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Gauri Poojan

India is a diverse country with people belonging to various faiths, cultures and who speak different languages. This leads to innumerable festivals that possess a distinct local flavor. It is believed that there are more than a thousand festivals in India all through the year and is a representation of its rich heritage. Every festival in India is celebrated with grand pomp and fanfare and sometimes witnesses an amalgamation of cultures. The festivals in this country are typically dedicated to one or more deities who are venerated by devotees with pujas and other rituals. One such renowned festival devoted to Goddess Gauri is the Gauri Pujan.

What is Gauri Puja?

It is a significant festival celebrated to show honor and respect for Hindu women. It is devoted to worshipping the majestic Goddess Gauri. This festival is majorly observed in Maharashtra. This festival is also famously referred to as Jyeshtha Gauri Puja and ‘Mangala Gauri Vrat.’ Gauri Pujan begins with the avahan (welcoming) of Goddess Gauri on the third day of the Ganpati festival and concludes with the visarjan (immersion) on the fifth day. Generally, puja happens on the second day.

In 2022, the Gauri Pujan date falls on September 4th.

 

Why is gauri puja done?

As per holy Hindu texts, Goddess Sita conducted Gauri Pujan to get Lord Ram. This puja is significant particularly for married women, and commonly takes place at the residence of the girl’s parents. On this auspicious occasion, the puja is typically performed by both married as well as unmarried women.

While married women are known to pray for the long life and well-being of their spouses, unmarried women conduct the puja for obtaining the perfect husband. Devotees believe that doing this puja will bring joy, prosperity, increase wealth and bless a couple to have a successful marriage. For unmarried women, it’s the desire to obtain an ideal partner.

 

How to do Gowri Puja at Home?

Puja Samagri for Gauri Pujan
Here is a list of items needed to conduct Gauri Pujan:

  • Idols of Lord Ganesh, Lord Shiva and Goddess Durga
  • Copper Vessel for cleansing the Idol
  • Clothing and jewelry that can be presented to the deity statue
  • Bring Haldi, Roli, Sandalwood Paste, and Gangajal
  • Keep Rice, Kumkum, Deepak, Cotton, Oil, Dhoop Batti and Ashtangandha ready
  • Roses, betel leaves, flowers, and mango leaves are needed
  • For offerings, fruits, sweets, coconut, milk, panchamrit, dry fruits, paan, Dakshina, among others should be brought.

Gauri Pujan Vidhi & mantra

The idol of Goddess Parvati (Gauri) needs to be placed to the left of Lord Shiva. On the day of the auspicious occasion, begin the veneration by cleansing yourself with a bath and meditation. Offer Goddess Gauri a seat in your home by invoking her. Now clean the Goddess by bathing her with water, then with Panchamrit, and then again with water.

Now, present fresh and new clothes to the Goddess. After clothes, adorn the idol with ornaments, wreath, offer perfume, apply tilak, light the incense and lamp. Offer rice and flowers to the Devi. Present a lamp filled with ghee or oil, as per the ritual. After that, conclude the puja by performing Aarti. Conduct a circumambulation post-Aarti. Now, present Naivedya. During the puja, do chant the Gauri Pujan mantra - “Om Gourye Namah '' or “Om Parvatayi Namah”.

Three Day Festivity
This auspicious occasion is used for venerating the deity and to seek blessings from the Goddess. Gauri Mata is summoned on the first day. The main worship of the mother happens on the second day. The third day involves bidding farewell to the Goddess.

First Day
The worship begins with the very first day, referred to as the Gauri Avahana. On this auspicious occasion, devotees will place Goddess Gauri’s idol in their homes. Worshippers conduct the puja after setting up the idol. They also prepare numerous delicious dishes for Prasad – Bhog for the three chief deities – Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati and Lord Ganesha.

Second Day
During the second day of the festivity, worshippers perform Satyanarayana Puja with specific rituals. It is recommended to have a priest conduct the rituals of Satyanarayana puja at your house.

Third Day
Gauri Visarjan is meant to be the final day. On this occasion, the idol of the Goddess is immersed in water after the Gauri Pujan, followed by devout rituals that happen on the last day of the Ganesh Chathurthi.

 

How to do Gauri Puja before Marriage?

Gauri Pujan is usually performed by both married as well as unmarried women. The puja is also conducted before a wedding to seek blessings from the Goddess for a happy married life. Praying to Goddess Gauri before your wedding can be an auspicious beginning for your married life. It is a humble prayer so the bride can fulfill all her hopes and dreams as well as keep her fingers crossed for a blissful marriage.

  • The Goddess is venerated with prayers so the bride will be blessed with a happy and long married life.
  • The puja is performed in a room beautified with pretty backdrops and colourful flowers.
  • The adorned Gauri idol is placed for the puja along with a silver Mangala Gowri plate.
  • Decorate the setup with colorful rangoli and flower arrangements.
  • Usually, the bride’s mother or an elderly female of the home guides the bride to perform the puja.

Gauri puja significance

There is a conventional significance to every festival that assures a collective continuum of rituals and cultures among various communities. This festival is particularly poignant because it is a festival for women and by women as well as the idea that the Goddess has come to visit her mother’s house.

Women can take center stage during this festival and it’s that time of the year when families can meet their near and dear ones where they can share a delicious meal and pray to Goddess Gauri together.

Devotees worship Mata Gauri to attain joy and prosperity. Making the Goddess happy increases contentment and wealth in the house. It enhances the relationship between a couple. Apart from this, it eliminates the obstacles faced during a marriage. An unmarried woman can pray to Goddess Gauri to seek a suitable life partner.

 

Gauri Pujan Story and Background

Goddess Gauri is believed to be another name for Ma Parvati. However, in Maharashtra, Gauri is considered to be Ganesha’s sister and not mother, who comes to visit him. Some devotees believe that Lord Ganesha has two sisters – Jyeshta and Kanishtha. This is why Gauri stapana is performed with two idols of Goddess Gauri. In certain traditions, Gauri is likened to Goddess Lakshmi or Parvati. Similar to her brother, the arrival of Ma Gauri in one’s abode is believed to signify health, wealth, happiness and prosperity.

As per one of the legends, it is said that Goddess Gauri wished to visit her parents’ home but since Lord Shiva did not want to stay away from her, he followed his wife and stayed at her home. Another story suggests that Lord Ganesha shows up on the second day of the puja to take his mother back to Mount Kailasa.

According to another tale, Goddess Gauri visits the home of a devotee where she finds Lord Ganesha who was staying at the devotee’s home during Ganeshotsav. Goddess Gauri is believed to bring wealth and prosperity into the residences of those she stops over. This is the reason why twin Gauri and twin Ganesha idols are venerated on this day.

According to yet another legend, during ancient times, when demons (asuras) used to trouble people, married women worshipped Goddess Gauri to save their husbands and families from the rage of the asuras. As per the tale, the day when married women pleaded to Gauri Devi for help, that day was known as Shudha Paksha Asthami of Bhadrapad month.

Another mythology discusses the birth of Lord Ganesha in Shiva Purana and Skanda Purana. Once, Goddess Parvati wanted to take a bath but there were no guards to protect the home. So, she drew an image of a boy out of a turmeric paste and instilled life into it. He was named Ganesha and was told by the Goddess to shield the abode while she took a bath. When Lord Shiva attempted to enter the house after some time, Ganesha prevented him from entering.

After intense combat between Lord Shiva and Ganesha, the deity chopped the boy’s head with his trident. When Goddess Parvati came out and witnessed Ganesha dead, she was filled with grief and wrath. She declared that she would annihilate the universe if he was not brought back to life. At this, Lord Shiva commanded his Ganas and an elephant’s head was affixed on Ganesha’s body and infused life into him. He blessed the boy that people will revere him before commencing any vital task.

During Gauri Pujan, both Lord Ganesha and Lord Shiva are venerated along with Goddess Gauri. This reinforces the significance of a happy and contented family in one’s life. Devotees seek the blessings of Mata Gauri to have a blissful and fulfilled married life.

 

How is Gauri Pujan Celebrated?

  • During this renowned female festival, Maharashtrian women are known to be awake the entire night along with their friends.
  • They perform numerous traditional ceremonies and rituals along with plays such as Zhimma and Phugdi.
  • After draping a beautiful red sari, women beautify themselves in ‘solah shringar’ and visit homes of near and dear ones.
  • Devotees also visit Lord Shiva temples to offer fruits, flowers, holy water, and prasad to the Shivlingams.
  • Worshippers perform a small pujan within the temple and present a new sari to the idol of Goddess Gauri.
  • Devotees sing Mangala Gauri songs and recite her mantras the entire night to make the Goddess happy in every way.

 

Gauri Pujan Vrat

Shravan Mangala Gauri Vrat is believed to be one of the most beneficial vrats or fasts. It happens during the month of Shravan Maas. It is a significant vrat (fast) that is kept by married as well as unmarried women in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and a couple of communities in Maharashtra. This fast is observed to pray for a long life of husbands as well as for a blissful married life.

Mangala Gauri Vrat is kept on Tuesdays or Shravan Mangalwar during the months of July-August (Shravan Maas). The puja is devoted to worshipping Goddess Gauri with the hope that she will bless the household with marital bliss, prosperity and improved health. This vrat is conducted by women during the first five years of their marriage.

 

Legends surrounding Mangala Gauri Vrat

Once, there lived an extremely rich merchant named Dharmapala. He had a beautiful wife but they were deeply unhappy and miserable as they did not have any children. After performing a lot of pujas and with the grace of the almighty, his wife gave birth to a son. But unfortunately, he was intended to live for a very short time as he was cursed to die of a deadly snakebite by the time he turned sixteen.

The son was married before he had his 16th birthday and as luck would have it, he was saved by his wife whose mother kept the Mangala Gauri Vrat. Since she observed the vrat, the mother’s daughter was blessed to never face widowhood. This is why Dharampal’s son’s life was saved and he lived until 100 years. Therefore, all women perform this puja to receive the boon of a long and healthy life for their husbands.

 

Benefits of Mangala Gauri Vrat

  • Makes sure that you have a thriving and healthy household.
  • Grants women the boon of having a blissful and harmonious married life.
  • Prevents blood-related diseases.
  • Diminishes the ill-effects of the planet.
  • Helps in winning lawsuits and defeating enemies.
  • Brings wealth and assists in paying off your debt.
  • Keeping this vrat will help in reducing Manglik dosha in girls.
  • Apart from bestowing peace of mind, unmarried women are blessed with ideal husbands as they observe this vrat.
  • Keeping this vrat will help in enhancing your spiritual and material life.
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