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Memories of Saraswati Puja (Ayudha Puja)

By Shoba Mohan
ACVA Certified Vedic Astrology Coach™

Growing up in India, we always looked forward to this time of year.

This was when many annual festivals were celebrated, and more importantly, we had the most holidays from school!

This period lasted from Navaratri to Diwali.


These festivals are celebrated all over India, though each region practices them in their own way. Dushera is also called Vijaya Dashami, and Ayudha puja is the same as Saraswati Puja or Maha Navami, and Diwali , Deepavali are different names for the festival of lights

Though my parents were not ritualistic, my father’s family was somewhat conservative, and following the Panchang was a way of life with them. For our part, we looked forward to celebrating Saraswati Puja - not only because it was the day of all play and good eats, but mainly it was a day of no study because of our contractual obligation with Goddess Saraswati!

Each year, on the day before Dushera (Vijaya Dashami) , we celebrated Saraswati Puja. This day is 3 weeks after the autumnal equinox, and this year, it falls on Oct 10, 2013. Saraswati Puja is dedicated to Goddess Saraswati, the serene goddess of knowledge, music, arts and science.

This day is considered a day of rest for Goddess Saraswati, and therefore on this day, we do not use any of the tools that she has power over.

It is said that if one placed their implements of livelihood at her feet on this day, her blessings will endow one with superior knowledge and great rewards.

People were known to keep their car or house keys, their typewriters in Goddess Saraswati’s presence, probably commuter passes, computer discs and ipads in this day and age.

Vidyarambham ceremony is conducted on the day following this one. This is the day to start the study of art or music or even school. (Vidya means studies and arambham means onset). It was considered a new beginning, and therefore we had to keep ALL our text books at Goddess Saraswati’s feet.

Schools were closed, and no teacher could assign homework, or even spring a surprise test on us the next week after Dushera. Ah! What bliss!

Shoba Mohan's Biography:

Shoba MohanShoba Mohan holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, (Finance) and another MBA from the University of Missouri, Columbia (MIS).

She retired in 2009, after a long career in Banking, to pursue her lifelong interest in Vedic Astrology. Her inspiration was her mother, who was a renowned palmist for many years. Shoba is a mother of 2 girls and a grandmother of 3 (soon to be 4), she spends her spare time traveling around the globe with her husband Krishna. They live in the Princeton, New Jersey area. She can be reached at

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