Today is Amavasya (New Moon Day) of the month Ashada of Hindu Calendar, also the last day of the month. It is believed to be the day Lord Shiva was overcome by the devotion of Goddess Parvati and accepted her as his wife. It is celebrated as Bhimana Amavasya in Karnataka (and many other states). It is also referred to as Pati Sanjeevini Vrata or also as Jyothi Bhimeshwara Vrata. It is celebrated for the well being of all the males in a family.
Traditionally, two lamps are made of Red Clay (supposed to be made of Kalikamba) or Thambittu (Wheat Flour) – one symbolizing Lord Shiva and another Goddess Paravati who is considered the Supreme Mother and every other Devis as a form of Parvati. They are first installed on grains (typically Rice) facing east
The Puja starts going by tying a Turmeric Root to the right lamp (one on the right as we face) that signifies Parvati. The puja installation also has Surya (Sun), Chandra (Moon) and Kumbha (Pot).
The lamps are then lit and 9 stranded Gejje Vastra, Gandha (or Sandal) is an essential offering used in this puja. The tambula includes 9 Betel leaves and 9 Betel Nuts (Bettada adike) and a coconut
Gowri dara (also called Rakshe) or Thread smeared with Turmeric paste (9 stranded with 9 knots for Married and 5 stranded with 5 knots for the unmarried) is placed along with Samagri. Granthi puja – for each Strand a puja is performed with an offering, which is subsequently tied by females of the family around their wrists.
Please note that there are variations depending on the region & family practices to the above
After the mandatory Ashotttara Puja of Lord Ganesh (to remove any obstacles), Lord Shiva & Parvathi is worshipped. Uma Maheshwara Ashtottara puja is performed and the Gowri dara is tied around the wrists.
Naivedya includes Karjura (Dates), Cosambari & other usual fruits. Traditional Kadubu filled with coins, staple food grains, & dry fruits is prepared (It is called Bandhara or Treasure Chest) to signify the wealth. Post puja this is placed on either side of the Threshold (Hosilu) and crushed with their elbows by the males of the family to signify abundant flow of material and spiritual wealth into the home.
Wife performs an Arati to her husband for health and long life.
And then is the much awaited part of the festival – the food. Here is what was on offer at home today.
Items: Chitranna (Lemon Rice), Cosambari, Groundnut Chutney Pudi, Midi Uppinakayi (Tender Mango Pickles), Appala (Pappad), Majjige Menasinakayi (Fried Curded Chilly), Hoorna Saaru (Rasam), Kaayi Holige (Obbattu)
(Now you know the secret of my figure)
The most important part is Jyothi Bhimeshwara Katha Shravana after the lunch. You can read the legend behind this festival and the story here (click on the link)
The holy month of Shravana begins tomorrow. May Lord Shiva’s blessings be showered in abundance on everyone. It is also launches month long Shravan maasa Rudra Pujas & Satsangs by the Art of Living Pundits (founded by His Holiness Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar) in various locations.
My friend Sindhu (@agnyaa on Twitter) has also blogged on Bhimana Amavasya
||Mrityunjaya Rudraya Neelakanthaya Sambhave
Amriteshaya Sarvaya Mahadevaya The Namaha||