Festival - Jeevthi Pooja in Sravan Sukruvar
How to make a traditional cotton garland | kapus vastraThe images below give the steps for making this vastra. Why do we use a cotton garland for images of Gods. In temples we would have observed that the deity has a vastra or cloth adorning Him or Her. At home , symbolically we represent a vastra or new cloth decorating the image of God. This is a simple and practical way of performing "vastram dharana " . Nutana vastra in Telugu according to my mother, meaning new vastra. It is easy to adorn a vastra in the form of a garland to God at home because what we have are photos at home and not idols. So this humble offering to God. For Jivathi Puja we do not change the vastra but add one above the other every Friday for the entire Sravan month.
Cotton without seeds is readily available in shops where they sell Puja related items. The cotton is stretched . We can apply vibuthi on our fingers and stretch the cotton gently but firmly, this comes with practice. Then twist the cotton at regular intervals to form spheres of cotton. Kumkum mixed in water is applied between the spheres to decorate the garland ( For Ganpati kapus vastra we use turmeric powder mixed in water ).
At both ends of the garland , cotton pieces dipped in kumkum mixed with water or milk. This is to facilitate sticking of the cotton garland to the image of God.
Neivedhiyam is mainly fruits, kheer.
Rice and gram dhal kheer
- Kheer with rice and gram dhal can be offered.
- Fry rice and gram dhal separately with a little ghee
- For one cup rice take quarter cup gram dhal
- Mix them and cook in a pressure cooker
- In a vessel add half a cup jaggery and cardamom powder in little water and heat
- When the jaggery melts, add the cooked rice and gram dhal and stir well
- We can add grated coconut and that is optional
- When the kheer is cooked and ready , remove from the stove
- Add fried cashew nuts , fried in ghee to the kheer.
- Naivedyam is ready
- The mother performing the pooja prays to Goddess to take care of all her children where ever they are.
- Then she performs aarti to all her children ( and grand children) irrespective of their age. Finally aarti with camphor is done to Jeevathi.
- A beautiful tradition that ensures that the mother-children bonding lasts for ever.
- An elderly lady is invited, thamboolam is offered to her and the mother takes her blessings.
- This pooja is performed by many ladies throughout their lives.
- They do it with joy and out of love and affection for their children.