Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ayudha Puja

I mentioned Ayudha Puja last year, but it's worth revisiting. This year, we went to attend the group puja of a bunch of vehicles at one of the multi-family-residences. As it turns out, I parked in the wrong place... so I was invited to get my car puja'd as well. SCORE!

The puja (or pooja) is a multi step blessing process. First the vehicles (or tools) are cleaned. Then they are sprinkled with turmeric powder and kumkuma powder (also turmeric, just mixed with slaked lime which makes it change color) and palm leaves/flower leis are tied on.
Next, offerings of puffed rice and fruit are placed in front of the vehicle. Camphor is placed on top of an ash gourd and coconut, lit on fire, and the smoke is wafted around the blessed items. The gourd and coconut are then smashed open in the street (and left for passing animals).
Finally, a lemon is placed under each wheel (of the car) and the car drives forward, crushing them. This is said to bring good luck for the year. I like to think it means my car is now invulnerable. I wonder if I can get them to reduce my $70/year car insurance rate, in light of my car's new found power.

On a side note, everyone tells me that the minor "bang" I had yesterday was obviously because my car wasn't puja'd last year.

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