Saraswathi Pooja - Tamilnadu

Saraswathi Pooja

As per the Hindu traditions in Tamil Nadu, there is no better day than Vijayadashami for starting new ventures, projects, or learning the alphabet or any other art form. This is the day that comes after Mahanavami, where Puja is performed to propitiate Goddess Saraswathi in Tamil Nadu. In Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Saraswathi Puja is observed on the ninth day of the Navarathri festival.

Also known as Ayudha Puja and Astra Puja, Saraswathi Pooja is observed on the 9th day of the Navaratri festival that occurs on days between September to October. During the evening of Mahanavami, the Goddess of wisdom, art, and literature is revered by devotees keeping their books, instruments, and tools for Puja in front of the idol of Goddess Saraswati (in the Golu/Kolu display) and this remains untouched until the next day – Vijayadasami day. Tools that are used in day-to-day activities including ploughs, spanners, hammers, and machines like computers and laptops are also kept for Puja. People also wash their vehicles and perform puja for them.

As per mythology, it is believed that the weapons used by Chamundeshwari to kill Mahishasur have been kept for worship. Another story claims it was on Vijayadashami Day that Arjuna, one of the five Pandava brothers, retrieved his weapons from the Shami tree, where he had placed them before going on exile for 13 years.

This day is considered auspicious to start learning, i.e., for Vidyarambham. Small children enter the world of knowledge on this day by writing for the first time, guided either by a priest or elders of the family. The Maha Saraswathi Amman temple in Thiruvarur is the only temple dedicated to Goddess Saraswathi in Tamil Nadu. On Vijayadashami day, parents bring their young children and make them write for the very first time inside the temple. Special pujas are also performed on this day.