In this universe, you can say ‘Nothing is significant’ or ‘Everything is significant.’ Both mean the same thing paradoxically! It is our perspective that varies.
The remarkable aspect of life is that small, as well as big things, add meaning to our lives. So, a small needle has just as much utility as an aircraft. After all, you need it to stitch the clothes you are wearing. Similarly, ask any woman wearing a saree the uses of a tiny safety pin!
So, use and not size decide the value and meaning of things in our lives. Ayudha Puja recognizes this functionality and efficacy of tools, objects, and devices we use in our day-to-day life.
What is Ayudha Puja?
Ayudha Puja is the day we honor and express gratitude for all the instruments that add meaning to our life.
It takes into consideration small things like pins, knives, scissors, and spanners as well as large devices such as computers, machinery, cars, and buses.
Is there a historical reference?
In olden times, weapons used in war were worshipped as they were the means of defeating enemies. For instance, in Karnataka, celebrations on Ayudh Puja commemorate the slaying of the demon king Mahishasura by Goddess Chamundeshwari, an incarnation of Parvati Devi.
Reverence & contentment
“If you are filled with reverence for everything, life is so full.”
- Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Our recognition of the value of something makes it infinitely more useful. When we revere things that make life easier for us, we find contentment in all that we have. Our mind does not get ensnared by desires and greed for more.
But, how does the simple act of worshipping an object bring such wholesome fulfillment?
Gurudev says that often we lose reverence for that which we own, and this happens unconsciously. Essentially, whatever you revere becomes bigger than you. When you have reverence for the whole universe, you are in harmony with it. Then, you do not need to reject or renounce anything in this universe. Reverence in ownership frees you from greed and jealousy. So, cultivate the skill of having reverence for every moment in life.
Ayudha Puja is a time for doing just that – recognizing and honoring the utility of things in our life.
When we revere things, we indirectly worship the mind that conceived them. And our mind is nothing but divinity. All the thoughts that come to the mind to create an airplane, a camera or a microphone have all come from the same source, i.e., the Devi.
This is what we chant in the Chandi Homa performed on the eighth day of Navratri,
'Ya Devi sarva bhuteshu buddhi rupena samsthita.'
The Divine Goddess who resides in all beings in the form of intelligence, I bow down to You.
It succinctly describes that it is one divinity which manifests itself as the intellect in all beings. When we honor that intellect, we honor the Devi.
The utility in each device is recognized and honored as part of one Divinity. When we realize that everything is a part of divinity, deep rest comes to the mind.
This Navratri, bring your mind to deep fulfillment and rest by worshipping all that you have. Even the little things in your life hold the power to elevate you spiritually.
When is Ayudha Puja 2022?
This year, Ayudha Puja falls on October 4th i.e. the ninth day of Navratri.
What rituals are performed on Ayudha Puja?
On this day, all instruments - big and small - are cleaned and worshipped. The small and medium-sized things are placed on a pedestal and decorated with flowers. Vermillion is also applied to them as a part of the worship ritual.
(With inputs from Prajakti Deshmukh, Faculty, Art of Living)
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