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Oct 4

Written by: Jennifer Kumar, Cultural Adjustment Coach
Monday, October 04, 2010

What is Ayuda Puja?

Ayuda Puja falls on Saturday, October 16th this year.  Technically, Ayuda or Ayudha means 'weapons' and puja (or pooja) means prayer or worship. This is the day during the Navarathri celebration that people give thanks to the tools, machinery, gadgets and much more that make daily life possible or 'easier'. Everything from televisions, to kitchen gadets, to computers and vehicles are worshiped.

How is this done? Well, people wake up very early and begin cleaning these things. This can be seen as a 'fall cleaning' of sorts where these items are cleaned, possibly fixed up or repaired, and adorned. Depending on the family's particular tradition the items can be adorned with anything from kumkum (red powder), sandalpaste and viboodhi (holy cow dung ash) to fresh flowers, to any kind of decoration on the planet! In Chennai it's quite a sight to see the busses sparkling clean, garlanded with flowers and also maybe flashy lights or other adornments. Maybe the bus is updated with new lights, horns or seats (now, that's a blessing!!).

There was something about the spirit of this day that has stayed with me since I was in India from 1999-2001. I began celebrating this puja when I came back to U.S. with the gadgets in my home. I specifically took photos of the puja I did on my car because the car was new that year. I have not done this every year, but when I remember the day, I do it.

Interestingly, the word 'ayuda' spelled a-y-u-d-a also means 'help' in Spanish. Now, it's kind of ironic because we could say this is a worship of help too, in a way, because these gadgets help us to live better lives! I found that an interesting sidenote to share with you!


Easy ways to Celebrate Ayuda Puja on your own

Do you want to know how to celebrate this puja on your own? It is possible to celebrate this without a religous undertone, if you prefer. This is what I suggest:

1. Wake up early. Clean or dust the gadgets, machinery and vehicles you want to 'give thanks to'.

2. Show some reverence to these items by thinking how they have helped you live a better life. Appreciate those experience and if it's not too new-agey enough thank the universe for that opportunity and the many more that lie ahead because of that gadget.

3. If you like, adorn the gadget with something. If it is needs to be repaired, adorn it with an upgrade or repair. If it is a car or vehicle- pimp it up! Paint it, detail it, add new seat covers, new head lights, decorate it if you desire, make it your unique mode of transport.

4. If desired by a new gadget this day to commemorate the days to come and how it will better your life. Don't buy it simply to buy something but with a purpose.

Following these simple steps we can celebrate Ayuda puja during Navarathri in a spiritual way with gratitude without being religious. If you want to be religious, I am sure there are plenty of ways. If you have some websites to recommend for the religious side, do not hesitate to put them in the comments section! Thanks.


My Photo Slide Show of Ayuda Puja 2003

 

Thank you for reading this post and spending your time on Alaivani.

Related Posts:

My New Car Puja Earlier in 2003

Nothing like Navarathri: An American’s Passion and Continuation of Navarathri in US  
Nothing Like Navarathri: Preparing for Festivities 
Nothing Like Navarathri: What Is Celebrated During Navarathri

Viajaya Dashami Festival in Mauritius (Part 1 of 2)
Vijaya Dashami in Mauritius (Part 2 of 2) - Stories/Legends

Copyright ©2010 Jennifer Kumar, CC, LMSW Cultural Adjustment Coach

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