Gangaur (गणगौर) is one of the most popular, colourful and important festival for people of Rajasthan and it is observed throughout the state with great enthusiasm and devotion by womenfolk. The festival is the celebration of monsoon, harvest and martial fidelity. Women worship Gauri, the consort of Lord Shiva.
The word ‘Gangaur’ is literally made up of two words, ‘Gana’ and ‘Gaur’. ‘Gana’ is synonymous with Lord Shiva and ‘Gaur’ which stands for Gauri or Parvati symbolizes Saubhagya (marital bliss). Gauri is the personification of excellence and marital love.
Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are worshiped in this festival of Gangaur. This festival is specifically meant for women folks. The unmarried women worship Gauri for blessing them with good husband, while married women do so for the welfare, health and longevity of their husbands and cheerful married life. Let us now know how to perform the Gangaur Puja and Vrat in detail.
Gauri Puja Method
Method of Gangaur Puja
To observe this fast, one should wake up early in the morning before sunrise. After finishing the daily routine, one should wear clean and beautiful clothes.
Before the puja, newly married and unmarried girls leave the house with a pot on their heads and go to some garden. From there, she fills fresh water in pots, decorates green grass and fresh flowers it, puts them on her head, and comes home singing auspicious songs.
- After this, after sprinkling pure water all over the house, making a square altar twenty-four inches wide and twenty-four inches long with holy soil in a secluded place, completes the square with saffron sandalwood and camphor.
- A gold, silver idol is installed in the middle and it is worshiped with flowers, doob, fruits and rolls etc.
- In this puja, girls put sixteen dots of kumkum, sixteen dots of mehndi and sixteen dots of kajal on the wall every day. These objects are symbols of happiness.
- Ten forms of Maa Gauri are worshiped in Pujan. The ten forms of Maa Gauri are as follows – Gauri, Uma, Latika, Subhaga, Bhagmalini, Manokamana, Bhavani, Kamada, Bhogvardwini and Ambika. All forms of Maa Gauri should be worshiped with full faith and trust.
- Women doing this fast should do this fast by drinking milk only once a day. Doing this fast increases children, happiness and prosperity in the household of the fasting person.
- In this fast there is a ritual to bathe the idols of Shiva and Parvati made of wood or any metal.
- Goddesses are decorated with beautiful clothes and ornaments. After this they are worshiped with devotion and scented flowers. The gods and goddesses are swung in a swing or on a throne.
Once upon a time Lord Shankar and Parvatiji went on a tour with Naradji. On the way they reached a deep forest on the day of Chaitra Shukla Tritiya. Hearing the news of his arrival, the noble women of the village started preparing delicious food to welcome him, but they were delayed a lot while preparing the food. Even then the women of the common clan reached for the puja with turmeric and akshat in the plates before the women of the superior clan. Parvatiji accepted his worship and sprinkled all the suhag juice on him. She returned after receiving the boon of Atal Suhag.
Gangaur Vrat Katha (गणगौर व्रत कथा)
After that high caste women came to worship Gauriji and Shankarji with various types of dishes. His plates made of gold and silver contained various kinds of food. Seeing those women, Lord Shankar said to Parvatiji - You have given all the suhag rasa to the women of ordinary clan only. What will you give them now? Parvatiji replied - Pranath! Don't worry about it. To those women I have given juice made only from the above substances. But I will slit my finger and give the juice of my blood to these high caste women. This suhag rasa who will be lucky, she will become lucky like me in body and mind.
When the women finished worshiping, Parvatiji split her finger and sprinkled it on them. He got the same suhag as he fell on. After that Parvati ji bathed on the bank of the river on the command of Lord Shiva and started worshiping Shiva by making a sand idol. After the worship, make a dish of sand and offer it to Shivaji.
After circumambulation, two grains of sand were applied to the forehead from the soil of the river bank. It took much time for Parvati to do all this. After a long time, when she came back, Mahadevji asked her why she was late.
In reply, Parvatiji lied that my brothers and sisters had met there. It was late to talk to him. But Mahadev was Mahadev. They wanted something more beautiful. So he asked - Parvati! What things did you enjoy by worshiping on the banks of the river and what offerings did you eat yourself? Swami! Parvatiji lied again - my brother fed me milk and rice. After eating it, I am coming straight here. Hearing this, Shivji also went towards the river bank in the desire to eat milk and rice. Parvati was in a dilemma. Then he silently meditated on Bhagwan Bhole Shankar and prayed - O Lord! If I am your exclusive maid, then you should be ashamed of me at this time.
Praying this, Parvatiji kept walking behind Lord Shiva. He saw Maya's palace on the banks of the distant river. Reaching inside that palace, she sees that Shivaji's brother-in-law and Salhaj etc. are present there. He warmly welcomed Gauri and Shankar. They stayed there for two days. On the third day, Parvatiji asked Shiva to walk, but Shivaji was not ready. They wanted to stay longer. Then Parvatiji got angry and left alone. Lord Shiva had to walk with Parvati in such condition. Naradji also went along. As they walked, they came out far away. At that time Lord Surya was entering his Dham (West). Suddenly Lord Shankar said to Parvatiji - I have forgotten my garland in your mother.
OK, I'll take it. - Parvatiji said and got ready to go. But God did not allow them to go and sent Brahmaputra Naradji for this task. But on reaching there Naradji did not see any palace. There was jungle far away, in which wild animals roamed. Naradji started wandering there and wondered if he had come to a wrong place. But usually the lightning flashed and Naradji saw Shivaji's garland hanging on a tree. Naradji took off the garland and approached Shivaji and told him the situation. Shivji laughed and said - Narada! All this is the Leela of Parvati. On this Parvati said - I am worthy.
Then Naradji bowed his head and said - Mother! You are the best in courtesies. You are Adishakti in Sobhaygavati Samaj. All this is the effect of your marriage. The women of the world can achieve unwavering good fortune by just remembering your name and can create and destroy all achievements. Then what is this karma for you? Your Highness! Private worship is more powerful and meaningful.
I am very happy to see your spirit and miraculous power. I say as a blessing that those women who worship their husband secretly in this way will get a long-lived husband by the grace of Mahadevji.
और कहानियों के लिए क्लिक करें गणगौर कथाएँ
Other Gangaur RitualsIt is believed that after a temporary long sacrament Gauri and Shiva reunited on this day. The small doll like Idols of the Shiva and Gauri are made of wood. These divine male and female entities are called ‘Isar’ and ‘Gauri’. Although festival commences on Holi, it runs through many days. Young girls pray for grooms of their choice while married women seek a long life for their husbands. The ladies beautify their hands and feet by temporary decoration by drawing designs with Mehandi. After 7th day of Holi unmarried girls carry earthen pots with hole and a lamp lit inside, called ‘Ghudlia’ on their head, singing songs in the evening.
They go around all the houses in the area and collect small presents, cash, sweets, jaggery, ghee, oil etc. The women chant hymns or Gangaur Geet to the Goddess. The festivities continue for 18 days and conclude with the arrival of Lord Shiva to accompany his bride home. A procession of beautifully ornamented camels, horses, elephants and dancing people with joyous drummers & children carries the idol of Gauri in beautifully decorated gold and silver palanquin.
इस आर्टिकल को हिंदी में पढ़ने के लिए यहां क्लिक करें