In Kerala Saraswathi Puja is performed in temples, schools, other educational institutions, dance schools, music schools and houses.
On this day puja is performed to Goddess Saraswathi, the Goddess of knowledge, music and fine arts.
Children books, pencil, pen, music instruments and dance materials every instruments used for learning are kept on a altar near Goddess Saaswathi idol, prayed to gain the blessings of Godess Saraswathi to gain knowledge, wisdom and prosperity.
On this auspicious day i.e. the Vijayadashami day, the tenth and final day of the Navrathi celebrations, it is considered to be ausipious for beginning learning in any field. This ceremony is called Vidyarambham (vidya means “knowledge” and arambham means “beginning”) where small children are made to write on a tray of rice grains or sand by priest in the temple or guru or elders in the house by holding the child’s small finger and writing this mantra.
ഓം ഹരിഃ ശ്രീ ഗണപതയേ നമഃ
“Om hari Sri Ganapataye namah”
|“Salutations to Hari (Lord Vishnu), Shree (the Goddess of prosperity), and Lord Ganapathy”|
Then this is written on the child’s tongue with gold by the priest or guru or elder of the house. Writing on the tongue with gold invokes the grace of the goddess of learning by which one attains the wealth of true knowledge. The ritual also involves an invocation to Lord Ganapathy for an auspicious start to the learning process.
Prasdam made with aval (phoa), jaggery, coconut pieces, putnal dal are mixed well and distributed to all on this day after the puja.
Ayudha puja means “worship of implements”. This festival falls on the ninth day of Navami. On the ninth day of dasara festival weapons and tools are worshipped. The principal Goddess Shakti worshipped during the ayudha poja are Goddess Saraswati (the goddess of wisdom, art and literature), Goddess Lakshmi (the goddess of wisdom) and Goddess Parvati (the divine mother). The tools and all implements are first cleaned. Machines and vehicles and other devices are cleaned, painted or well polished after which they are smeared with turmeric paste, sandalwood paste and kumkum and they are worshipped along with the images of Godess Saraswati, Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Parvati on the puja day there tools and instruments are not disturbed on this day.
Prasadam made with aval (poha), jaggery, coconut pieces, putnal dal are mixed well and distributed to all on this day after the puja.
Prasadham for AYUDHA PUJA in Andhra Pradesh: