Ayudha Pooja

Every year, on Ayudha pooja, we wash our vehicles and decorate them with flowers. We smear it with vermilion and turmeric ( which leave annoying stains behind ) and tie lemons to the handles. Some decorate it with balloons while some use plantain leaves too. Buses and trucks get smeared with sacred ash in a 3 line format. Within the privacy of our homes, the mums wash up the knives and sacred swords, if any. My mum even cleans up the TV, taperecorder (which is only used for the radio ), washing machine, fridge and the computer ( She exclaims how filthy the cords are, and plugs out something accidentally ).
So, it got me thinking. Its Ayudha pooja, and we render a pooja service to our vehicle, i.e , vahana. Our vahanas are not ayudha's. We dont defend ourselves against enemies, or use it for protection. Its merely our means for transportation. So why do a Ayudha pooja on the vahana? I wonder when did this tradition of worshipping your vehicles on Ayudha pooja start.
 There are , a section of society, who do own ayudha's. The gundas who have their macchu, laangu  etc .... So do these people do Ayudha pooja for their weapons too ? Does that mean that victims can rest in peace on the day of Ayudha pooja? Or are we at more risk of being burgled on Ayudha pooja, just because all the thugs need to use their ayudha's after the pooja ?
Evolution of our traditions and rituals has brought us to this day when i worship my taperecorder, only because on this day, centuries ago, Arjuna is fabled to have worshipped his weapons before fighting the Kauravas. Ummm... so who do i wage a war against, with the humble assistance of my taperecorder(which is mainly used as a radio) ?


Ikya said…
I do agree with your thought partly Anush. Offering prayers to electronic gadgets may seem vacuous or deviant sometimes. But I guess real idea behind it is implements or tools used by people in their profession are revered since that’s their livelihood :)
anusha said…
Yes, but in the long run, we have included more than what is relevant under the list of tools/implements used in our profession.
Iceman said…
Ironically I had asked this question as a 6 year old and the adults had the answer ready.

Ayudha includes weapons and tools and not just weapons. It is a day kept aside for modern man to remember that he is dependent on his tools and weapons for survival and to be humbled by the thought by showing respect for them. The festival is designed to keep his feet on the ground.

Don't be mistaken that ayudha means just weapons. The word didn't evolve to include tools. Tools came first, weapons later.
anusha said…
@Iceman - That was indeed a convincing explanation. :)
astrosunilnomy said…
traditions & beliefs change over time, people modify them, bend & twist them, probably its enough for us to understand the broader significance of things we are following rather than blindly follow them. in this case i suppose it means we should worship tools & machines, we use them day in & day out, probably we thank them for helping us..by cleaning them & worshiping them. nice take on the subject. Liked your thoughts on the topic

Popular Posts