kedAra (gauri) vratam History of deepavali
KedhAra Gowri vradham familiarly known as dIpAvaLi (Diwali) is celebrated throughout India in a grand manner. Without Caste creed, rich - poor differences people obeserve this festival. Infact very few people know that it is one of the important Saivite vratas. Brungi rishi is a great Shiva bhaktha. When he prays to Lord, he prays only to Lord Shiva and ignores Shakti. Angered by his act Shakti devi removed the energy from his body. He was not able to stand. He prayed to Lord Shiva. God gave him a stick to support his body. Shakti wanted to become part of Lord's body. She observed the kEdhAra vrata, one of Gods favorite vratas. Pleased by Her austerities God gave the left part of His body to shakti and became ardha nArIshwara(1). The vrata is then called kEdhAra gaurI vrata since Gowri observed it. When observed
This kedhara vratam is observed for twenty one days starting from shukla paxa aShTami (Eighth moonday in its growing phase) in the month of purattAchi (mid Sep to mid Oct). The final day (dIpAvaLi) also should be observed in great devotion. How to observe this vratam mantras to perform this pUja (pUja vidhAnam)
Install Lord kedhArIshvara svAmi in a filled pot (kalasham). Make a roof (manTapa) above the kalasham. Make vrata threads - 21 fibers having 21 knots. The 16 courtesy worship has to be done for 21 days starting from the purattAchi shukla paxa dasami to aipachi amarapaxa chaturdashi (dIpAvaLi) or amAvAsya. On the culmination day (21st) in a clean decorated area devotionally install the kalasham over the grains spread in a banana leaf and offer various food and fruits to the Lord as offering and donate to others. Glory
The glory of this vratam is very splendid as shri gauri devi observed this vratam in full devotion and got to be in half the body of Lord Shiva !! viShNu became Lord of vaikunta observing this vratam. braHma got hamsa vehicle, the guards of the eight directions got rid of the bane they got from braHma, bhagyavati and puNyavati got lots of wealth all due to the glory of this vratam. One who observes this vratam with devotion pleases Lord shiva.
the 'Gowri puja' that is performed by young unmarried girls spoecially in Tamil Nadu, andhra pradesh, maharastra and karnataka states in india...
what is gowri puja?
from a tender age of six, hindu girls are taught to pray to Goddess Gauri in the following manner...
" Waving branches and bringing garlands of sandalwood,Gauri comes.You keep the garland and just give me suhag." (suhag or swbhagyam means marital bliss)
why pray to goddess gauri?
"The origin of everything in the Universe is the Divine Mother. She has several celestial forms like Raja Rajeshwari, Gowri etc.,
Rukmini and Seetha also performed Gowri Puja. The splendor of the Mother is beyond the description of words. The specks of Kumkum are inseparable. A fist full of Kumkum are countless in number. Each such speck has crores of forms. Each such form has three aspects. Such is the limitless splendor and magnanimity of the Mother."
sita performed gowri puja every day when she was in king janaka's house and it is believed it was beacause of this puja she was able to get a handome , magnificent husband like shri ramaachandra...
it seems goodess Gauri herself performed a kedarvrata ( worship of lord shiva) and was able to win the hand of Gauri-shankar after severe tapasya..
in maharastra and in andhra, before the wedding rites, girls agian perform gauri pooja to thank the goddess for answering her prayers and finding her a suitable bridegroom just like shiva and also ask for blessings...
who is gauri? gauri is none other than parvati...
"Parvati [has] her complexion made lighter, to please her light- skinned husband; she does this by sloughing off her old dark persona (the man-eating Kali, who disappears conveniently into the Vindhya mountains until she is needed again) and returning as Gauri, the Golden Girl--the pretty wife, the acceptable consort."
the bride first worships goddess gauri with 'sindoor' (kumkum) and then later during the wediing ceremony, the groom fills up the parting in the bride's hair with the same sindoor blessing the bride with eternal marital bliss... (sowbhagya)
goddess gauri represents purity and austerity. She is the Kanya (young, unmarried) Parvati who had undergone severe penance in order to get Lord Shiva as her husband.
why is gauri considered a perfect wife? she was an aryan princess who married an ascetic husband and totally merged with him , adopting his lifestyle and adjusting to his 'ways.'
Sarva mangala mangalaye ( shive sarva artha (wealth), sadhike sharanye trayambke (multi-formed), gauri narayani namostute!
SALUTATIONS TO Gauri, the lbright complexioned one . in all her auspicious multi-forms! grant me nobility and grant me wealth! to a such a divine mother, my salutations... grant me eternal bliss!