In the last few years, we have tried to document different festivals that we celebrate along with recipes that are very close to us. Here is one very important celebration which is very important to us.
Monsoon marks the beginning of many festivities in our part of the country. With pouring rain, we can see beautiful greenery everywhere in the beautiful Konkan coast. This also marks the beginning Â of Shraavan month (maas). Married G.S.B. ladies celebrate Choodi pooja on all Sundays of this month every year. Shraavan is the most auspicious month for us. This pooja is a pooja of nature and the Sun god. It is firmly believed that it satisfies the Sun god and the nature. It is an occasion where pooja is done in every home and then the choodi is offered to other married ladies in the community. A choodi is a bunch prepared with different plants and flowers.
While forming the choodi (bunch) we use many plants and flowers which are easily available in this season in the garden. Everyone uses different plants/flowers in their choodis. Here I am going to specify the ones I use. These are named differently in different places by people. We use the following plants, these all are local Konkani names – dhirmankur (durve or garike), maad, Sita chavari, vaganangut (majra nangut), aarati, mandri, amshe phool, udka dentu, paarijaat leaf etc. We also use different flowers in the choodi. Some of them are paarijaat, tera phool, ratnagandhi, karaveer etc. All these plants are said to have medicinal values.
We bring all of them together to form a bunch whichÂ is called as choodi. These are tied in paarijaat leaf. We usually form fifteen choodis. Choodi is offered with paana veedo(veelya – betel leaves and areaca nut).
Here is how I celebrate choodi pooja. Everyone has their own ways depending on what they have been following for generations –
On Shravan Sunday, after taking bath, I keep these choodis on two banana leaves in our devakoodi(god’s room) after applying gandh(sandlewood paste), turmeric paste and kumkum. I decorate these choodis with flowers.
Some people prepare some sweets for naivedya(offering). We were using sugar and ghee earlier. These days I use only fruits for naivedya. I worship choodis with agarbatti(insence sticks) and aarati. I offer akshatas(rice mixed with kumkum) to these and pray to god.
After pooja , I take them to Tulsi vrindavan/katte infront of our home. I worship them again, do pradakshinas to Tulsi and offer aarati and akshatas to Sun god. I pray the Sun god and nature.
I offer choodi to Sri Tulsi, Sun god, kalpavriksha (coconut tree), jaladevata (water well) and main door (hostilu). I offer to Kuladevata(family god).
After wearing it myself I offer them to elders in the house and distribute them to other married women in the community.
13 thoughts on “Choodi Pooja – A pooja of Sun and Nature”
Thanks so much for this post. In todays hectic life and metro culture with cross community marriages, it gets difficult to pass on the appropriate manner of traditon.
Though North Canara nd South Canara, etc have their own variants of Choodi Pooja, what remains common is the reason and the conduct of the pooja. I was told that the pooja is done with wild flowers since Sita used the same when she was under Vanvaas. Completely welcome this move of sharing customs alongwith recipes.
Very interesting. I have never heard of any pooja like this. I love how colourful this looks!
Every region of our Bharat has such marvelous rituals where Nature,Eesvara & humans come together to colour & harmonize our lives.
This underlying unity of Bharat & Bharatis is unique only to our great land Bharatavarsha.
It is indeed sad that today we Hindus are forgetting our ageless spiritual traditions- the worshipping of the sacred Tulasi plant & trees,wearing of sarees & kumkum on the forehead & worshipping of deities with flowers in temples.Let us try to revive these beautiful practices that lie at the root of our Sanatana Dharma-the eternal religion.
Sarvo Sukhino Bhavantu!
Choodi pooja is new to me. I grew up in Bangalore, but never heard of this divine pooja.
Thank you so much for sharing so many great recipes and info about festivals…
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Thank u for sharing such nice ritual.
I belong to Konkan region but I have never heard of this Pooja,
nice article ! We at mangalore perform chudi pooja both on friday and sunday! may such taditional practices continue spreading its sanctity!
Thanks Varada for the post. The pics are very informative & colorful. Agree with Manasi, there are different regions follow different traditions however, the essence is the same. This sharing of traditions is really appreciated.
We perform the Choodi pooja, on all Fridays & Sundays of Shravan. After my marriage, my MIL (bless her) told me to start with only Sundays, since I was a working woman. We make a bunch with flowers and 11nos (3-leaf or 5-leaf) durvankur. After having a headbath in the morning, we perform the pooja. During the pooja, we first keep all the choodis in front of the Goddess and perform the pooja. Then we offer the naivedya of a sweet, even a bowl of sugar is ok. Then we offer 1 choodi at the door entrance and then to Tulsi. For the pooja, we first keep a choodi at the goddess’s feet, one by one and apply haldi-kumkum then show the arati and agarbatti and bow to take blessings. These ‘pujile’ choodi is then offered to 5 elderly married ladies. Of course, you can give it to more ladies too. Some also go to the local temple to offer the choodi to all the Goddesses there. The naivedya is then distributed to all. A choodi is to be offered alongwith paan-vido i.e 2 betel leaves and 2 betel nuts. A newly married lady is given a gift by her elders for her first choodi.
On my maternal side (they are North Kanara), a choodi pooja is done till a lady has 5 elderly married ladies, usually MIL, mother, Aunt-in-laws and aunts, to offer the choodi. They also have ‘vayana pooja’ to be done on Hartalika day. However, if their 5 elders get widowed or expire, the ladies can discontinue the choodi pooja. But my In-laws side (from South Kanara), only have the choodi pooja and not the vayana pooja.
Very nice article! The GSBs in Goa too would celebrate this, known as “Aytaar pujap”. I doubt if the modern women do it any longer.
It took me back to the days when my mother did this puja using a banana leaf, and on it would be placed a leaflet of the coconut leaf weaved in the shape of a figure eight, Flowers, durva etc would be offered to it. Naivedya would be of cooked rice and jaggery. At sunset we kids would have the pleasure of ringing the ‘ghanta’ for the ceremony of “aytaar paavap” – (seeing off) which my mother would do. I wish I had clicked a picture for posterity 🙁
I love all the important details about konkani traditions you supply in your blog. It is really well put together.
Everytime I open your blog I am taken down memory lane.I spent long summers at my grandparents home in Bhatkal growing up. It was a joint family then and there would be more than 20 kids at one time. It was the best time of my life. Carefree, full of innocence, abundant joy. Our family still gets together there. Now our nieces and nephews share the same camaraderie.
Very useful procedure .
Your paper and pics on Choodi Pooja is Excellent –
Many thanks –
goodwishes and My your Readership Increase .
Trikannad Rajkumar -Chennai
we saurashtri Palkar also wish to commence the aytaar choodi puja since we related to sun god worship.
Nice ceremony we saurashtri Palkar are sungod WORSHIPPERS.