Dussehra Pooja Vidhi and Practices•
Posted on September 23 2022
Dussehra Pooja is performed at the end of Navaratri celebrations on the tenth day. There is a lot of preparation involved for the pooja. The main deities worshipped for the pooja are Lord Rama and Lord Shiva. There are two main rituals that are performed as a part of Dussehra Pooja. These are the Aparajita Pooja in honour of Goddess Aparajita and Shami Pooja dedicated to the Shami tree.
The Aparajita Pooja is performed on Dussehra day during the Aparahna Kaal. The goddess is worshipped by devotees for victory as well as a safe and successful journey. The pooja must be done in the north-eastern direction of the premises. It is recommended that all family members take part in the pooja for best results.
As a first step, you must clean the area where you plan to carry out the pooja using Ganga Jal. After the purification, an Ashtadal Chakra is drawn in the same area using sandalwood paste. This is a ring like design with eight lotus petals. Take an oath with utmost sincerity that you will worship the goddess for harmony and peace to reign in your family and home.
Chant the Aparajitaya Namah with fervour to invoke Goddess Aparajita on to the middle of the chakra. Once you have done this, chant the Kriyashaktyai Namah and Umayai Namah mantras to invoke Goddess Jaya and Goddess Vijaya respectively as well. Recite the Aparajitaya Namah, Jayayai Namah and Vijayayai Namah mantras to carry out the Shodashopachara Pooja.
Offer your reverence to the deity with folded hands and tell Her that you have done the pooja as best as you can and seek forgiveness from Her wholeheartedly for any mistake committed unintentionally. Complete the pooja by reciting the mantra given below with utmost devotion.
Haren Tu Vichitrena Bhasvatkanakamekhela
Aparajita Bhadrata Karotu Vijayam Mam
The Shami tree is considered to have great religious significance in Hindu mythology. It is believed that Lord Shiva can be pleased by offering Him the leaves of this tree when a pooja is done in His honour. Like the Aparajita Pooja, the Shami Pooja is also carried during the Aparajita Kaal. When the pooja rituals are carried out with true fervour, devotees are blessed with the ability to destroy their enemies and get rid of their sins. There are a few interesting stories that highlight the auspiciousness of the tree.
According to the Ramayana, Lord Rama offered His prayers to the tree before proceeding to Lanka to fight the demon king Ravana and release Sita. It is believed that the sincere prayers offered by the lord to the tree is one main reason that He emerged victorious in the war.
The Shami tree has its references in the Mahabharata as well. After twelve years of exile, the Pandavas were looking for a suitable place to hide their divine weapons before they went incognito during the final year. They hid their weapons in a hole amidst the branches of a Shami tree. After the incognito period, they retrieved their weapons intact from the branches of the tree and fought the legendary battle against the Kauravas. The Pandavas proceeded to offer their worship to the tree for keeping their weapons safe in their absence.
As per another legend, Vartantu had a disciple called Kauts who was interested in establishing an ashram. However, he did not have the necessary funds and requested King Raghu to give him some gold coins. The king did not have any coins to hand over immediately as he had already given his wealth for charity. Raghu did not want to disappoint Kauts and decided to wage a war against Lord Kuber, the god of wealth to win over Him and get the required amount. When Kuber knew why Raghu wanted the wealth, He donated some gold coins that He had kept hidden in the Shami tree. Raghu gave the coins to Kauts to go ahead with setting up the ashram.
Devotees believe that when the pooja is performed during Dussehra, they will be blessed with prosperity and success in their lives. They will also emerge victorious over their enemies. In South India, this pooja is also known as Banni Pooja or Jammi Pooja. The mantra given below must be chanted with a pure mindset when doing the pooja.
Shami Shamayate Papam Shami Lokhitkantaka
Dharnyarjunbananam Ramasya Priyavardini
Karishmanyatraya Yathakal Such Mya
Tatra Nirvighanktri Twam Bhav Sree Rampujite
If you cannot perform the Dussehra Pooja elaborately as mentioned above, you can do a simple pooja on this auspicious day by drawing an image of Dussehra with wheat flour on a surface cleaned with cow dung. Keep two bowls made of cow dung handy with some coins in one hand and some rice grains, fruit, flowers and roli in the other bowl. Do a pooja by offering these items along with banana, jaggery and radish.
Light a lamp along with dhoop and incense sticks in front of the image Do the pooja rituals with a sincere mind. When the pooja is over, take the coins from the bowl and keep it in a safe place. As the last step, offer dakshina and food to a few Brahmins and seek their blessings.
Written by - Deepthi K