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Legends of Navaratri : Ayudha Puja

Navaratri is one of the most celebrated festivals among Hindus across the world. During this period, different forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped on each day of the festival.There are several legends regarding the rituals and customs which are practiced in this period. One of the significant legends which leads to the worship of all household and office equipments lies in the story of the Mahabharata.

Story of Mahabharata

In the Mahabharata, the Pandavas are sent to exile when they lose a game of gambling, for many years. They lose the game because of Shakuni’s tricks played on them during the game. They are badly insulted after that and sent to exile for a long time. During that period, they set into the forests and decide to spend the next few years without revealing their identity to the outside world. For that reason, they had to safekeep their weapons in a place for the next few years. They find a Shami Tree and find it suitable to hide their weapons. They pray for the well being of the weapons to the Gods and set out on exile. After many years in exile, they come back and see that the weapons are still intact under the Shami Tree. They retrieve their weapons and perform the Shami Puja. This was the ninth day of Navaratri and it became popular as the day of Ayudha Puja.

Nowadays, people celebrate this day by cleaning all their household and office equipment and vehicles and tools and worship them religiously. It is a very popular practice especially in South India. People distribute sweets among friends , relatives and colleagues on this day. The modern day equipment are worshipped as “thanksgiving” to them for their service.

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