Vayuna:…during Navarati the focus is on Sarasvati here and then each temple will have its own festival days
Devala: Why Sarasvatī?
Vayuna: The only part of Navaratri that is celebrated in KL is the last three days. Ayudha Puja basically and Sarasvati is the Devi that is worshipped.
Devala: Sarasvati is invoked in aydhas?Here,we celebrate Mahalaya+from shashthi onwards
Vayuna: Well the modern equivalents that the students keep. Books.
Devala: Books aren’t Ayudhas. What they call Vasant Panchami in North India is explicitly Sarasvati Puja here.
Vayuna: That is how the tradition came out to be here. Some keep pen also. Of course the farmers keep their instruments and factories their machinery
Devala: Vishvakarma Puja is the day for that(keeping instruments,machinery,etc). It’s the wrong day[for instrument pūjā].Also Skanda Purana I think explicitly spells out the procedure to worship Sarasvatī that day(on Vasant Panchami/Sarasvati Puja).
Vayuna: Here everything is conducted on the last three days[of Navaratri]. We keep the books on the evening of the eighth day and take them back on the morning of the 10th after puja.
Devala: But tools are worshipped in Vishvakarma Puja!As for Ayudhas…even a damn humble lathi will do!
Vayuna: Here its explained away as metaphorical. The knowledge in the books is the weapon.
Devala: Of course. I’ve also seen those explanations,but it is a wrong one.When days specially for sarasvatī(books/related stuff) and viśvakarmā(tools/related stuff) exist,the day for Ayudha Puja implies nothing but literal Ayudhas. What I am objecting to is the abuse of metaphor. By the way,Vishvakarma Puja falls on the last date of Bhadra in the Bengali calendar(basically,the last day of Bhadra on Sauramana calendars is supposed to be Vishvakarma Puja). And Sarasvatī Pūjā/Vasanta Pañcamī falls on the śuklapakṣa pañcamī of the Chandramana month of Māgha.
Vayuna: Well in a sense the metaphorical explanation works. Only the second varṇa has actual āyudhas. The others take it up as āpad-dharma.What āyudha does a brāhmaṇa have or a farmer or brahmacāri/student or artisan have except his tools?
Devala: Others too had it. Please note the cases listed here by a friend. And Medhatithi was not really having Muslims in mind. And in many cases,people from all varṇas ultimately did join armies. Call it āpaddharma or whatever.
Vayuna: Well yes,functionally most Nairs were of the second varṇa…as were a few Ezhavas. And yes yes ayudhas for self-defense should get more popular among Hindus. Ideally it would have made sense for only soldiers to worship Ayudhas. But since we are in Kali yuga and surrounded, everyone needs to do that.
Devala: Even Medhatithi recognized the need for weapons amongst the common folk. And I’m not even insisting on guns (though that’s a minimum). At least a humble lathi. We did have martial arts/traditions involving lathis alone.