Why does Gauri come to visit Ganpati during Ganesh Chaturthi?

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Gauri Puja done during Ganesh Chaturthi is very popular. In different parts of India, there are different beliefs regarding why Gauri puja is performed during Ganesh Chaturthi. Also, the traditions on how Gauri puja is performed also vary from region to region across India. In some places, the image of Ma Gauri is made in turmeric powder and placed along with the idol of Lord Ganesh brought for puja. In some places, idols made of different materials are placed on the altar along with Ganesh idol. Now we explore some traditions related to Gauri puja during Ganesh Chatruthi and also explore the origin of this custom.

Interesting facts regarding Gauri puja during Ganesh Chaturthi

  • ·         Gauri Ganpati as it is popularly known is performed in many homes in the state of Maharashtra during Ganesh Chaturthi. This year, Gauri avahan or sthapna takes place on 31st August; Gauri Puja takes place on the 31st August and the Visarjan, along with five-day Ganpati visarjan takes place on 5th September.

  • ·         Gauri is an avatar of Ma Parvati, mother of Lord Ganesha. However, in Maharashtra, it is believed that Gauri is Ganesha’s sister who comes to visit him. Like her brother, the arrival of Ma Gauri in one’s home represents health, wealth, happiness & prosperity. In fact, Gauri sthapna is done with two idols of Ma Gauri.

  • ·         During Ganesh Chaturthi, Ma Gauri idols are brought home two days post the beginning of the festival. She stays for three days. On the second day, a Satyanarayan Puja is conducted and on the third day, she is immersed in water.

  • ·         As per legends, it is believed that these two sisters in the form of Ma Gauri follow Ganesha to every home he visits. Ma Gauri is also considered the Upasana of Ma Lakshmi in some states of India.

  • ·         In Karnataka, Gauri is considered Lord Ganesha’s mother as Gauri puja occurs a day before or on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi.

  • ·         In West Bengal, Ma Saraswati and Ma Lakshmi are sisters of Lord Ganesha, and they are the children of Ma Durga.

Mythological story related to gauri puja during Ganesh Chatruthi

Gauri is one of the names of goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva and the mother of Lord Ganesh. Once upon a time, Mother Gauri took bath. As per the practice in Indian households, Ma Gauri applied turmeric on her body during bath. Then she collected the turmeric paste from her body and made a doll out of it and breathed life. A charming little lad emerged who was posted as the guardian in her palace entrance.

Lord Shiva was denied entry into mother Parvati’s palace by the boy. Shiva was enraged and cut out the head of the boy with his Trishul (trident). Mother Parvati explained Lord Shiva how she created the boy and felt bad at the boy’s death. In order to make her happy, Lord Shiva asked for an elephant head, placed it on the boy’s body and gave him life. This is the origin of Lord Ganesh. Upon giving him new life, Lord Shiva posted him as the Lord of his armies. This day of resurrection came to be celebrated as Ganesh Chaturthi. Since it was Mother Parvati (Gauri) who gave birth to Ganesh, Gauri puja became an integral part of Ganesh Chaturthi puja. This is also the reason why the image of Gauri is made in turmeric paste.

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