Choodi Puja is one of the unique traditions GSB Sumangali (Married women) followed in Shravana. It is worshipping the Sun god and holy Tulsi plant. Being away from home, we miss celebrating choodi puja with family and seeking their blessings. The “Amhi Ek Kutumbh” team created the ‘Samuhika Choodi’ pooja celebration to carry on our traditions. It started in 2022 and will be continued every year, we hope.
This year, it was celebrated on Sunday, 27th August 2023, @ The Australian Hindu Multicultural Association in Marsden Park, Sydney. This event was well organized under the leadership of Smt. Kamakshi Shenoy, Shri. Hemant Nayak Benne and the entire AEK team of Volunteers Ladies of all age groups participated in this puja.
Under the guidance of Smt. Kamakshi Shenoy, the Samuhika pooja was conducted as below,
- Started with lighting lamp in front of Tulsi,
- Followed by offering Haldi Kumkum flowers,
- Then Abhishek was performed to Surya – 5 times facing east direction.
- Also, Pour water five times to Tulsi by each lady and pradakshina.
- Then all the choodis (in odd numbers) with Veedo’s were kept near the Tulsi katte.
- Naivedya was offered to Tulsi by all ladies.
- Then everyone offered Lhayii (since it was Ekadashi on that day, puffed rice was offered instead of rice) to Surya and Tulsi 5 times while taking pradakshina.
- Tulsi arti was sung with performing arti using incense sticks.
Also, the Tulsi mantra was chanted by everyone.
“Thulasi shree sakhi shubhe, papa haarini punyade,
Namasthe Naradanuthe, Namo Narayana priye.”
- Later, one choodi and veedo were kept near Tulsi while all other choodis were placed back in the poleru, and all ladies walked towards the main entrance for the Dwara pooja.
- Aarti was performed at the main entrance of the temple hall, with one choodi being kept by each lady and entering the hall by placing the right foot first.
- Then, offered choodi to the deity.
- Finally, aarti was performed to the god in the sanctum sanctorum.
After puja, Veedo was offered to respective husbands, choodi was exchanged between all the ladies and blessings were sought.
A lot of detailing and effort were put in to ensure all these rituals were conducted according to our traditions, with all ladies and men actively involved in each preparation.
On the day, Ladies volunteered to be a part of multiple groups associated with the preparations for this puja as below,
Tulsi Katte was beautifully decorated by Meghana Kamath, Deepti Nayak Benne, Rajashree Shenoy, Gouri Pandit Pai, Ramya Kini, Deepa Bhandary, and Renuka Mahale.
Traditional Rangoli done by Ashwini Kamath Mahale, Anita Nayak Prabhu, Priyanka Shanbhag, Shubha Shenoy, Rasika Kini, Ashwini Mallya and Nandini Kamath.
Other setup was done By Lakshmi Pai, Akshaya Shenoy, Namrata Kamath, Swathi Prabhu, Priya Hegde, Smitha Kamath, Archana Kamath and Pavitra.
Men actively looked after the food department, and a few also captured beautiful moments throughout the celebration. Adarsh Shanbhag managed his Drone to capture amazing clips from a decent height; Chidanand Nayak and Vaman Hegde took many video shots, and Naveen Shenoy did photography.
Heartfelt thanks to our sponsors ‘Shri Dhabha Shri Parathas, at Blacktown’ and ‘Bake n Flake, Vegetarian Bakery at Parklea Markets in Sydney.
To conclude, all the efforts by the AEK team and everyone participating made this event a grand success. We look forward to such Samuhika celebrations in the future as well.
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