In the wake of Autumn when the sky unmasks its grey cover of clouds and emerges in a beautiful hue of bright blue, we get the essence of the forthcoming festive season. It is at this novel moment of mother nature who slowly stretches from her slumber, that we begin to settle and get ready for the festivities with the most awaited puja of Lord Viswakarma.
He is the God of super craftsmanship and probably well known for engineering the creation of Viswa or the world. In fact he is said to have created the universe apart from that of the earth and heaven. He is worshipped in all workshops of craftmen starting from big factories to mundane shops, garages etc. on the road.The God is seen with four hands each carrying a tool, noose, a book and a water pot. He is accompanied by his"vahan" the elephant.In the legends of Puran this architect of the God is also known as "Devashilpi".Viswakarma the son of Prabhash, the eighth hermit of the famous Astam Basu is worshipped not only as the creator of the universe but also as the maker of weapons from the mythological times. It is he who formed the main weapon "Bajra" for Lord Indra from the bones of "Rishi Dadhichi". The Pandavas' "Indraprastha", the capital city of "Hhastinapur", Sri krishna's "Dwarka" and even the golden Lanka for Lankesh "Raavan" add laurels to his art par excellence.It is this excellence at his craftmanship is what workers and craftsmen wish and pray for when they worship this God.
The occassion comes with celebration not only in terms of performing the puja for which the workshops or factories or the minimum workplaces are cleaned up but also the decorations with confetti etc. become a very important part adding to the colour and festive mood. The deity is placed with as much decorations possible depending on the affordable grounds. Apart from the fruits and sweets laid as "prashad", bhog especially, "khichdi" and other food stuffs are cooked as well. The lunch actually depends again on economical grounds. It can range between the elaborate ones at factories to the simple self made "khichdi", mixed vegetable curry and chatney in huge hundis near the pandals or the shop premises. It is a day of total celebration with no work and is further enhhanced by the kite flying festival with a whole lot of enthusiasm. The various colourful kites, 'petkatta' 'boggas' etc. are all flown with huge cheers from almost all nooks and corners of the city and terraces. As and when the kite wars take place and one kite takes over another by cutting across its path with the threads of the kites that are made tougher with proper "manja"( a sort of coating given to the threads to strengthen them), you will hear loud calls "Bhocatta" which signifying a opponent's defeat.
Overall just before Durga Puja, the major festival of Bengalis in Bengal, Vismakarma Puja simply sets the sparks to the fire that gets kindled with the "abahon" of Devi Durga.Lord Viswakarma's worship signifies not only respect for craftsman skills and efficiency but also for betterment in future regarding all sorts of works related to machinery goods, engineering factories, instruments, weavers, transport companies, garages and the same that fall in such genres for times beyond record.
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