Significance of Gauri Puja in Indian Marriages

Gauri Puja is inevitable during a marriage which gives bride the right to pose a question to her life partner “Why don’t you give me half of everything as you promised in the marriage”? Vedic lore says goddess Parvathi Devi obtained half of Lord Shiva after performing Gauri Puja.

There are couple stories in floating pertinent Gauri Puja. There was a devotee to Sri Lord Shiva by name Brungireeti who once visited the Lord and offered his prayers. In the process he was circumambulating Lord Shiva leaving Parvathi Devi which enrages her. She poses a question to the Supreme “Oh My Lord! Why is the devotee offering prayers to you ignoring me though I am half of you?” Lord answers “Devi, he is seeking Moksha and praying for getting merged with Supreme (Shiva-Aikyamu)”. Not contended with the answer Goddess Parvathi Devi leaves for Himalayas to conduct ‘Kedareeswara Vrath’ and ‘Gauri Puja’ and appeases Lord Shiva to obtain half of him. Thus Lord Shiva obtained the name ‘Arthanareeswara’. In the rituals of Hindu marriage ‘Gauri Puja’ had its own significance. Puja process includes worshipping a triangular stone with ‘Panchamrutha’by applying Vermillion and prays Goddess Parvathi Devi for attaining half of the rights from her husband “Oh Deity! As you have obtained half from your husband, the almighty, Lord Shiva, I intend to obtain half part from my better half for which I am worshipping with utmost devotion”
However as per ‘Puranas’ there is another tale that is being narrated. According to this, brides take inspiration from the way the divine couples have led their live and pray Goddess Gauri wishing their lives to progress in similar way. During marriage a bride who conducts ‘Gauri Puja’ is equal to gold and hence she is not allowed to walk and brought to the ‘Mandap’ by her maternal uncles in a bamboo basket. At this juncture bride’s father questions the groom “Dharmecha (Dharmamu lonu), Arthecha (in financial matters), Kaamecha (in desires), Mokshecha (In Moksha), Nathicharithavya” which means whatever be the future circumstances and situations, the groom will not leave the bride in isolation. The groom promises to this extent.

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