Gauri Puja

5 min read
Posted on April 28, 2022

Gauri Puja is one of the most important festivals of Hindus, dedicated to Mata Gauri (also known as Parvati Maa). The festival is mainly celebrated in Maharashtra and falls after Ganesh Chaturthi every year. Married women perform the puja for a blissful marriage and unmarried girls do it for finding the desired husband in the similar way that Sita maa performs Gauri Puja for finding a deserving husband.

Gauri Puja

Gauri Puja is a festival that women observe for the wellbeing of their husbands. It is also performed by unmarried women, who desire a good husband. Gauri, the consort of Shiva, is known to be his Shakti. This festival is celebrated to receive the blessings of Ma Gauri so that every woman becomes the power of her husband. This festival is celebrated in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and many other states by different names but is one of the main festivals in Maharashtra. It is specifically known as Mangala Gauri Puja. The festival usually occurs during Ganesh Chaturthi every year. Women are known to stay awake all night and play games like Zhimma or Fugdi during this three-day Gauri Festival.

DEITIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE FESTIVAL:

Goddess Parvati is mainly worshipped on the day of Gauri puja along with Bhagawan Ganesha and Bhagawan shiva.

 ORIGIN AND SIGNIFICANCE:

The essence of Gauri Puja is associated with the birth of Ganesha. Once upon a time Maa Parvati, also known as Gauri, was taking a bath by applying turmeric on body. While doing so, she collected some turmeric from the body and made an image out of it. She then blew life into it. A charming little baby emerged and Mata Parvati was delighted to attain a son. He was kept in security at Gauriji’s palace entrance. As per the orders of his mother, he denied Bhagawan Shiva an entrance into the palace, due to which, Bhagawan Shiva, unaware of Ganesha’s truth, got angry and severed his head. Mata Parvati was agonised and asked Bhagawan Shiva to get her son back. Bhagawan Shiva then put an elephant’s head on him and this is how Bhagawan Ganesha appeared. This day is celebrated as Ganesh Chaturthi. Since Mata Parvati gave birth to Ganeshji, she is also worshipped during Ganesh Chaturthi, with a special puja called “Gauri Puja”. As per Hindu scriptures, Sita Mata performed Gauri Puja to get Bhagawan Ram as her husband. Gauri Puja is performed to get the blessings of Gauri in having a good marital life and family.

According to Puranas, in ancient times when asuras used to harass and torture people, women started making offerings to Maa Gauri to save their husbands from the curse of asuras. This ritual was named as Gauri Puja.

This festival has special significance for Hindu devotees. It is a day celebrated during Ganesh Chaturthi. Gauri worship is mainly done for peace and wealth. Making Adishakti Gauri happy, brings happiness in the house and also improves marital relationship. It helps in getting a suitable life partner.

The greatness of the Puja can be understood from the story of a wealthy merchant Dharampal and his son. Dharampal and his beautiful wife were happily married but they could not have any child. After offering many prayers with complete devotion, they were blessed with a son, but, after prediction of the future from a priest, they came to know that their son has a short life. The couple were grief stricken. They then heard about a girl who was a devotee of Mata Gauri and was known to receive a boon from Ma that she will never experience widowhood. The couple got their son married to that girl. The son and his wife thus lived a life period of hundred years with well-being in health, wealth and prosperity.

CUSTOMS, TRADITIONS AND RITUALS:

The murti of Bhagawan Gauri is brought one day before Gauri Puja day or along with Ganesh murti. It is believed that holy rays come out of Gauri’s image during worshipping which bring an end to suffering. Devotees dress up the murti with colourful dresses and jewellery and also with a colourful sari. The murti is beautified with various kinds of jewelleries such as green bangles, mangalsutra, nose rings etc. These ornaments are considered very auspicious symbols for Hindus. They also offer veni and garland made of special flowers at last. Gauri Puja involves a traditional puja ceremony by inviting priests at home and performing all the rituals of Gauri Puja. Women also observe Mangla Gauri vrat, perform puja vidhi after taking a bath. They visit each other’s house and offer coconut, banana and flowers to Mata Gauri and also gift beautiful sarees to Mata. They stay awake all night and play several fun-filled games. It is a night of fun, joy and enthusiasm for women. Men do not participate in the Gauri puja. This is a special festival celebrated only by women.

It is a three-day festival which starts with the installation of Bhagawan Gauri Murti on the first day. On the second day, Satyanarayana puja is performed and on the third day, Mata Gauri is immersed in water followed by farewell ceremonies. This is called Gauri Visarjan.

The murti of Gauri Ji is brought home with great enthusiasm. Women make a rangoli design at the entrance of the house. Many unmarried women walk in the house with Kumkum-dipped feet, just like the feet of Gauri, leaving their red footprints in the house. Some people keep Mata Gauri’s murti alongside of that of Ganeshji. People also bring murtis of Gauri’s sisters, Jyeshtha and Kavishtha, and install them besides Gauri. Many families keep the older murtis every year and worship them.

PUJA VIDHI AND PUJA KATHA:

Samagri needed:

  • Murtis of Shiva, Parvati and Ganesha
  • Sandalwood paste
  • Flowers
  • Clothes to dress Mata
  • Ornaments to adorn Mata
  • Coconut
  • Ghee / Oil
  • Diya
  • Incense sticks
  • Sweets
  • Roli
  • Haldi
  • Kumkum
  • Fruits
  • Panchamrit
  • Betel leaves
  • Mango leaves
  • Gangajal

 Vidhi:

  • Install the murti of Ganpati.
  • The murtis of Bhagawan Shiva and Mata Gauri are then brought home and installed next to Ganesha.
  • Bathe the murtis with panchamrit and water from copper vessel
  • Dress up Gauri murti with beautiful clothes and ornaments.
  • Chant Gauri Mantra “Om Gaurye Namaha”
  • Light a Diya with ghee or oil.
  • Apply a tilak from a paste made of Sandalwood, roli and haldi.
  • Spread the Akshat.
  • Offer prayers to Ma Gauri and perform Gauri Shankar Sadhana.
  • Offer flowers, betel leaves, mango leaves, coconut and sweets to Ma Gauri.
  • Take Gangajal in your hands and seek the blessings of Ma Gauri.

On the third day, before Gauri Visarjan, a special aarti is performed and a special food is offered to Ma Gauri. The Prasad is made of cooked rice mixed with curd and cooked fenugreek leaves.

Gauri Puja is performed by worshiping Mata Gauri, with her consort Bhagawan Shiva and her son Ganpati, thus representing the importance of family and togetherness.

 CELEBRATIONS ACROSS THE COUNTRY:

Gauri puja is celebrated for 3 days starting from the day of Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra and nearby places. It is also celebrated in Karnataka as Gowri Habba and Uttar Pradesh as Hartalika teej.

BENEFITS OF CELEBRATING THE FESTIVAL:

  • Worshipping Gauri makes the devotees free from their sins and all the negative deeds.
  • Women devotees get a long-lasting relationship with their husband and unmarried girls get the desired husband in the same way as Sitaji gets Bhagawan Ram.
  • Life gets filled with peace and prosperity.
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