puja

  1. Alex Jones says:
    Rate This
    An idea that all objects have spirit, including tools, well known idea in animism. My Celtic ancestors “killed” objects such as swords by breaking them before burying them with the dead, or offering them to spirits such as of the river.

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