Jivathi Pooja Shravan Shukravar Puja

An important festival celebrated Sravan month for the welfare of children is Jivthi Puja or Jivathi Pooja 
Festival - Jeevthi Pooja in Sravan Sukruvar

This Pooja is performed mainly in Western India in Maharastra. Jeevathi literally means life.  Since She gives life She is worshipped on all Fridays of Sravan month. 

Pictures of Jeevathi are available.  Pooja is performed by decorating with garlands made from cotton and from betel leaves.

 While the betel leaf garland is changed the cotton garlands are added one above the other every week.

How to make a traditional cotton garland | kapus vastra 

The 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

Jivati Pooja 
  •  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.
How to make a simple betel leaf garland ( vettrilai malai )

Betel leaf garland can be made using a banana stem fibre ( vazhai naaru ) or a string on which turmeric powder is applied.  The betel leaves are placed on the string and stapled.  The number of leaves depends upon the size of Jeevthi Maa photo.  Some prefer to have odd number of leaves in the garland.


Jivati Puja decoration - betel leaf garland 

Since we live in Tamil Nadu we naturally adopt certain traditions and customs of Tamil Nadu and bring them in festivals .  So we invariably draw a traditional rangoli design with lines and kaavi or geru border to signify that a festival is being celebrated.  Once such traditional rangoli with lines is shown in the picture below.

Jivathi Pooja katha
To make a long story short in the beginning itself - the story is like this .  A poor lady gave birth to a male child and that child was taken away by the midwife to the king's palace and grew up as the prince.  The real mother vowed to perform Puja for the welfare of her son ( though she did not know who he was and where he was ) during the month of Shravan on all Fridays or  Sukravar to Jivathi Mayee ( Mother Jivathi - Jivathi means one who gives life ) .  After performing the Puja she sprinkled akshata ( rice mixed with kumkum or turmeric powder ) in the air praying that it blessed  her son where ever he lived .   Today we know that due to various reasons children settle in various parts of the country or various parts of the world .  So mothers perform this Puja for the welfare of their children praying to Jivathi Maa to take care  of her children ( and grand children )

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