Grah Shanti Puja
A marriage in India and more so in Hinduism is not only between the couple but also a union between two the families. To see that the marriage is full of happiness and goodwill there are many rituals. These rituals also bring an understanding between the couple and the parents but also open the door for some enjoyment and interaction. Grah Shanti is one of the most important ritual undertaken 2 or 3 days before the marriage.
Purpose: The main purpose is to bring peace in the House and invoke blessings of Lord Ganesha. It is well known that the 9 planets or Navgrah play an important role in the life of an individual or family. Grah Shanti is one of the ritual which enables to avoid the ill effects of the planets. It is also a platform to invite the elders, the ancestors and the parents to grace the ceremonies and bless the couple. The ceremony can be performed in either of the house or in both the houses but generally it is performed in the groom ‘s house where the bride will live after marriage.
The Venue is chosen keeping in mind the auspicious time and date . Depending upon the traditions generally the ritual is not performed on Tuesday but this is negotiated in today’s world. It is important that the Pandit or the performer of the Pooja conducts the ceremony in a Vedic way and through proper chanting of Shlokas and Mantras. The samagari selected viz Coconut, Pure Ghee,Pure Water, Kumkum, Rice, Abir Gulal Dhoop Agarbatti Leaves of Ashok or Mango tree Haldi Gur (Jaggery) and Kalash are of good quality and in adequate quantity and pure.
The selected House or venue is decorated with flowers and welcome rangoli is displayed at the entrance and wherever else required.A Murti of Lord Ganesh is placed in the selected auspicious corner. The guests and others are greeted with mangal geet and bhajans/ mantras and blowing of the conch. The couple when entering the house amid chants sees that the male enters first with the right leg in front followed by bride with left leg in front.Both need to pay obeisance at the statue of Bhagwan Ganesh. The entire House including the Kitchen is well decorated and pooja is done in each of the room and places to be used. The Kitchen is to be equipped with fresh vegetables, fruit, mithai(sweets) and milk. These are considered as elements of good and auspicious value. When the pooja or ritual is over freshly made prasadam is placed before Bhagwan Ganesh followed by dinning in of the Pandit and others who perform the pooja. The family members later join the lunch.It is considered good if some poor people are invited and gracefully served the lunch. Food is separately kept for domestic animals like Cow. The entire Pooja will definitely bring good vibe, fortune and understanding in the family.
In Hinduism Black and white colored clothes are avoided on the auspicious occasion. Preferred colors are orange,red or cream. The dress should be loose and comfortable looking to the need of the Pooja which involves sitting and getting up a numbers of times besides heat and smoke at the occasion. This code is applicable to all including the bride and groom. The bride has to be careful about wearing tight fitted clothes as they are generally not comfortable at such poojas.
As already discussed above, this ritual and pooja besides helping the couple to know each other well in a family way, it also helps in getting the blessings of the God as well as ancestors, parents and relations and friends. It negates the ill effect of the planets and works as a protection against the evil eye. It is a good and healthy way to enter a new life.
By : Suresh Mandan