Festivals have special significance in every individual’s life. It is a time to celebrate the greatness of God who takes care of our each and every need.
The Holy Land of India gives due importance to festivals.
As such, you will find numerous festivals in each and every corner of India.
One such festival is Gauri Pujan which is celebrated with great devotion by all the Maharashtrian.
Like other festivals, Gauri Pujan has its own unique features. Goddess Parvati, the mother of Lord Ganesha, is also known as Gauri.
In Gauri Pujan, we worship Goddess Parvati or Gauri. Apart from Maharashtra, Gauri Pujan is also celebrated in few other places near Maharashtra.
Moreover, Gauri Pujan has the status of being the festival of Maharashtrian women. Gauri Puja is also known as ‘Mangala Gauri’ in Maharashtra.
The festival is celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm by Maharashtrian women. They stay awake whole night on the day of Gauri Pujan and indulge themselves in playing traditional games like Zhimma and Phugdi. It is an occasion for women to enjoy along with their friends.
Gauri Pujan is performed by both married and unmarried women. While married women pray for the long life and well being of their husbands, the unmarried women perform Gauri Pujan for getting an ideal husband.
If you go by the Hindu scriptures, it is said that Sita Mata performed Gauri Pujan to get Lord Rama as his husband.
In fact, Goddess Gauri or Parvati Mata is the spouse of Lord Shiva. She is the Shakti of Lord Shiva. So, Gauri Pujan is performed to get the blessings of Mata Parvati.
Gauri Puja is done on the fourth or fifth day of Ganesh Chaturthi.
Gauri Pujan is mainly held in a temple; however, some organize this Pooja at home. It is one of the prominent pujas of the Maharashtrian.
Benefits of performing Gauri Puja
- It is very helpful in removing obstacles from the married life.
- Performing Gauri Puja is considered good for unmarried women for getting the ideal life partner.
- Gauri Puja showers peace and happiness in the life of married couples.
- Gauri Puja brings trust and respect between married couples.
- A couple is blessed with children.
How to do Gauri Puja?
For performing Gauri Puja, you will need the following items:
Idols of Lord Shiva, Durga, and Ganesh, Kalash, Haldi, Roli, Sandalwood Paste, Gangajal, Kumkum, Lamps, Panch Patra, Incense, Fruits, Panchamrit, Betel Leaves, Sweets, Nuts, Coconut, Flowers, Mango Leaves, and Garland.
- First, you need to install the Idol of Lord Ganesh.
- Then install the idols of Lord Shiva and Parvati.
- Chant Gauri Shankar Mantra.
- Light up the Diya and Incense sticks.
- Apply Tilak made from Sandalwood paste, Roli, and Haldi.
- Spread the Akshat.
- Do Gauri Shankar Sadhna and pray to Goddess Gauri.
- Serve Coconut, sweets, and fruits.
- Take Gangajal in your hand and seek the blessings of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
- Lastly, do offering to Brahmins for completing the puja.
The custom of Bringing Gauri Idol or Image Home
The idol of Goddess Gauri is brought one day before Gauri Puja or along with Ganesh Idol. However, some people bring an image of Goddess Gauri on paper.
Usually, people bring an idol of Goddess Gauri, but some people prefer to worship an image of Goddess Gauri. It is believed that holy rays come out of Gauri idol or image during the period of Gauri Pujan which puts an end to sufferings.
During Gauri Pujan, Goddess Gauri blesses the devotees with prosperity and well-being.
Dressing up the Gauri Idol
Devotees dress up the idol of Goddess Gauri with colorful clothes and jewelry. The idol of Mata Gauri is draped with a very fine and colorful sari. The devotees also decorate the Gauri idol with lots of jewelry items such as green bangles, mangal sutra, necklace, nose ring, etc.
Hindu women regard mangal sutra and green bangles as very auspicious symbols. They also offer a hair band of flowers known as Veni which is worn on the backside of the head.
Lastly, the idol of Mata Gauri is decorated with garlands.
Gauri Pujan involves a systematic puja ceremony which is usually done by inviting a Pujari (priest) at home. After the Gauri Pujan, women visit each other’s house and offer coconut, flowers, fruits, rice, and even a new sari to the idol of Mata Gauri.
All the women dress up in new clothes and wear traditional jewelry on this day. The night of Gauri Pujan is full of festivity as women take part in the celebration and sing Mangala Gauri songs. These Mangala Gauri songs have a traditional base and reflect the lifestyle of married Hindu women.
All the women stay awake the whole night of Gauri Pujan. They take part in various traditional games such as Zhimma and Phugdi.
The whole night is filled with fun and joy for the women. Males do not take part in the function.
The idol of Goddess Gauri is immersed in a water body (like river, sea, or lake) the day following Gauri Pujan. It is known as Gauri Visarjan. It is mainly done in the sixth or seventh day of Ganesh Chaturthi along with Ganesh Visarjan.
Before Gauri Visarjan, people perform Aarti to the Goddess and offer Prasad prepared of cooked rice, mixed with curd and cooked fenugreek leaves.
This Prasad is distributed among the devotees which is a symbol of blessings of Goddess Gauri.
Gauri Pujan is a major event for every Maharashtrian, and they celebrate it with great joy, enthusiasm, and devotion. The festival makes the bond of love stronger.
The story of Gauri Puja
Once there lived a rich merchant by the name of Dharam Pal in a small village called Anand Nagar. He was blessed with every materialistic richness and lived happily with his wife.
Although he was very rich, still Dharam Pal had no child. This grieved him a lot. However, he continued to worship God and did pious deeds.
Finally, one day he was blessed with a son.
Dharam Pal inquired about the future of his son and was told by the priests that his son would lead a short life. Upon learning this fact, Dharam Pal was filled with much sorrow.
However, his wife consoled him and that he should have faith in Almighty and the blessings of the Lord will put everything in order.
When Dharam Pal’s son grew young, he married him to a pious girl who always worshiped Mata Gauri. After marriage, the girl continued worshipping Mata Gauri and observed Gauri Pujan.
It is said that Mata Gauri blessed that his husband will lead a long and healthy life.
The story brings out the importance of Gauri Pujan.
So, it is performed by married women for the long life and well-being of their husbands.
Gauri Ganapati Story
Shiva Purana and Skanda Purana ascribe the birth of Ganesh to Parvati only. Once, it so happened that Mata Parvati wanted to take a bath, but there were no attendants to guard the house.
So, she prepared an image of a boy out of turmeric paste and infused life into it.
The boy was named Ganesh.
Goddess Parvati told Ganesh to guard the house while she took a bath. After a little while, Lord Shiva arrived and tried to enter the house. He was stopped by Ganesh.
There was an intense battle between Ganesh and Lord Shiva. Finally, Lord Shiva severed Ganesh head with his trident. When Mata Parvati came out and saw Ganesh lying dead, she was filled with sorrow and anger.
She told Lord Shiva that she would destroy the Universe if his son were not brought back to life.
At this, Lord Shiva ordered his Ganas and an elephant’s head was attached to Ganesh body. Lord Shiva installed life to Ganesh and blessed the boy that people will pray for him before beginning any auspicious task. He called the boy Gaurisuta, Umaputra, Parvatisuta meaning son of Parvati.
In Gauri Pujan, Lord Ganesh and Lord Shiva are also worshiped. Gauri Pujan is not only an occasion to worship Goddess Gauri but also Lord Ganesh and Lord Shiva which reaffirms the importance of a happy family in one’s life. People seek the blessings of Mata Gauri for a happy and fulfilled married life.
Gauri Pujan Date 2019
6th September 2019, Friday
The Jyeshtha Gauri Pooja Muhurat: 06:16 to 18:24
Jyeshtha Gauri Avahana on 5th September 2019, Thursday
Jyeshtha Gauri Visarjana on 7th September 2019, Saturday