One of the famous festival celebrated in India, Vishwakarma Jayanti is observed by the working class in India, marking the birth of Hindu God Vishwakarma. He is believed to be the creator and architect of this entire universe. He is referred to as the divine architect. Vishwakarma Jayanti is primarily celebrated in the eastern states of India such as Assam, Tripura, West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar and Jharkhand. The Puja is performed on the same day every year as marked in the Gregorian calendar. It falls on the last day of Bhadra which is also known as Bhadra or Kanya Sankranti.
Who is Vishwakarma?: He is considered as God of craftsmen & the labourers involved in the construction, carpentry related work, etc. He is the son of God Vastu and Goddess Angisri. As per the Hindu mythology, Lord Brahma was helped and assisted by Lord Vishwakarma to plan and create this entire universe. He is also the one who got involved in creating a map of this entire world. Dwaraka, the famous and holy city was also constructed by Lord Vishwakarma. Dwaraka was ruled by Lord Krishna, one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Lord Krishna along with yadavas had left Mathura expecting a fearful attack from Jarasandh & Kaalayvan in Mathura. After leaving Mathura, they arrived at the coast of Saurashtra. To be in a safe place after reaching the coast, Lord Krishna worshipped Samudradev. Pleased with the prayers of Krishna, he granted land of size 12 yojanas. Lord Vishwakarma is believed to have built the city of Dwaraka in gold on this land.
Legend: There are several legends connected to Lord Vishwakarma.
• Odisha, one of the states in India is blessed with the famous temple of Lord Jagannath at Puri. There is a famous legend of Vishwakarma, the divine architect and the temple of Lord Jagannath. According to Hindu mythology and various legends, the famous king Indradyumna wanted to install an idol of Lord Vishnu in this temple. Vishwakarma disguised as an old man visited the king and told him, he would carve the log into an idol, on a condition that he shall be allowed to work without any disturbance. He also said that he will leave midway if this condition was violated for any reasons. Lord Vishwakarma, who was dressed as an old man had started building the idol in a closed workshop. The king was not able to control himself without seeing the progress of the work. He opened the doors of the workshop. Lord Vishwakarma left the place immediately without completing the idols of Krishna, Balaram, and Subhadra.
• As per the Mahabharata, Lord Vishwakarma is the one who created the Maya Sabha - the hall of illusions, for the Pandavas at Indraprasth city.
• It is also believed that in Rig Veda, the section containing the science of mechanics and architecture was formulated and written by Lord Vishwakarma.
Other than all these building and sculptural creations, he is also believed to be the designer of various weapons used by several Hindu gods in several wars explained in puranas. His grace and contribution has always been credited even in the field of carpentry. He is also called as swayambhu, meaning self-existent or to be born by own wish, not through a mother’s womb.
Celebration of Vishwakarma Jayanti: Vishwakarma Puja is observed every year in the month of September or October. It is also the day when the Sun god leaves the Simha rashi (Leo) and enters Kanya rashi (Virgo). Because of this reason, this day is also well known as Kanya Sankranti diwas. As per the Hindu solar calendar, Vishwakarma Puja falls on the last day of the Bhadra month. Some people observe this as Bhadra Sankranti. The day is celebrated with much fervour by architects, engineers, as well as skilled labourers including, mechanics, factory workers, smiths, welders, industrial workers and craftsmen across the country, but mostly from the north and north east. All these class of workers install the picture of Lord Vishwakarma adorning the walls of factories, industries and their offices as a gratitude towards the Lord. The community of labourers and workers believe that installing Lord Vishwakarma’s idol is auspicious and brings good fortune.
In general, workers and employers in these communities stay away from all their professional work during these days. It is also a practice of renunciation of everything on this day. This is their time to worship Lord Vishwakarma by offering their working tools. They worship tools by offering prayers to Lord Vishwakarma primarily to protect them and for a sustainable livelihood, secured life and for success in all ventures. Though Lord Vishwakarma is a creator or designer of everything in this world, Vishwakarma Puja is mainly observed by factories and shops selling machinery tools. The employers and workers belonging to these factories and industries renounce their tools on this day. They offer prayers to Lord Vishwakarma for the smooth functioning of their machines and for successful completion of projects. The Vishwakarma Jayanti is not just limited to these category of workers, but is also celebrated by artisans, mechanics, smiths, welders, etc. who are directly instrumental in construction of buildings. Devotees rise early in the morning, take bath and wear clean clothes for performing the puja. There are some parts of India where Vishwakarma Jayanti is celebrated on the day after Diwali, along with Govardhan Puja. The day of Vishwakarma Puja is calculated as per the Solar calendar whereas the other famous Hindu festival dates are calculated according to the Lunar calendar.