a house to a home.. an intimate Graha Pravesh ceremony

I enter this home with a kumbha
fill it with the ambrosia and anoint
all those who drink of this heavenly water
and protect this home
I enter this hose to dwell
— Atharva Veda 3.13.7-9. 5000 BC
Mango leaves & rose colored Arali

Mango leaves & rose colored Arali

The Hindu scriptures describe a series of procedures that prescribe the fountainhead of happiness is the home, and a house is christened a new house is converted to a home with a Graha Pravesh ceremony (house-warming ceremony).

“whatever you believe on the inside is what you manifest on the outside” - anonymous

— The Fountainhead of happiness is the home. Happiness is fulfilling the space inside - the gratification of the soul. Our ancestors believe, our scriptures prescribe the quality of a home define a human beings foundation characteristics - kindness, humility, fairness, generosity, tolerance, patience, being a pillar of strength to each other and helping each other reach our ultimate potential.

Of course there are exceptions and also the lesser talked about fact that our very soul describes our being, this is a topic i will save for another one of my posts.

the Graha Pravesh ceremony is a consolidation of rites invoking the blessings of various deities with special offerings and chants performed on an auspicious date and time, determined by the astrological charts. I do not intend to be getting into very great detail but with this blog I wish to highlight some of the prominent rites performed, I do hope my learned readers will bring to light some aspects I may have missed and excuse me if I have been unable to give a completely accurate description.

My family recently attended a Graha Pravesh ceremony of a very dear friend hailing from the South of India, Iyers to be specific, high up in the lofty Blue Mountains.

All wrapped up in woolies in the wee hours of the morning, bobbing and sliding down the smooth mountain roads passing by small hamlets, tea slopes & hers of Indian Gaur and thick clumps of indigenous Shola Forests opening up to the valley in which their new home is nestled.
We were received by the women, clad in fine Pattu Silk Sarees and the men in Veshtis (a cream coloured fine cotton below the waist wrap around with a solid stripe with gold work border).
In India, the Graha Pravesh ritual is regarded second in importance only to the wedding ceremony.

Mango leaves from the garden, rose coloured Arali flowers strung up at the door mantle with fragrant mulla & cox-comb garlands on either side of the entrance, the whiffs of delicate Mallika incense - the floor adorned with a traditional kolam, an integral greeting to a festive home.
The rangoli at the entrance is made from rice powder and drawn around a grid of a 108 dots that serve as the skeleton structure of the Kolam.

Among the Graha Pravesh rituals & ceremonies are the Vaastu puja, the Ganapathi fire Homam, the milk boiling over ritual signifying purity and long life, the coconut breaking ritual to clear all obstacles, the white Pumpkin - evil eye ritual, the chants invoking Goddess Lakshmi for prosperity & to Gow Maata - the Goddess of peace and fertility and the sprinkling of Kalash Kumbam water in the house.

The Poojari (Priest) chats various mantras while performing the various rites with selected members of the family (owners of the house) and their parents (elders) performing different rites.

Ghee, rice, flowers and a combination of a certain number of herbs.
Tamara, malikka, arali, tulsi, chandan, are some of the very very few names that i know..

I will be posting more on these herbs in my future post. so until then these photos and videos should serve as a great introduction into this very auspicious ceremony of a house to a home... and the rest to Destiny 

 

PHOTO CREDITS  Rupa Kumar
all rights reserved 

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Rupa Kumar

a memory Curator for travellers by profession, a passionate photographic Stylist, a believer in the bountiful Indian heritage, nature being the soul of our civilisation - her forests, her coasts, her rivers, her mountains - an inspiration to our ancestors for time immemorial. This was the fount of our arts, culture, music and religion. --- i write with the ardent hope to invigorate inspiration in this very soul - nature - in readers worldwide.