Bhimana Amavase or Gandana pooje – August 10th 2010

Bhimana Amavase or Gandana pooje, is an important pooje performed in Hindu/Madhwa houses by unmarried women and newly married women for 9 years after their marriage. It is performed on the new moon day or amavase in the month of Aashada masa. This year it is on August 10th 2010. As I have blogged earlier also Shravana Masa starts from August 11th 2010.
This pooje is also called Bheemeshwarana pooje. This pooje is dedicated to God Shiva and Goddess Parvati.

Mud models of Shiva and Parvathi in the form of a cone with a flat base are made, kept in the sun to dry and decorated with white dots made out of limestone paste, or sometimes with akki hittu(rice flour) mixed with milk. A thread immersed in turmeric paste, a flower and sometimes turmeric root are tied around the model for Parvathi. After the pooje, usually either the girls Mom or Mother-in-Law ties this thread to the girls wrists.

Those who have brothers, later in the evening worship the hosthilu or threshold of their house. They call it “Bhandara vadiyodu“. The girls brother brakes the bhandara and gives money to his sister.

The story for Bhimana Amavase goes like this:

In a city there was a king called Vajrabahu. He had one and only son called Vijayashekara, who dies suddenly while still young. The king and queen decide to perform his marriage; even though he is dead. But, who would marry a corpse, right? No one comes forward to marry him. A Brahmin couple, named Madhava and his wife Sushila have five daughters and nine sons. They are extremely poor and they decide to marry one of their daughters in marriage to the dead prince; in return they would get lot of money and can use it to feed their family.

This girl is left with her dead husband and than she prays to God Shiva and Goddess Parvathi with great devotion. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi ask her to perform this pooje; since she is in the forest and doesn’t have any money she uses clay or mud and performs the pooje. The dead prince comes back to life. The king, queen and everyone is now happy to see their son come back to life.

Now that you know why and how to do the pooje, tell the significance of this story to your daughter, perform the pooje, tie the thread across her wrist and bless her with all your heart.

Happy Gandana Pooje.

Here below is the step by step procedure to perform Diwasi Gowri pooje as per the book I have now:

1. Clean the place where you are going to perform the pooja, put an elaborate rangoli (ರಂಗವಲ್ಲಿ).
2. Place a wooden plank called Mane(ಮಣೆ).
3. On this Mane, place a silver plate and within the plate, keep the idols of Diwasi Gowri and Managal Gowri( if you are performing Managal Gowri).
4. Also keep 1 dry cocnout (Kobbari Battalu ಕೊಬ್ಬರಿ ಬಟ್ಟಲು) as it is called in Kannada, 10 betel nut (adike ಅಡಿಕೆ), 10 betel leaves (villedele ವಿಳೇದೆಲೆ), 10 rounds of thread ದಾರ.
5. Now, worship the gowri and offer her 10 Kucchida Kadabu (ಕುಚ್ಚಿದ ಕಡಬು).
6. Next, tie 10 knots on the thread immersed in turmeric paste, a flower and sometimes turmeric root. For married ladies, 10 knots and unmarried girls 5 knots, and 5 rounds of thread.
7. Put this on the Gowri idol.
8. perform Aarthi to Gowri. Offer your prayers, and do namaskaras.
8. Once, you finish all the pooja, usually either the girls Mom or Mother-in-Law ties this thread to the girls wrists or can also put it around her neck.

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30 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anjana on July 28, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    hELLO mEERA,
    i am anjana. Pratima’s co-sister . we visited you once in CT. i often visit your blog and want ot really thank you for posting such wonderful and useful blogs. i was looking for shlokas and stotras and i found them all in one place!. and your info in this year’s shravana masa was very helpful. thnks:)

    Reply

  2. Posted by Sheethal Shankar on July 29, 2008 at 1:39 am

    Hi,

    Thanks a lot for the information…now i know the story for doing Gandana pooja…

    Regards
    sheethal

    Reply

  3. Posted by meeraghu on July 29, 2008 at 7:55 am

    Hi Anjana,
    Yes, I remember. Thanks for visiting the blog and also for your nice comments.

    Reply

  4. Posted by nandita on July 31, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Hi Aunty!

    I read your post now…its difficult to make the mud models here….so what do you usually do? Can I perform pooja to Mangala Gowri prathime?

    Reply

  5. Posted by meeraghu on July 31, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Hi Nanditha,
    Sure, you can do the pooje to the prathima or you can also keep a photo of Lord Shiva and Parvathi and do the pooje.

    Reply

  6. Posted by nandita on July 31, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Thanks, Aunty will do that :)

    Reply

  7. Posted by Vems Beegamudre on June 8, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    This was good information. What do we do with the idols after the pooja?

    If you have a well or a water source you can put them there, if not put them in a plant which you water and don’t step on.

    Reply

  8. Posted by vems on June 9, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Hi, this is irrelevant to the topic discussed here. But it would be great if somebody could answer :)

    I do Sankatahara Chathurthi vratha every month, if i miss this day …… is there any other day that i can perform this pooja?

    Reply

  9. Posted by Vems Beegamudre on June 10, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Hey, i found the answer from one of the link posted here.

    http://www.mypanchang.com/when-to-break-fast-on-sankashta-chaturthi.php

    we can now share it

    Thanks, Vems for sharing the link.

    Reply

  10. Posted by Kavitha GuruRaghavendran on June 24, 2009 at 5:26 am

    Hi Meera,

    I do this Vratha and read the story every year. I feel it is absolutely wrog. Even if I tell this story to our next generation, they will ask somany questions. I myself ask “How can anybody marry a dead person?” Tell me how you managed your daughter doing this pooja ? I want to understand and know real reasons , importance of our tradition..Help me.

    Thanks.

    Hi Kavitha, Just yesterday while reading the post I wondered myself how anyone could marry a dead person. I sure will ask my Father who will help resolve this mystery.

    Reply

  11. Posted by Archana on June 24, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    hi meera after a long time iam visiting your blog but went thru all the previous ones u posted wonderful and thanks fo the info that u give on important occassions and especially ekadashi because i fast on ekadashi and i cannot read panchanga as i cannot read and write kannada.but u r there so no more asking or searching the calendars for the dates

    Thanks, Archana. I am so glad u were able to go through the previous posts.

    Reply

  12. Posted by Vidya on July 20, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Hi ! This is indeed a wonderful blog .Thank you very much.

    Is this by any chance my classfriend Archana who studied in Kumaran’s in Bangalore?

    Reply

  13. Posted by Nagu Rao on July 21, 2009 at 11:29 am

    Hi Meera,

    I enjoyed reading the legend of Bheemana Amavasye. Thank you for your write up on Madhwa customs and traditions.
    Love,
    Nagu Rao

    Reply

  14. Posted by Ram on July 22, 2009 at 6:06 am

    thank you for posting this detail. I wasn’t aware of such depth.

    upon reading this, i know my wife also reads your blog often, I asked a similar question:
    1. why would one marry a dead person – she answers, to get rid of my questions, that they were too many sisters, she married him at least to lessen some burden to her parents
    2. when she married, why did the king/queen leave a dead person in the forest with a lonely dead person’s wife? why not perform anthima samskaara to him? – my wife changed the topic – again to get rid of my questions :)

    ———–
    now, it makes sense for married woman to perform this pooja for her husband’s life, but why is it forced to the children? Sure, my 4 yr old daughter had the sacred thread tied to her wrist, but glad avalu yenu prashne kaeLalilla :)

    Ram, Deepa’s comment below should have clarified your doubts.

    Reply

  15. Posted by Deepa on July 22, 2009 at 8:00 am

    Hi All,

    Meera, thanks so much for this post! I found it today while doing the puja! :)

    Lots of questions here about the story. Please keep in mind that this may not be a 21st century story. It may just be a folklore.

    For all we know the story could have gone like this (modeling it based on other old fol lores) :) :p. We all need some imagination here. None of the older stories make sense otherwise. If you have heard the story of punyakoti, you can ask, how could a cow talk and sing and how could a tiger talk and commit suicide… So some things just have to be taken for what they are.

    There was a king and a queen and they had a son. The son was very ill and his horoscope suggested that the only way to make him better was by performing his marriage so that the stars of the wife influence his and this could heal him. He died all of a sudden one day and a sage told the king and the queen that per his horoscope he was not to die this early, so to get him married never the less. Hence the search for a girl began. (There are many stories that people were mistakingly assumed to be dead in old times due to lack of medical knowledge or whatever else, anyway, moving on)

    There was a very very poor couple in the kingdom with many children. They readily agreed to marry one of their daughters to the dead king. They got a lot of money for this in return and their family lived happily after that. They got their daughter married thinking that even if the prince is dead, she would still have the fortune of living the rest of her life in a palace.

    Now the girl however decides to do a penance to bring her husband, the prince back to life. She then goes to the forest and starts her penance with mud idols. Lord Shiva and Parvati are so sad with her state that they bring the prince back to life.

    From that day on, the day her husband came to life is celebrated as a festival and women everywhere ask God Shiva and Parvati that just like they helped heal a “dead’ man for the sake of his wife, they help the woman’s (who is performing the puja) husband also to have a great health, wealth (we cant exclude the wealth part in these days, can we?) and good fortune. They also pray to Shiva and Parvati to make their marital life as blissful as Shiva and Parvatis marital life :p

    Makes senses??? ;) Baat kuch hajam hui?? Else just take it with a pinch of salt. :p

    Enjoy! :D
    Cheers,
    Deepa

    Reply

    • Thank you for clarification, Deepa.
      Agreed, as you mentioned, many folk tales were narrated and as there is a saying in kannada “rushi moola nadhi moola kaeLabaradhu” [translate for english spkrs: “one shall not ask the origin of Sages and Rivers” ] – there may be any reasons for that saying but we end up clue less and follow what has been said.

      regarding “Punyakoti and Huli” – though we don’t about the accuracy of that tale, but certainly possible since the animals communicate too, I guess :)

      thank you
      R

      Reply

      • Posted by Deepa on July 27, 2009 at 11:05 am

        lol on animal communication :)

        Ram and Meera, the point I was trying to make is that the only way we can get our kids on board with the preachings of Hinduism and / or the importance of any function is if we interpret the religious functions and stories in a way that would make sense to them. So we can always tell our daughters that this puja is for a long and happy married life with whoever she gets married to in the future.

        And in order to have a happy and long married life, we are praying that she gets a good, healthy person to share her life with and once she finds that special someone, we are also praying now for the continued health and prosperity of that person so that both of them are happy ever after :p . That should make 100% sense to any gal in todays age or in any age.

        Best wishes,
        Deepa

        Meera: Deepa I never disagreed with your point in the first place. And so with your second point.

      • Posted by Rekha S Srinivasan on November 12, 2009 at 5:05 am

        hai

        animals do communicate, we all know. yet, something similar to that of punyakoti did happen in recent years. the only thing is that animals dont talk the way we humans do.

        click on this link to see it for yourself:

        anyway, deepa, ur justification to this story is really convincing and too good to be narrated or rather explained to children of the next generation. good, too good !!

        bye

        rekha

  16. Posted by meeraghu on July 22, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Deepa,
    Thanks so much for clarifying the story. It indeed is true every word you have said. We still read the old stories and try to retrofit it to this age, and it sure doesn’t make any sense at all.

    Thanks again.

    Reply

  17. Posted by Sashi on July 22, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    To clarify Ram’s 2nd question above, I remember hearing the story where in they do take the body for anthima samskara and as per the rituals then, the wife was also supposed to enter the pyre. They get ready for it and light the pyre but suddenly there is a heavy downpour of rain and everybody leaves because of the heavy rain and the fire dies and the wife is alive and left alone with the dead husband.

    Regarding the first question, I guess event then ppl did anything for money.

    Reply

  18. Posted by madhavi on July 24, 2009 at 12:18 am

    hi i am madhavi in my home bheemana amavase pooja is doing by deepas can u tell me whats the proceedure

    Madhavi, we do the pooja using the clay models. Not sure how to do with Deepas. Sorry.

    Reply

    • using deepa-sthamba (kamba?) is what I have noticed at home. one deepadha kamba for each person performing pooja, (not it was not lit, just an empty deepa), tie an arishina-kombu (turmeric root?) and thread with “n” number of knots to thread itself. perform the pooja and then take that thread (with turmeric root) and tie on pooja-karthru’s right wrist. –> well not sure if i translated it right.
      -R

      Meera: Thanks for sharing the info, Ram

      Reply

  19. Posted by madhavi on July 24, 2009 at 12:24 am

    hi this is first time i am seeing ur website can u tell what r things women has to do daily in shravana masa

    Madhavi, other than the festivals listed during Shravana Masa, I am not sure there is anything special to do. Of course, you can fast on Shravana months during Monday, Saturday. No eating Onion or Garlic and other items during these festivals. Thats all I do.

    Reply

  20. Hi Meera
    Wow! This is a treasure trove of information. I am especially thrilled with the english translations since i dont read kannada. Need a clarification on the Gandana Pooje. As per my mom, this pooje is only for unmarried girls. Married women do Mangala Gowri puja for husband s health, wealth and prosperity. Just wanted to check with you if this tradition is limited to Bangalore /Mysore part of Karnataka? I do miss the gandana pooje though after my wedding :(

    Would it be possible for you to publish the Mangala gowri puja vidhana & lyrics in english please? (when you have the time).

    Thanks you very much for the tons and tons of inspiring information.

    Chitra, not sure if it is Bangalore or Mysore tradition. But, we perform the Gandana Pooje for 9 years after marriage. As far as Mangala Gowri Vrata, I don’t have the book. I might have given it to someone in B’lore after I did the pooje for 5 years. It is 18 years since my marriage, so you can imagine :)

    Reply

  21. Posted by Aishwarya on July 30, 2009 at 6:32 am

    Hi Meera

    thanks a lot for the info!….I am a tamil iyengar but married to a madhva deshastha marati and was asked to do this pooja as it our first year after marriage and it is in their traditions!…I did not have a clue on how to perform it and I was so glad that I saw your post!….

    Your work is much appreciated as I got ‘kudos’ from my in-laws for doing it!….

    Also I would like to ask about the Mangala Gowri Puja which needs to be done on Tuesday’s this month as I dont have any info regarding it i am finding it difficult to perform this puja.

    I would be very grateful if you could do a post on how to do this puja

    Aish

    Hi Aishwarya, I am glad you were able to perform the pooja. As far as Mangala Gowi Puja, it has been almost 18 years since my marriage, and with all the travel not sure where the book is? Sorry about that.

    Reply

  22. Posted by Deeksha on December 20, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Hi,

    Nice read. But I have a question: Do we have to fall at our husband’s feet and take his blessings before and after performing the puje?

    Since I did it for the first time, I did not do either. However when I visited my sister in laws, things were a whole lot different. The custom was completely different in her family.

    She washed her husband’s feet with water, showered flowers on his feet and showed agarbathi on his feet. And then, she bowed down to his feet.

    Now is that necessary?

    Thanks,
    Deeksha

    Reply

    • Posted by meeraghu on December 21, 2010 at 9:18 pm

      Deeksha,
      My Husband doesn’t like me doing any of these things. So, I don’t do it. It depends on you and your Husband, so I don’t think anyone can dictate what needs to be done.

      Reply

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