Protect us from all the mishap
Dussehra or Vijayadashmi, is the biggest festival in our culture, which starts with the Navaratri, about which I posted earlier. On the occasion of Dussehra, we also worship the vehicle, once in a year with the belief that the goddess protects us from any mishap. Some people do the vehicle worship (puja) at the temple, and some at home. The vehicle is given a proper wash, before that. Even those, who never wash their vehicle, do this a least once a year. And then a puja is made, in which, along with all the offerings, couple of red bangles (sankha - ଶଙ୍ଖା) are tied with a red fabric. A white colored shining shell (Kaudi - କଉଡ଼ି) , a betelnut ( gua - ଗୁଆ ) is also given inside the fabric. And then this is worshiped and tied to the vehicle at an appropriate place. A coconut is broken as part of the puja and the coconut water is put on these vehicles as the holy water. Even though, I was very busy with all the work, I had to get this done, as this is a very important puja and has significant impression on us throughout the year. We believe, the goddess saves us and the vehicle always runs in her command.
If you do not know, then these items - bangles , Kaudi , betel nut are all considered very important significance in several of our occasions. Women wear these bangles after marriage, and its considered as the protection for the husband. It's taken out only when the husband dies (when she becomes a widow). Pure conch shell red bangles are always a desire of every married woman. Kaudi , the white colored shining shell is being used from ancient ages and was once used as currency (Shell money) until 1805. It's believed, it brings wealth and prosperity. There is a special game played with Kaudi in the marriage - whoever wins can demand anything to the other party ( just as a custom and fun). Betel nut is considered as a symbol of determination or commitment and also an auspicious symbols of hospitality. So much value in each of these inspires us to have faith and trust in the divine power.
A very small twist to the steering can decide our fate, isn't it ? And the belief that the goddess is with us and will protect us, matters a lot for that reason. And there are some live examples - recently one of my friend's father had an heart attack while he was driving on the national highway. Though his hands severed, when he was on a over-bridge, he was able to manage stop it with the car hitting the over bridge barricade in its side and then raise hands, after which people rescued him and called my friend. He is doing fine now , but these incidences are miracles that do happen.
Also to stop any evil desire, a lemon is crushed under the tire with a belief that, the lemon juice serves as blood and the goddess will be happy with that.
Apart from all these values, some people do decorate their vehicle as well. I saw one such vehicle as above, where two small banana trees are also tied to the car. Two banana trees are symbol of prosperity and are tied in our home / organizations during any puja or functions like marriages. All these beliefs are part of our great culture and makes us what we are - love and respect for humanity.