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 6th 2013
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). Find links to various rangoli (ರಂಗವಲ್ಲಿ) here:
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.