The homecoming

Friday, 14 September 2018

Lensman Mukkund Bhute offers us a close-up of Gauri puja in the Konkan and Pune where the markets are flooded with jewellery, drapery and Gauri idols

Lensman Mukkund Bhute offers us a close-up of Gauri puja in the Konkan and Pune where the markets are flooded with jewellery, drapery and Gauri idols

As Maharashtrians welcome Lord Ganesha on Bhadrapad Chathurti (fourth day after the new moon), families welcome home Gauri (believed to be Lord Ganesha’s sister and incarnation of Mother Parvati) on the sixth day. She stays for three days. The first day involves sthapana (installation), puja is performed on the second day and Gauri is immersed in water on the third day. Or any other immersion ritual may be followed as per the family tradition.

It is believed that Gauri comes to visit brother Lord Ganesha. Like the brother, the arrival of Ma Gauri in one’s home represents health, wealth, happiness and prosperity. In fact, Gauri sthapana is done with two idols of Ma Gauri.

It is celebrated in various ways in different parts of the state. In Vidarbha and Marathwada regions, almost all households follow this ritual, while in other parts of Maharashtra including western Maharashtra, Gauri puja is done according to the family tradition. A few of the households have standing Gauri, while a few perform puja of stones collected from a water source. 

In Konkan, Gauri puja is done on a large scale. While taking Gauri home and when immersing in water bodies, a huge procession follows. At the river/ sea shore, again, a puja is performed, and people play various traditional games before bidding the goddess goodbye.