Vijayadashami is celebrated as the victory of Lord Rama over Demon Ravana and also triumph of Goddess Durga over the buffalo Demon Mahishasura. Vijayadashami is also known as Dussehra or Dasara. In Nepal Dasara is celebrated as Dashain.
Vijayadashami which marks the end of nine-day fasting is observed for different reasons and celebrated differently across the country. Shami Puja, Aparajita Puja (अपराजिता पूजा) and Seema Avalanghan (सीमा अवलंघन or सीमोल्लंघन) are some of the rituals which are followed on the day of Vijayadashami. According to Hindu division of the day, these rituals should be done during Aparahna time.
Shami Puja is one of the important rituals which are performed on Vijayadashami day. Traditionally Shami Puja is done by Kshatriyas and the kings. Any Shami tree which is situated at the North-East of the town or city is preferred for the Puja.
Shami tree is also known as Chhonkar (छोंकर) tree in some of the regions. If Shami tree is not available then Ashmantak (अश्मन्तक) tree can be used for the Puja. Ashmantak tree is also known as Baheda (बहेडा) tree. Shami Puja is also known as Banni Puja and Jammi puja in some of the southern states in India.
Mantra to worship Shami tree are –
अमङ्गलानां च शमनीं शमनीं दुष्कृतस्य च।
दु:स्वप्रनाशिनीं धन्यां प्रपद्येऽहं शमीं शुभाम्॥
शमी शमयते पापं शमी लोहितकण्टका।
धारिण्यर्जुनबाणानां रामस्य प्रियवादिनी॥
करिष्यमाणयात्रायां यथाकाल सुखं मया।
Devi Aparajita is worshipped on the day of Vijayadashami. The best time to perform Aparajita Puja is Aparahna (अपराह्ण) time as per Hindu division of the time. Goddess Aparajita is worshipped for the victory.
It is believed that Lord Rama worshipped Goddess Aparajita on Vijaya Dashami day before His departure for Lanka to defeat Demon Ravana. Before taking any journey, Goddess Aparajita is worshipped as Her blessings help to fulfill the purpose of the journey and make the journey safe.
Goddess Aparajita Puja Mantra –
इमां पूजां मयां देवि यथाशक्ति निवेदिताम्।
रक्षार्थं तु समादाय व्रजस्व स्थानमुत्तमम्॥
Meaning – O Devi, after accepting my Puja, which was done as per my capacities for the victory, please depart for your place.
हारेण तु विचित्रेण भास्वत्कनकमेखला।
अपराजिता भद्ररता करोतु विजयं मम॥
Meaning – O Aparajita Devi! Who shines with multi-colored necklace and adorned with golden belt, please bestow victory on me.
Courtesy: Drik Panchang