In TamilNadu, we celebrate Ayudha Pujai on the day of Dussehra. So this year Ayudha Pujai was on September 15th. The day before is celebrated as Saraswati Pujai.
Seeing the Divine in all
These two celebrations signify the very core of Hinduism. The divine is all pervading. Or another way to say it, everything is to be respected and celebrated. Maa Saraswati is revered as the Goddess of learning. We keep books and other learning tools are put on the pedestal for this day and children especially, are made to thank them for providing us with knowledge. We also pray for wisdom. Many of us would eagerly look forward to Saraswati Pujai because for one day, the textbooks were not to be touched 😁
In the same way all mechanical things – tools, weapons, cars, scooters, buses etc are thanked on Ayudha (loose translation – tools, weapons) Pujai day.
What do we do ?
We clean the vehicles or weapons or tools, put flowers, light some camphor to remove the evil eye and thank them for helping us live well or for giving us protection. We place lemons under the wheels and drive over them. The assumption is that it protects the vehicle from damage and keeps it going.
It may appear to be a simple superstitious practise but hey, Yale University’s most downloaded course is the Science of Well Being. The first thing the course speaks of is maintaining a daily gratitude journal. Writing the daily gratitude is one important step in staying happy according to the course.
This is the Hindu way of showing daily gratitude to every single thing under the Sun. We do Sandhya Vandanam every day to say thanks to the Sun because without the Sun, life as we know it on Earth will be extinct !! Sanatana Dharma weaves gratitude as a daily habit beautifully …
At our home, we make a special dry mix of Rice puffs (murmura), Rice flakes (poha), Jaggery, roasted peanuts and roasted Bengal Gram as the offering or Naivedyam. Both Krishnan and I love it :). We keep eating it every few days not just on Ayudha Pujai.
I made coconut milk as the Naivedyam this time because we had some extra coconuts to be used up as we were travelling. I also wore the Madisar as I usually do for any traditional festival or celebration.
This particular saree is very special as it belongs to my mother-in-law. This is a very comfortable drape and we have Jayanthi who runs marathons wearing a Madisar. 42 km in 9 yards: Meet the Hyderabad woman who ran a marathon in a saree to promote handloom.