We look at the significance of Ayudha Pooja, as yogi and mystic, Sadhguru, explains how this festival can be an important tool for growth, and much more than just a ritual.
Sadhguru: Ayudha Pooja is one of the most significant aspect of Navratri. In Indian culture, we set up this aspect that whatever tool it may be, if you want to use your plough, first bow down to it and then use it. If you want to use a book, first bow down to it and then use it. Ayudha Pooja means, every implement that you use, whether it is in industry, agriculture or anything else, you approach it respectfully. Unless you approach something with a certain sense of reverence and a deep sense of involvement, it will not yield. The same musical instruments become different things in different people’s hands. In one person’s hands it becomes noise, in another person’s hands it becomes absolutely enthralling music because of the way you approach it.
Reverence does not mean worship or a ritual, reverence simply means you look up to it in a certain way. If you do not look up to it, if you think it is less than you, you will not be involved in it. Where you are not involved, you will not benefit from it. So, anything that you use, you see it as something above yourself and bow down to it so that it brings a deep sense of involvement. Once that involvement is there, you will handle it well and will get the best out of it. You will know the joy of doing things, not just of achieving things. The quality of life is not just in how much you harvested. The quality life is in how joyfully you did what you did. If you treat your implement with reverence, it will bring joy into you because everytime you hold it, it is like touching God – you are constantly in touch with what you consider divine.
But of all the instruments you use, the most fundamental instrument is your body and mind. Ayudha Pooja means to become reverential towards your own body and mind. If you become reverential towards something, reverence naturally brings a certain distance. If you become reverential towards your own body and mind, you will establish a clear distance between what is you and what is your body, and what is you and what is your mind. If there is a clear distinction between you and your body and mind, this is the end of suffering. Any suffering that you have known has entered you either through the body or the mind. If it is a living experience for you that you are not the body, you are not the mind, can suffering touch you? If there is a certain distance, it gives you the freedom to do whatever you want with life, but life leaves you untouched. It does not wound you in any way.
Editor’s Note: Each day of Navratri includes the Navratri Pooja, a powerful opportunity to imbibe Devi’s Grace. The Navratri pooja includes an elaborate abhishekam of 11 offerings and a vibrant offering of music and dance thereby creating an explosion of energy with songs extoling Devi at her fullest glory.