Weapon Worship in India

There is an interesting cultural element of worshipping weapons in India. It is called Shastra Puja or Ayudha Puja, which literally means weapon worship. It takes place during an Indian religious annual festival in September. The celebration is dedicated to the Goddess Durga. During this event, people decorate their weapons with flowers and some religious ornaments and pray to them. This is also some sort of an act of gratitude and appreciation of the weapons and the protection they provide.

Earlier, of course, people worshiped the bows, arrows, swords and other weapons of the time. Since the firearms were introduced, gained popularity and pretty much replaced the old types of weapons, they became a part of this ritual. Today this celebration has even widened its meaning and people start to worship any tool which they use to make a living: cars, hand tools, machinery etc.

For some tribes like Kodava people, weapon worshipping is especially important. Weapons had a central role in their culture for centuries. These people are avid proponents of firearm ownership. They educate their children from the very young age to respect the gun and understand the responsibilities and benefits associated with owning a firearm. It is interesting to see an example of an old culture giving so much importance of responsible ownership of firearms and appreciating the role that weapons played during the history of mankind.

Below is a selection of images gathered all over the internet showing the weapon worship ritual in various parts of India.

Hrachya H

Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying design, technology and history of guns and ammunition. His knowledge of Russian allows him to translate and make Russian/Soviet/Combloc small arms related information available for the English speaking audience.
Should you need to contact him, feel free to shoot him a message at Hrachya@staff.thefirearmblog.com


  • A.WChuck

    Thank you. I learned something new today.

  • G B

    Apparently Shastra Puja takes place around the Glock counter at my local gun store every Saturday afternoon.

  • HemingwaysBeard

    So does this mean TFB could get tax exemptions as a religious organization?

  • 12judges

    Meh. I’m uncovertered. MURDERCUBE is my savior. I shall not want…


  • Swarf

    *weaksauce 1911 joke goes here*

    Very interesting, thanks H.

  • JT303

    I’ve had anti-gunners call me things like glocksucker and tell me that I’m in love and worship firearms. Obviously they’ve never heard of these guys.

    • Risky

      gotta admit that ‘glocksucker’ is pretty catchy!

      • JT303

        Makes a change from ‘baby-killer’

        • john huscio

          That term is more fitting for liberals.

          • JT303

            If there’s one thing that offends me, it’s the liberals who really aren’t, who think that everything that they disagree with or don’t want should be banned.

    • Tassiebush

      It’s quite ironic that they use a play on words to make an insult that implies there’s something wrong with women or men who do that.

      • Sunshine_Shooter

        That sounds like either slut-shaming or homophobic, depending on what gender I tell them I feel like that day.

        • Tassiebush

          Hir you are spot on! Yeah and when they’re not doing those things they’re implying people have mental illness or intellectual disabilities again as insults!

    • Ryfyle

      And now they can be labeled Racist and Culturally insensitive.

      • Amplified Heat

        “Cultural Appropriation”

  • Dougscamo

    Hmmm, Hare KRISSna?

  • Henrik Bergdahl

    Register your local gunclub/shooting range as a religious organisation. Do these rituals. Get tax exemption. Prosecute gun grabbers for restricting your religious freedom.

    • Hey if Scientology could do it, why couldn’t we?!?!?!?!

      • iksnilol

        Nice knowing you, comrade Miles. I expect you’ll get letters from the church soon, eventually disappear.


    • PK

      As the religious practice is fairly old, it would be doable on a legal level as well!

      • Henrik Bergdahl

        Sweden is so PC so it could actually work here. We have some people of indian heritage in our club… mmm… I have silly ideas now.

    • oldman

      Register with the Universal Life Church and become an ordained minster then creat your own beliefs.

  • Sad. No hand grenades made holy.

    Neat article, though.

    • Shape

      There already is the Holy-Handgrenade from life of brian haha.

      • *cough*Holy Grail*cough*

      • Shape

        *oh damn i ofcourse mean Knights of the Coconut!

      • Thomas Weißhuhn

        Worms 2 Armageddon

      • oldman

        I thought it was Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

      • I M Deplorable

        Consult the Book of Armaments!

    • May

      Well there was a holy mortar launcher.

    • ankit

      Brother used to serve in a Tank Regiment.
      You had about 40 T-90S Bhishma’s in his unit getting consecrated on the occasion of vishwakarma puja.

  • ellion

    Few privilledged elite can owns fireguns in India .All others…

  • Petto

    Worshipinf the INSAS rifles is like satanism 😀

    • Petto


    • Amplified Heat

      Well it ain’t like they had any luck getting God or Krishna or any of the other usual suspects to make it run right…

    • ankit

      Look, I know all about the bad press. But i’ll tell you something as a person who’s used em in field conditions.
      1] No full auto sucks when we’re in the jungle
      2] The older mags can be broken easily…fortunately they’re mostly replaced.
      3] It doesnt really suck where accuracy in concerned, and you get about 400m on a body sized target if you can see it. The barrel is decent.
      4] We do like to tac em out to the extent we can. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fda26d22ffbba3c9a8b62b34d8a47150064c1fefb544c24e04dc5e2e536cc9b7.jpg

      So while i wouldnt like to be caught dead fighting insurgents with this thing, in normal trench/BOP firing sprees, i’d pick em over an Ak, or (and i know this is cardinal sin) a tar-21, just because of the stability I get on aimed shots. The indian 5.56 is a hot load, heavier grain ..so very flat trajectory…again, its better to pick an old shitty sterling carbine if you’re fighting commies in the jungle.

  • John Yossarian

    Hindus do a similar puja for the purchase of a new vehicle – And probably for anything else that involves physical safety, such as opening the neighborhood swimming pool.

  • ironked

    Pray to Holy Gaston for safety or safe-action.

    • Calavera

      I love the sound automatic weapons fire in the morning.

      • oldman

        Only after coffee.

    • Stephen Paraski

      Are my denim bibs my robes?

  • MrBrassporkchop

    We need this here.

    Also I’d like Mexican Halloween too.

    • Amplified Heat

      Sugar-Glocks all around!

  • iksnilol

    I’d too be worshipping a Hi-Power in a country where most have single shot muzzle loader pistols.

  • M
  • RocketScientist

    I may be thinking of a different, but similar, religious festival. But I think this one involves a worship of all “tools”. It’s common for mechanics to get their tools blessed, farmers will get their tractors, etc etc. In modern times, people in more modern fields will get their computers blessed and so on. Understandably, weapons have long been grouped into this, back in the day of the strong caste system, the warrior caste was pretty powerful and their weapons were definitely considered their “tools of the trade”.

    • Matt Taylor

      It is indeed a different festival, yet very similar. You are right on point with the information though.

  • Disarmed in CA

    Nothing wrong with a little bit of that, but nuptials are out of the question

  • Christopher Wallace
  • gunsandrockets

    “The celebration is dedicated to the Goddess Durga”


    Durga Durga?

    • schizuki

      F–k, yeah!

  • Bob

    Firearm ownership is HEAVILY restricted in India. I bet every gun there belongs to the State in one fashion or another except for the small smattering of single shot break open shotguns.

    The Hi-Powers, FALs, INSAS Rifles, Mortars, Enfields Rifles and Revolvers, Sterlings, HKs, and Glock probably all are assigned to the security forces of the States and National Government. There are various police/security forces along with the military. And India as a 3rd World Nuclear Armed Nation had a hodge podge of militray arms in service.

    • FarmerB

      Was once getting into a lift/elevator in India (Mumbai) and some well dressed dude gets in, very closely shadowed by some military guy in a very snappy army uniform – obviously his bodyguard. He was marching very proudly and prominently porting his means of defense – a single-shot, break-open 12 gauge.

      • B-Sabre

        During the Mumbai attack, there’s video of some local police holding off the AK-wielding attackers…with their issue Lee-Enfields. That takes some big clanging balls to do that.

        • FarmerB

          Yeah, I remember that.

        • ankit

          Sadly with the increasing of terrorism coming in from our western neighbours, the lightly armed constibulary has had to be significantly upgunned.
          It might be interesting for you to note that those lee-enfields are chambered for 7.62x51mm NATO and not the venerable .303 brit.

      • ankit

        wasnt a military guy. Break barrel shotguns are commong for security agencies.
        Firearm laws SUCK in india.
        We cant legally own military calibre firearms. The law allows only non prohibited bore weapons. Mostly this translates into .22, .32 and 7.62x25mm
        Also .315 bolt actions.

  • Andrew Dubya

    4/10. Needs more rusty metal and jagged edges to be a real Mad Max style machine cult.

    And NO I`m not calling the Hindu belief system a cult. It`s a joke. Get over yourself.

  • John Daniels


  • oldman

    Bow your heads and pray to the Holy J. M. Browning.

    • I M Deplorable

      Peace be upon Him.

      • oldman

        A great many people have found peace because of him some by having one of his creations and others because the other person had one of his creations.

  • Goody

    All hail the mighty L1A1

  • Stephen Paraski

    Christmas tree FALs.

  • Did it ever occur to the worshippers that weapon worship did not keep the British out, but, Gandhi (also MLK) following the non-violent teachings of the Christian Tolstoy, with non-violent protests is what eventually overthrew the British (and their salt tax) and drove them out?

    Of course, both Gandhi and MLK were rewarded for their non-violent protests by being gunned down by traitors, but, that is another story.

    Weapon worship never prevented other powers from invading, and winning, nor did it prevent the formation of Pakistan with nukes on it’s western border, useless pagan idol worship at it’s best! 🙂

    I believe India has the highest ownership per individual of gold in the world and our government and IMF transferred more then a few tons of it under Obama to them. Maybe they should start to worship gold instead, that seems to be more effective to their well being then anything else the pagans worship.

    • Psykotic

      We do not worship gold as such, but we do buy it during religious festivals.

      Whether or not Ghandi helped us get our independence or British left because there was nothing left to loot is another debate.

    • ankit

      Also, given that Clement Attlee, the British Pm who signed off on India’s Independence, has been on record stating that Gandhi’s role in the Brits leaving was ‘minimal’, and it was rather the actions of the Indian National Army which took over 50% casualties (around 35k), and the subsequent mutinies in the Royal Indian Navy and Army garrisons that got em to leave in haste, I’d challenge those assumptions, good sir.

      • > has been on record stating that Gandhi’s role in the Brits leaving was ‘minimal’,

        If you want to believe the words of a politician, that the slave owner lost it’s grip on the money making machine, only after the slaves got themselves killed (warning to the remaining slaves), have at it. I would not believe a word coming from Chatham Street or the 300 Club.

        The biggest threat to the money making machine is NOT wars, that they love because they can always make money off one or both sides, with trading arms or borrowing$, with the goal of oppressing people (less children born) or outright exterminating people, to delay Satan being thrown down from heaven for as long as possible.

        Peacefully non-violence protest based on (any) religion, while following the laws of the oppressive gentile governments put over them, and having more children, is what the money making machine can not tolerate and for which it will kill people. Be it the Kenites hanging Jesus, or shooting Gandhi, or MLK.

        The beast does not feed on peace, it feeds on money followed by civil war, unrest, and death.

        Here is the beast at work:


        If that was not enough, it convinces India to get involved with “peace keeping” for the UN which involves even more killing, civil war, unrest, and death.

        A gun is a tool, nothing more and nothing less. It deserves no more worship or fear then an axe, plow, or truck.

        So for India, keep up the idol weapon worship, it has worked wonders so far for India. Look at all the peace it has brought to the country!

  • James Kelly

    We could use a few more of these Durga-following Hindus in the USA

    Perhaps we could trade some Syrians for them?

    • ankit

      I’m quite sure the majority of Americans couldnt differentiate between the two. This is not meant as an insult. Its just how Exceptionalism works.

  • James Kelly

    Well, Ankit, I can differentiate.
    I fear that most Americans are going to learn this also, but not in a pleasant way.

  • Mikial

    Works for me.

  • Robert Werner Hoban

    eh this is not exactly accurate. this worship actually no longer is about weapons. a quick google search can give you real information about these days of worship. https://kaurkhalsaraj.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/weapon-worship-shastra-pooja-is-manmat-not-gurmat/

  • CavScout

    Pretty sure they aren’t worshipping them. Looks 100x more like they’re BLESSING them. Looks like their local police guns.

  • Keme Lochesh

    I want a gun church in my neighborhood.