Gowri pooja is also called Swarna Gowri Vrata. Performing Gowri pooja in one’s own house is the tradition (sampradaayam) in some sankethi families while in others is to go to a family which has the tradition and perform the pooja there. In some sankethi villages all families go to the temple or Ramamandir and perform pooja in groups.
The Gowri pooja is mainly performed by married women and unmarried girls also join in the pooja. Usually a priest helps in performing the pooja. Gowri vrata is observed on the third day of the bright half of the month of Bhadrupada. Usually even if the third day thithi is there for a small portion of the day in the morning the vrata is observed on that day.
Gowri pooja Requirements
The usual ingredients required for all pooja is used. (Arishina, Kumkuma, Gandha, gejje vastra, flowers, agarabathi, oil lamps, coconut, fruits, camphor and Nivedya) Usually for nivedyam on the Gowri pooja day Paayasam is used and if time permits “Obbattu” which is the special dessert for the day is used. In addition, “Moradajothes” with five types of grains (Toor Dhal, Channa Dhal, Moong Dhal, rice and wheat) with coconut fruits, dakshina and blouse piece is prepared beforehand. Usually five sets are prepared with one set given as “Taayi Baagina”to the mother or an elder person after the pooja is done. The other four sets are given to any suitable person of choice. In some families they use the root of turmeric (Arishinada Kone) as representing Godess Gowri and pooja is offered. In other families on the day of the pooja they go to the Tulasi Katte to offer a small pooja and get the mud to be wrapped in a cloth smeared with turmeric powder to represent Godess Gowri and offer pooja inside the house. Some villages on the banks of Cauvery and other rivers where sankethis live, Goddess Gowri is invoked into a symbolic idol made of sand from the sacred river (Marala Gowri) and is carried in a procession into a common place of worship.
An important aspect of Gowri Pooja is preparation of special Gejje vastras which are elaborately prepared weeks before the pooja day to be offered to Godess Gowri. This also acts as decoration (Alankaranam). For performing Mangalaarathi special designs (rangoli) is drawn on plates and used. Another important aspect of Gowri pooja is offering pooja to a thread with 16 knots. (Dora Granthi pooja) An oil lamp is kept continually lit till the Visarjana day which is described below.
Where ever possible, an auspicious day is used to perform Visarjana by consulting the panchangam. Just before Visarjana, people who performed the pooja will conduct a ritual called “Shobhalakki” (exchange of grains and blessings with Godess Gowri) Why: Godess Gowri is the symbolization of Soumangalya. Hence all married women and young girls of marriageable age offer prayers every year for Dheerga (long) soumangalya.
- An image or idol of Goddess Gowri (Goddess Parvati) or five pyramid shapes made from turmeric powder.
- Kalash or Kalasha
- Cloth folded like pyramid
- Cotton or flower garland
- Coconut broken into two halves
- Red flowers
- Usual fruits (locally available)