Discussion in 'Customs' started by garry420, Nov 27, 2015.

  1. garry420

    garry420 Well-Known Member

    Swarna Gouri Vrata or Gauri Habba:
    habba=festival in kannada

    Swarna Gouri Vrata, also known as Gauri Habba, is observed a day before Ganesh Chaturthi puja mainly by women in Karnataka. Swarna Gauri Vrata is dedicated to Goddess Gowri, popularly known as Goddess Parvati. It is observed on the third day of the Shukla Paksha of Bhadrapad month mainly in Kannadiga Culture.

    Hindu women observe Swarna Gouri Vrata for the well-being of their husbands and for a peaceful and prosperous life. Unmarried women observe if for getting a good husband.

    Swarna means ‘gold’ and in the ritual a golden image of Goddess Parvati is worshipped along with Shivling. In many regions a clay idols of Goddess Gowri and Lord Ganesha is worshipped on this day. It is later immersed in a pond.

    It is believed that Goddess Parvati comes to earth to answer the prayers of married and unmarried women during Swarna Gauri Vratam. Gowri Vrat day is followed by the Ganesh Chaturthi day. Hindus believe that Lord Shiva sends Ganesha to fetch his mother from earth.

    On the same day women in North India observe the Hartalika Teej Vrat which is also dedicated to Goddess Parvati.

    How to observe Gowri Habba or Swarna Gauri Vratam?

    Gowri Habba or Swarna Gauri Vratam is a Hindu festival dedicated to Goddess Paravati, also known as Gaowri. The ‘Vrat’ is mainly observed by married and unmarried women and is mainly performed in Karnataka and other places in South India. An answer to How to do the Gowri Habba or Swarna Gauri Vratam is bit complex as there are numerous regional and community variations in performing the ritual.

    :: Performing Gowri Habba ::

    On the Swarna Gauri Vratam day, the house is cleaned thoroughly. After bathing, married women and young girls in the family dress up in fresh/new clothes. Some people perform the puja at home; others at the houses of relatives or friends and some opt for the nearby temples.

    A small temporary shrine is erected using banana leaves and banana stem. This is decorated with mango leaves, turmeric, tulsi and sandalwood paste. Those who already have a puja cabinet perform the ritual in it or in a separate temporary area.

    Next is the installation of the idol of Goddess Parvati or Gowri. There are several methods for this. The indigenous method is to make an idol of Gowri with turmeric. Nowadays, people opt for the readymade idols of Goddess Gowri which is available in market. Some people opt for the family-owned Swarna or gold idol of Gowri.

    The idol of Gowri, which is decorated neatly with clothes, is placed on a bed of rice or wheat or other cereals. Some people place a Shivling and Ganesha idol along with the idol of Parvati. Flowers and green leaves are mainly used to decorate the idols. Some people also opt for a Purna Kumbh. A mirror is placed along with the idol.

    A 16-knotted thread is prepared for the puja and some people tie it on their hands. (Perhaps indicating the 16 long years of intense austerities performed by Goddess Parvati to obtain Lord Shiva as husband).

    Next is the preparation of special puja plates or challis with various puja items also known as ‘bagina.’ The pooja thali or 'bagina' consists of turmeric, kum kum, a mirror, bangles, comb, various cereals, coconut, fresh cloth, rice, jaggery, the 16 knot thread, 16 different leaves and fruits. Some people prepare just one pooja thali for Goddess Parvati. Some prepare several ‘bagina’ and distribute among married women. (Please note that the number of items and those used varies from region to region.)

    The main puja ceremony involves bathing the idol in milk, ghee, curd, honey and water. Some people only perform the simple Aarti and sing bhajans.

    Then the prepared bagina is offered to Gowri and people recite the prayers dedicated to Parvati or specially-coined phrases like: ‘Savitri, Savitri, Bagina Tagoo.’ While taking away the bagina repeat the same prayers or say ‘muthiyadae, mutiyadae bagina kodu.’ [Savitri savitra accept this 'bagina'; suhagan suhagan, please give me the 'bagina']

    Various dishes are prepared on the day ,especially rice dishes.

    Another important custom on the day is the sending of gifts by married women’s parents. Newly married girls also present ‘bagina’ to married elderly women.

    It is believed that by performing this puja unmarried girls will get good husbands and married women will have a healthy and peaceful family life, and continued well-being of their respective husbands.

    In some areas, people immerse the Turmeric idol along with Ganesha. (Gowri Habba is followed by Ganesh Chaturthi).

    It must be remembered here that all these rituals are man made. It is easy to observe these rituals when you live along with relatives and friends. Today, most people live alone that too in countries alien to such rituals. A simple prayer to Goddess Parvati will be more than enough. Always remember the core concept of Santana Dharma is Brahman – the supreme soul present in all living and non-living - and realization of it is the ultimate aim.

    :: Origin of Swarna Gowri Vratam ::

    The important legend associated with Gowri Habba is that of the birth of Ganesha. It is believed that Ganesha was created by Goddess Parvati from her own body. She asked her son to guard the doors of the house and went to take bath. Shiva appeared there and was stopped by the boy. Shiva did not recognize the boy and after few heated arugments and Shiva in a fit of anger chopped off the head of the boy. Soon Goddess Parvati arrived at the scene and demanded that her son be brought back to life. Shiva brought Ganesha back to life by placing the head of an elephant instead of the human head. Gowri Habba celeberates the power of Goddess Gouri.

    In another legend, importance of Swarna Gowri Vratam was narrated to Lord Muruga by Lord Shiva. Parvati wanted to marry Lord Shiva but Shiva was in no mood to reciprocate her love as he was mourning the death of Sati. Parvati was determined to win the love of Lord Shiva. So, she started intense austerities in a forest, surviving on grass and fruits. Parvati continued this intense ‘tapas’ for long sixteen years. Finally, Lord Shiva was moved by Parvati’s intense devotion and love and married her.

    According to Puranas, Gowri Vratam will bestow wealth and worldly well being to the people who observe it. Legend has it that the ‘Vrata’ is so powerful that even a dry tree will turn green after its observance.

    It is believed that unmarried women performing Swarna Gauri Vratam will get good husbands and married women will have a peaceful and happy married life.
  2. garry420

    garry420 Well-Known Member


    Haritalika Teej Vrat is an important Hindu fasting dedicated to Goddess Parvati in North India. Haritalika Teej 2012 date is September 18. Haritalika is observed mainly in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and is some parts of Maharashtra. There is a widespread belief that by observing Hartalika Teej Vrat unmarried women will get desired husband.

    It is one among the three Teej festivals observed in North India. The other two are Hariyali Teejand Kajari Teej.

    Haritalika Teej Vrat is observed by both married and unmarried women. Married women observe the Vrat for a happy married life.

    Hartalika Teej is based on the intense austerities (tapas) observed by Goddess Parvathi to get Lord Shiva as her husband. It is believed that Goddess Parvati will bless those women who observe the Vrat.

    The fasting rules of Hartalika Teej Vrat are very tough and some women even don’t drink water during the fasting period.

    :: How to celebrate Haritalika Teej Vrat ::

    Hartalika Vrat is dedicated to Goddess Parvati and it is believed that those unmarried women who observe this fast will be blessed with good husbands and those married will have a happy married life. A strict fast by women (nirjala vrata) is the order of the day.

    On the Hartalika Vrat day, the idol of Goddess Parvati is decorated with fresh clothes and a pandal (small puja house) is made from banana bark and leaves. Today, most people prefer to observe the vrat in their usual pooja rooms and do not bother to create a pandal. A Shivling made from clay is placed along with Goddess Parvati. Listening or reading stories of Goddess Parvati and Shiva is considered auspicious.

    In the evening, special Aarti is performed on the idols. After the Aarti, relatives and friends join in traditional singing and dancing. Fresh fruits and vegetables are offered to Goddess Parvati. Some people make special delicacies from coconut.

    Women dress up beautifully on the day by applying mehndi. Green is the most preferred color. New jewelry and new clothes are specially reserved for the day. In certain areas, married women visit their houses and observe the fast with parents.

    The fast is broken on the next day morning.

    Please note that if you are taking medicines or are suffering from any diseases, it is better to avoid strict fasting. Take the advice of the doctor, if you are so interested in observing the fast.

    Hartalika Teej Vrat is an important ritual performed by Hindu women. In 2012, Hartalika Teej Vrat is on September 18. The ritual is dedicated to Goddess Parvati and is observed in Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. In some places, the Vrat is a three day affair but nowadays many women only observe the Vrat on a single day. This ritual is observed as Swarna Gowri Vratamin South India. In Nepal, this Teej is of great significance and is observed for three days and ends with the Rishi Panchami pooja.

    By observing the ritual, unmarried women believe that they will get a husband like Lord Shiva. Married women believe they will be blessed with a good family life.

    :: Origin of Hartalika Teej Vrat ::

    According to Hindu Mythology, Shiva took no notice of the love of Parvati for very long time as he was haunted by the death of Sati. To get the attention of Shiva, Parvati performed severe austerities on the Himalayas for several years. Some Puranas indicate that Goddess Parvati did penance for 16 years and survived on grass and fruits. Finally, Shiva acknowledged Parvati’s devotion and love and agreed to marry her.

    Women observe Hartalika Teej Vrat in remembrance of Parvati’s deep determination to win over her love. It is believed that Goddess Parvati will be pleased with those women who observe the Vrat. There are several regional variations in the Hartalika Teej Vrat myth. But the essence is the same.

    Even today, many married women and unmarried women observe ‘nirjala vrata’ (severe fasting even without water). A grand feast is held after the fast in all houses.

    On the day, women wear green clothes and bangles which signify luck. Fresh fruits and green vegetables are offered to Parvati. Rice patolis, sweets and numerous delicacies are prepared on this day. Delicacies made out of coconut are a specialty.
    - from the desk of Usha Swarup

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