VishwaKarma Puja is the harbinger of happier times , i.e commencement of the Durga Puja in the hindu month of Ashwin , corresponding with the months of September-October , as par the Gregorian Calendar. Durga Puja commences between one week to one month of Vishwakarma Puja thus creating ripples of happiness amongst the people, who wait eagerly throughout the year for the Durga Puja.
Our Rig Ved mentions Bhagwan Vishwakarma as the ‘Divine Engineer’, who is credited with ‘Sthapatya Ved’ or the science of mechanics and architecture. Bhagwan Vishwakarma is believed to be the son of Bhagwan Brahma, The creator and it is he who is believed to have created the world. Hence, it is apparent that he is the ‘Adi Purush’, who existed at least a few days before the Universe was created. His sons are Mannu, Maidev and Tavashta. He also has two daughters – Shilpi and Devagya.
Vishwakarma is credited with the construction of the sacred city of Dwarka, the capital of Bhagwan Sri Krishna’s kingdom and also the that of the grand palace of Indraprastha for the Pandavs- the palace which , in itself was a manifestation of civil engineering and architectural excellence of ancient India. The deity, who is revered by the hindus as the god of the engineers and technologists is believed to be the creator and designer of all equipment and tools as well as any construction that took place in ancient Bharat Varsh. Hence, it is Vishwakarma who happened to be the creator of the fabulous , state of the art and potent weapons of our ‘Devas’.
Vishwakarma Puja is celebrated on the last day of the hindu month of ‘Bhadra’ which corresponds with either 17th September or 18th September of the Gregorian calendar. While West Bengal and Tripura are the states where Vishwakarma Puja is primarily celebrated, the other states which celebrate the Puja are Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka. The said hindu festival is also popularly celebrated in the Kingdom of Nepal.
Since Bhagwan Vishwakarma is the god of the engineers and of all those whose job involves production and manufacture as well as anything and everything pertaining to technology, the puja is a must in all factories and shop floors as well as in the several IT firms. It is extremely popular amongst artisans , mechanics, welders, craftsmen, smiths of all kinds, industrial and factory workers and software technologists, who pray for success in their respective fields as well as better working conditions and prosperity for all.
The primary attraction of the festival is the Kite Flying Competition which in which both the young and old participate. The numerous colourful kites soaring high in the sky with the people gleefully controlling them and trying to tear apart the kites of their competitors is a feast for the eyes. The sweet delicacy served the day after, ‘Dhadhikarma’ constituting of rice, banana, cottage cheese, curd, coconut pieces, basil leaves and honey is something which all wait for eagerly , primarily due to its authentic sweetness, as distinct from the other sweet dishes served in Bengal. The riot of colours, sweets and other delicacies, the sound of the ‘Dhaks’, the traditional drums played during most of the pujas in Bengal are music for the ears as it keeps reminding one of the arrival of Maa Durga, shortly.
The irony is that the festival is primarily celebrated in West Bengal, where almost all factories and manufacturing units have closed down owing to the onslaught of the Left-leaning Labour Unions. Bengal, which is still under the rule of leftist/Ultraleftist ideologies , continues to be industry starved, owing to the apathy towards the same by the ruling dispensation here. Hence, what the people of the state can do is only pray to Bhagwan Vishwakarma that industry and the prosperity, associated with the same.