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Godh Bharai – Indian Baby Shower

Godh bharai is a baby shower celebrated during pregnancy to welcome the unborn baby to the family and bless the mother-to-be with abundant joys of motherhood. In Hindi, godh bharai literally means to ‘fill the lap’ with abundance. In Bengal it is known as shaad, in Kerala, seemandham and in Tamil Nadu it is called valakappu.

Godh Bharai - Indian Baby Shower Arya Samaj Mandir

Godh Bharai – Indian Baby Shower in Arya Samaj Mandir

Thereafter, she is asked to sit on a chair with the sari’s ‘palla’ in her godh (lap). The mother, sister and sisters-in-law of the groom dress up the girl, with jewelry, bangles, cosmetics, etc. Then, along with all the other female members of the family, they apply tikka on her forehead and place gifts in the godh (lap) of the would-be-bride, on top of her palla. While giving gifts, they bless her, asking God to bless the couple with a long and happy married life. After receiving the gifts, the girl touches the feet of all the elder females. They also feed her sweets.

Godh Bharai ceremony is held in India, in the seventh month of pregnancy of an expectant female. This ceremony takes place at the matrimonial home of the woman. Just like the previous ceremony, this one is also held only the female family members of the would-be-father and the would-be-mother. The expectant woman is dressed just like a bride, complete with the jewelry, make up and everything. Thereafter, she is asked to sit on a chair/sofa and place her ‘palla’ in her godh (lap).

Now, starts the Godh Bharai ceremony. All the women attending the ceremony place a gift they have, for the would-be-mother or her baby, in her godh and then apply a tika on her forehead. After that, they feed her sweets & khichri, of rice, moong daal and til, cooked in desi ghee. The mother of the woman also gives her daughter, gifts for her husband as well as in-laws. Then, they whisper something auspicious in her ear – usually their blessings. She thanks all the elder woman by touching their feet. Last but not the least; they celebrate the impending arrival of the child by singing and dancing.

Vastu and Griha Pravesh Pooja

Griha Pravesh is also called Vastu. The complete ritual takes six to seven hours. Early in the morning, Vastu pooja for Vastu devata is performed outside the house before the actual entry into the house.

During Vastu puja, a kumbh (copper pot, as in the Bhoomi puja) is consecrated through worship out side the house. The Vastu pooja is undertaken to expiate the sins that could have been committed by the owners of the house during construction.

After completing the Vastu and Kumbh pooja, the copper pot is taken inside the house by the husband and wife to a place where havan and various poojas take place. In the ritual inside the house different poojas like, pooja of sun, pooja of lamp, Ganpathi pooja, Pooja of the Kul devta, pooja of four directions, showering (abhishek) of the couple with water, Lakshmi pooja and Homa are all done.

This pooja is concluded by distributing peanuts, dry fruits and pede- a kind of sweet made of milk, as prasad. Finally the guests are fed. On the eve of the graha pravesh, vastubali is performed inside the house.

This is a pooja performed by a priest who is not a member of the family. It consists of Ganapathi pooja, Punyaha and Vastubali homa. These are done to appease the gods and propitiate them.

Every Pooja begins with invoking Lord Ganesha and then the specialized moola mantra japam and other rituals help the Vedic Bramhin assigned the task to achieve your hearts desire through your sankalpam (your wish is conveyed at the fire ritual ceremony).

Purity of panchang (almanac) and auspicioustime (muhurat) must be considered during the griha pravesh.

Three types of griha pravesh have been mentioned in our ancient scriptures:

Apoorva: First entry to newly constructed house on a newly selected land is called apoorva (new) griha pravesh.

Sapoorva: Entry into an already existing house after travelling abroad or migration elsewhere is called sapoorva griha pravesh.

Dwandwah: Entry into a house to after reconstruction or renovation subsequent to damage due to fire, flood or earthquake, is termed as dwandwah (old) griha pravesh.

For apoorva griha pravesh, the exact auspicious time need to be adhered to. For sapoorva griha pravesh or dwandwah griha pravesh, the purity of the panchang should be given due consideration.

Yagyopavit Upanayana Sanskar

The Upnayan sanskar (Yahyopavit Sanskar) denotes the rising of Man’s consciousness towards God.The sacred thread ceremony is very significant in the life of a Hindu man.In Indian culture its an taking pledge to lead disciplines, dignified spiritual life.

After Yagyopaveet , the child left his Home saying goodbye to all relatives who had gathered for this Goodbye.It indeed gives “new birth” to a person.His life would change. Discipline would then become the center point of his life.The child went to his Guru’s place and learn the art of living and develop vision to see things in a proper way and to know what is ‘wrong’ and what is ‘right’. Therefore, Upnayan is essential to handle household life.

The twist in the thread symbolizes strength and honesty. Gayatri Mantra is given to the child who promises to lead a good human life as per the rules of Vedas.This shikha is placed at a point, which is very important for positive impact of yoga and meditation.

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