Ayudha Puja or Astra Puja

Ayudha puja is celebrated on the tenth day of Navratri. The principal Shakti goddesses worshiped during the Ayudha puja are Saraswati (the Goddess of wisdom, arts and literature), Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth) and Parvati (the divine mother). It is also called “Astra Puja”. In simple terms, it means “Worship of Instruments”

Weapons of Maa Durga

Snake: Lord Shiva’s Snake is a symbol of consciousness and energy. It also represents the change from the lowest state of consciousness to its upper state.

Axe: An Axe and Armor has been provided to Maa Durga by Lord Vishwakarma. It is a symbol of fighting with evil and not being scared of any consequences.

Sudarshan Chakra: Lord Krishna’s gifted Sudarshan Chakra to Goddess Durga. It symbolises that the world is controlled by the goddess and the universe revolves around the centre of creation.

Lotus: Lotus is considered the symbol of Lord Brahma which represents knowledge. Half bloomed lotus is a symbol of the rise of spiritual consciousness in the mind of a human being.

Trishul: It is believed that the Trishul has been given by Lord Shiva to Goddess Durga. The three sharp ends of it are a symbol of ‘trigun’ or three properties of every living being on earth. The triguns are Sattva, Raja and Tama

Bow and Arrow: Bow and Arrow have been given by Pawandev and Suryadev which are a symbol of energy. Bow represents potential energy and Arrow represents kinetic energy. It also symbolises that Maa Durga only controls all the sources of energy in the universe.

Sword: Sword has been given by Lord Ganesh. It symbolises knowledge and wisdom. Sword represents the sharpness of wisdom while its shine represents knowledge.

Vajra: Indradev’s gift Vajra is the symbol of soul’s perseverance and strong resolving power. Maa Durga makes her devotees strong with indomitable self-confidence and will power.

Spear: Spear is a symbol of auspiciousness and it has been gifted by Lord Agni. It also represents fiery power. It knows the difference between right and wrong deeds.

Iravan’s story

This is the story of Arjuna’s son Iravan’s self-sacrifice to the goddess Kali to ensure her favour and the victory of the Pandavas in Mahabharata war. This was done on the day of Ayudha Puja. After this sacrifice, Kali had blessed Pandavas for victory in the Kurukshetra war.

Another story related to Arjuna

It is said that on Vijayadashami day Arjuna, third of the five Pandava brothers, retrieved his weapons of war from the hole in the Shami tree where he had hidden it before proceeding on the forced exile. After completing his vanvas (exile period) of 13 years including one year of Agyatavas (living incognito) before embarking on the warpath against the Kauravas he retrieved his weapons. In the Kurukshetra war that ensued, Arjuna was victorious.

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