According to Indian culture and scriptures, the first nine days of the brighter side of Ashwin month are celebrated as Navratri. During these nine days, people worship Goddess Jagdamba (Mother of the World) with their heart and soul, and the goddess blesses her devotees with strength and power.
Navratri is immediately followed by Dussehra or Vijaya Dashmi, the tenth day which is considered as one of the most auspicious days in the almanac of Hindus. This festival signifies the union of strength and power. The day also inspires us to guard the dignity of culture in our social life and to sing ballads of bravery. India and its culture have always adored the spirit of fearlessness and heroism and infused the same in people.
Thus, Dussehra (Vijayadashami) is the celebration of victory. In Tretayug, Lord Ram defeated the demon king Ravana in Lanka and came to Ayodhya on Dussehra; thus, the day also marks the victory of good over evil. The key features of the celebration for this auspicious festival are burning the sculpture of Ravana and bringing Shami leaves to our homes. According to Hindu mythology, we burn the sculpture of Ravana as an indication of nullifying the demonic forces. We bring Shami leaves to our house as a significator of prosperity and success.
Importance of Shami tree Puja
So why are Shami tree leaves considered so auspicious in Hindu culture? What is the cultural relevance behind its auspiciousness?
There are many fascinating stories behind the auspiciousness of the Shami tree.
Lord Rama prayed for his victory in front of the Shami tree before marching to Lanka. Thereafter, the Shami tree is worshipped during the Aparahna Muhurat on Dussehra.
In Dwaparyug, during the year of disguise in the kingdom of Virata, Pandavas had hidden their celestial weapons on the branches of the Shami tree for a year before going to Virata. After completion of a year, they returned to the Shami tree and found that their weapons were safe in the branches of the tree. They worshipped the tree for keeping their weapons safe and used the same weapons against Kauravas on Dussehra.
Kauts, the disciple of Vartantu, wanted to set up an Ashram and therefore, he asked for 14 crores gold coins from King Raghu. The king had already donated his wealth, but to meet the demand of Kauts, Raghu set out for a war against Kuber (God of Wealth). On this, Kuber showered gold coins from the tree of Shami. Raghu donated gold coins to Kauts and remaining coins were doled out to others. From this day, people started worshipping the tree of Shami.
The Kshatriyas and the kings perform Shami puja on Dussehra and pray for their prosperity and victory over enemies.
According to Hindu Mythology, the Shami tree is the favorite tree of Shri Ramchandra. The tree had the Dhanas of Arjun for one whole year when Pandavas were in disguise. You can remove your paap (sins) and destroy your enemies by performing the rituals. Shami Puja worship is considered an important ritual to be performed on Dussehra.
Shami Shamayate Papam Shami Lokhitkantaka I
Dharinyarjunbananam Ramasya Priyavadini ll
Karishmanyatraya Yathakal Such Mya l
Tatra Nirvighanktri Twam Bhav Sree Rampujite ll
The devotees should chant this powerful mantra while doing Puja Vidhi for the Shami tree. Performing Puja Vidhi of the Shami tree would endure your life with success, prosperity and victory over your enemies in life. Shami Puja is also known as Jammi puja or Banni puja in Southern India.
You can also plant a Shami tree in your house on Dussehra and perform puja every Saturday to appease Lord Shani. This helps to reduce the malefic effects of Saturn for those who are going through the Sade Sati phase of Saturn. You can consult our Expert Astrologers to know how to perform Puja Vidhi and the benefits you can inherit by performing it.
GaneshaSpeaks wishes you a very bountiful Dussehra and desires that the festival and the leaves of the Shami tree double your wealth and prosperity.
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With Ganesha’s Grace,
The GaneshaSpeaks.com Team