Indian weddings are always a gala affair with all the pomp and show. It is not only the marriage of a girl and a boy but also of the two families together. A traditional Hindu wedding celebration can continue for seven days with a lot of pre-wedding rituals and post-wedding celebrations.
Every ritual performed in an Indian wedding has a definitive meaning and reason attached to it. However, most of the rituals are performed with the faith and hope that the communion would last not only one but all the seven lifetimes. One such ritual is to offer prayers to Goddess Gauri which is popularly known as Gauri Pooja/ Gauri Poojan or Gaurihar Pooja. This pooja is of great importance in any Hindu marriage. It is a pre-wedding ritual that takes place at the bride’s house where she offers prayers to Goddess Gauri. This pooja is performed with immense devotion and respect towards the Goddess to seek her divine blessings for a better and flourishing future.
Goddess Gauri symbolizes fertility, motherhood and the triumph of good over evil. She is the manifestation of Shakti, who is the most powerful and the greatest mother of the entire universe. She is the energy and the power with which the world is conceived, preserved and would be destroyed. Goddess Gauri and Lord Shiva, her consort, is considered as the ideal couple by Hindus as per the Vedic culture. They are often worshipped as Ardhanarishvara, which denotes both as a single entity, signifying the ultimate mental, emotional and physical unification between the two of them.
By praying to the Goddess, the bride seeks her blessings for divine love and greater prosperity in her own life to have a blissful and long marital life. She also prays to have any obstacles removed from her way and to have similar strengths as the Goddess herself.
The way in which the ritual is performed or followed in Hindu weddings varies with the different regions. In other words, the Gauri Pooja performed in a North Indian wedding would be different from a South Indian wedding. However, the objective with which the prayer is offered remains the same everywhere.
Hindu weddings are an amalgamation of age old traditions and cultures that signifies the strong and rich heritage of the country as well as the religion. An Indian wedding in all its grandeur is a treat to enjoy and a great event to experience.