Ayudha Puja, also known as Astra Puja, is celebrated on the ninth day of Navaratri every year in India, and this year, it falls on October 23. People worship and revere the objects and instruments related to their profession and livelihood on this auspicious day. As per the lunisolar calendar commonly used by the Hindu community, Navaratri starts after the new moon of Ashwin month and is a nine-day long festival that celebrates the victory of Goddess Durga over a demon named Mahishasura. However, multiple versions of this legend exist.
History of Ayudha Puja
Hinduism is one of the oldest religions in the world. It is also perceived to be a blend of different cultures and beliefs that evolved in the Indian subcontinent over time. Many followers of Hinduism call their religion ‘Sanatana Dharma’ which refers to a motley of views on philosophy and theology, aimed toward explaining the meaning and purpose of life. Hindus are polytheists and believe in various forms of worship. The “Vedas” are considered to be the oldest and most sacred of all holy texts of Hindus.
The mythologies of Hinduism are described through 18 “Puranas” with each having its own version. The Puranas explain complex concepts through simple and easily understandable stories. Then come the “Upanishads” which further explore these complex concepts, beliefs, and world views. They also describe various schools of thought.
There are various legends related to the day of Ayudha Puja. The most popular legend comes from the “Mahabharatha,” the greatest Hindu epic. According to the Mahabharatha, Arjuna, the third Pandava prince, retrieved his weapons after completing his ‘vanavasa’ or exile, wherein he had to spend 14 years in a forest. The Pandavas were sent to the vanavasa after they lost everything in a gamble, which was rigged by their enemy, the Kauravas. After retrieving the weapons, the Pandavas fought the Kauravas and won their lives and kingdom back. Devotees worship their weapons, tools, instruments, and books on this day. As we progressed into the modern age, weapon worship lost its significance, with the related objects of work and occupation taking their place as the objects of worship.
Ayudha Puja timeline
The Indus Valley civilization flourishes in the Indian subcontinent.
The Vedic era commences in India and Vedic culture and beliefs spread throughout the subcontinent.
The decline comes due to rapid urbanization and the rise of Buddhism and Jainism.
Contemporary Hinduism thrives under the patronage of powerful kingdoms like the Guptas and Pallavas.
Ayudha Puja FAQs
How many Hindu Gods are there?
Hinduism is a religion with many Gods and Goddesses that originated from the supreme soul, also known as “Brahma.”
How was Goddess Durga created?
The Goddess Durga was created by combining the life force of three major deities: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.
What rituals are performed on Ayudha Puja?
Cleaning and worshiping all the tools, objects, and instruments of one’s profession are done with utmost purity and respect.
Ayudha Puja Activities
Ayudha Puja and Navratri festivals are celebrated all over India. Try to visit India to experience some of the most vibrant and colorful festivals in the world.
Puranas are extensive and cannot be read in a single day. Read them slowly, over a month or two.
Clean your tools
Ayudha Puja is all about honoring one’s work objects and tools. Use this day to examine and clean all your tools and workplace.
5 Unknown Facts About Hinduism That You Should Know
Third largest religion
Hinduism is the third-largest religion in the world and the largest in the Indian subcontinent.
A pursuit for wealth
Hinduism does not consider the quest for wealth a sin, there is even a Goddess of wealth in Hinduism.
No single person can be claimed as the founder of Hinduism.
Concept of time
Hinduism believes in a circular concept of time and not a linear one.
The oldest religion
Hinduism is the oldest surviving religion in the world.
Why We Love Ayudha Puja
Hinduism is rich in both history and mythology. This makes festivals like Ayudha Puja truly enthralling.
Unity in diversity
India is home to people from different backgrounds, languages, cultures, races, and traditions. Despite all the differences, people enjoy coming together to celebrate different traditions.
It accepts all religions
The Hindu culture does not have traditions and rituals to convert others into religion. We love the tenacity and tolerance of this religion.
Ayudha Puja dates