SPECIAL UTSAVAS & TRADITIONS
SHREE KATYAYANIBANESHWAR TEMPLE AVERSA
01. Navami Palaki Utsav
This utsav is held on the ninth day of both the bright half and dark half of every month. (Navami of Shukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha) except in the months of Ashada, Shravana and Bhadrapadha. Traditionally all Kulavees who visit the temple on Navami (9th day) should participate in the proceedings and not leave the temple before the celebrations are over. This fact is to be borne in mind by all Kulavees.
02. Ashvin Shukla Navami and Dashami Festivals
On this auspicious day, known as Mahanavami, after the night Palaki Utsav is over, decision is taken as to who should be chosen and honoured as “Kumarike” on the next day i.e. on the day of Dashami Utsav. Customarily one Kumarike is from among Kulavee Mahajan and other from those gathered at the temple. But it is essential that they belong to G.S.B. Community, do not exceed 11 years of age and should not have attained maturity. They should be adorned with ear studs and nose studs. The girls along with parents, should be present at the temple after the Mahanavami Palaki Utsav is over at night.
A pot/jar of holy water (theertha) with red white flowers is placed in front of Shree Katyayani. This is known as ‘Pudi Prasada” (consent from Shrree Katyayani) to choose 2 Kumarikes. The girls who are bestowed with white flowers by the Goddess are chosen. These girls should not eat any rice preparations and other prohibited food items, wear clean cloths and present themselves at the shrine of Sri Grama Purusha at about 10 AM on Dashami Day.
Dasara programme strats after the Abhisheka and decoration of the idol/deity in the afternoon. The two girls are taken near to temple well by Devalinis (i.e. designated women) and ae given a ceremonial bath. Then they proceed to Shri Grama Purusha’s shrine, where the girls are dressed in clothes offered to Sri Devi. Some of HER ornaments are also used to adorn the girls. Later to the accompaniment of music (vadya) and in a ceremonial procession, they all assemble in front of Shree Katyayani and other prayers for the happy solemnization of Dasara and distribution of Sri Devi’s Prasad through the two Kumarikes.
This takes place in the temple hall. The girls are seated on two separate seats under the temple bells facing Shree Katyayani Devi. Keertani (Mahajan) sit behind the Kumarikes and Devalinis (designated women of the temple) stand behind them swinging the Chamara. The priests sit on the left side and Dange (Mahajan) stand on the right. Two plates full of flowers (Gonde Flowers) are placed in front of the two Kumarikes.
The Kumarikes follow tradition by giving the floral Prasad first to the Madgaonkar family. (Similarly on full moon day of Ashwija month (Ashwin Shukla Poornima) the “VADA” taken fresh from the frying pan/ boiling oil is given to the Madgaokars before Prasada Bhojan is served to others).
Next Kumarikes offer floral Prasad to select families like Kulakarni, Seema Gaonkar, Shetia and Kamath families in their order. Thereafter it is distributed to all the other Kulavees and devotees who have to come in a line and prostrate before the Kumarikes to receive the Prasada. When Prasada has been distributed to all assembled devotees, the Kumarikes distribute Prasadam to the temple priests and seven Mahajans connected with temple – viz. Prabhu, Keerthani, Gaonkar, Shenoy, Ambade, Nayak and Dange. Finally prasada is given to Ravata, Dada Poojari, Devalinis and the Vajantris (who play pipe and drums). Afterwards, the afternoon pooja of SRI DEVI and other deities take place.
03 Ashwin Shukla Poornima (Full Moon Day of Ashwija)
After the mid day pooja, on this full moon day “MAHA SANTHARPANE” (mass feeding of Prasada Bhojan) is undertaken. In the evening the silver Pallaki Utsav is celebrated. Sri Devi seated in silver Palanquin is taken in procession to the platform at the base of Peepal tree near the Shrine of Sri Kalabhairava and pooja is offered to HER there. Then in procession, Sri Devi is taken back to the temple, pooja offered there and prasada distributed. In the next morning, i.e. the first day of Krishna Paksha (Ashwija Vadhya Pratipada day) at around Ten O’clock, the sarees and clothes offered to Sri Devi and Sree Baneshwara are auctioned in public. Special pooja is performed that night, and “KAULA PRASAD” is distributed in an orderly manner in front of Sri Baneshwar Shrine.
04. Prathistothsava Palaki Utsav
In the month of Magha on Shukla Navami Day, Prathishtothsava Utsava (Anniversary of installation) is celebrated. A swing is set up at the foot of the peepal tree, on the platform there and it is beautifully decorated. Sri Devi is taken in a silver Palanquin to the peepal tree in front of Sri Kalabhairav’s shrine and seated on the swing. Pooja is offered to HER and Sri Devi returns to the temple in the silver palanquin. Regular pooja is performed at the temple and Prasada distributed. This concludes the “PRATISHTOTSAVA” (i.e. the Anniversary of Installation).
05. Magha Poornima (Magha Kaula Prasada)
This festival is celebrated in the evening of the Magha Poornima and on the next evening, after the Magha Poornima and on the next evening, after the regular pooja, Kaula Prasada is distributed in front of Sri Baneshwar Shrine.
It is desirable that Kulavees should pay a visit to the shrine of Shree Katyayani Baneshwar at Aversa, at least once a year. This is a “Jagrath Sthala” – a sacred premise where devotees pay faithful and reverent obeisance and prostrate before Devi requesting HER to relieve them of their suffering and endow them with happiness. Sri Devi always fulfills their wishes. May SHE always smile and bless us HER children, HER Kulavees & devotees.
SOME TRADITIONS THAT THE KULAVEES SHOULD FOLLOW AT THE TEMPLE OF SHREE KATYAYANI BANESHWARA
01 Dhool Bhet
The Kulavees of Shree Katyayani Baneshwar are expected to visit Kuladevatha at least once a year. During the visit to the temple, they should place one coconut each in front of the shrines of Shree Katyayani, Shree Baneshwar, Shree Ganapathy, Sri Ramapurusha, Sri Gramapurusha, Sri Nirakar, Sri kalabhairava and Sri Dhadadeva and perform Dhoolbhet expressing their reverence/ intention. It is the custom to do this ritual once a year.
02 Vadhu – Vara Bhet : (Visit by Couples)
Bridegrooms of the Kulavee families may visit the temple on the day of their marriage before they take their brides enter their new home (before Ghar Bharane). They may come in the wedding dress (with Basinga – Head Gear). They should bring 10 coconuts and one kg of sugar. 8 coconuts should be placed in front of the 8 shrines as token of their visit (Bhet) and two coconuts are to be broken. The sugar should be distributed to all.
Those who cannot come on the day of wedding may come and visit on any other day for VARBHET. For VARBHET the bride & bridegroom should be in the temple before 10.00 AM. They should have a bath. At first the DHOOLBHET is performed. The priest then sprinkles the holy water on them. Then, Devalanis give them a holy bath at temple well. After bath, they go to the shrine of Gramapurusha, where they put on new dresses. The clothes used at the time of the bath are to be given to the Devalanis. The Devalanis dress and adorn the Bride and thereafter, the priests lead the bride and bridegroom to the Shrine of Sri Katyayani. A married woman (Sumangali) performs the rite of placing auspicious things into a corner of the Bride’s Saree (Udi-Bharavan). Thereafter the rituals like Ganesh Poojan etc., are performed. For the Programme of “VARABHET”, the party should bring 23 coconuts, one kg of sugar, one saree of about 9 yards (18 VAR), a blouse piece for offering to Sri Devi. After the rituals are completed, the party is expected to give Dakshina (Tips) to the temple priests, four Devalinis, Dada Poojari and the 4 Vajantris (pipers and drummers) who accompany them. The amount of Dakshina is left to the wishes of the party. But, before the VARABHET the party should obtain a receipt from the office of the temple paying the appropriate amount.
The Kulavees/Devotees are advised to enquire in the Temple Office before coming for VARABHET. If the Bride is pregnant, Varabhet can be done during the first 4 (four) months of pregnancy. It can also be done (performed) 3 (three) months after delivery.
03. Kesha Mundana (Head Tonsure) (JAIVALA)
Among the Kulavees of Sri Katyayani Baneshwar, it is the practice to tonsure the head and pierce the earlobes (Chowl) during the first year or after three years of birth. The parents along with the child should be present at the temple before 10 AM on selected/ chosen day. They should bring 18 coconuts, 2 padis (Rice, coconut, beetle leaves etc., on a plantain leaf) and ear studs for piercing the earlobes. As soon as they come, they place coconuts before the Deity and perform Dhoolbhet. The priests sprinkle holy water on the child. The child is taken to the barber waiting outside and the hair cutting of the child is done. The parents give the barber a coconut, about 250 gm of Rice, lentils, jaggery, one piece of cloth and some money. Then bathing the child is done by the temple Devalinis. Then the ear studs are given to the goldsmith and he pierces the child’s earlobes. The goldsmith is also given a padi or heap of some rice, one coconut, lentils, jaggery, cloth and some money. Afterwards the coconut is broken in each of the eight shrines. Dakshine (Tips) is given to the priests, 4 Devalinis, Dada Poojari (Priest). The receipt should be obtained from the office paying the prescribed amount for the above purpose.
The programme of JAIVALA and VADHU-VARA BHET is conducted before the afternoon pooja. It cannot be done in the afternoon. The day chosen should not be the day of child’s birthday. Those who come for this programme, should inform the temple office in advance to arrange a barber and Goldsmith for the purpose
THE FOLLOWING GOTREES ARE KULAVEES OF SRI KATYAYANI BANESHWAR
1. Vachha 2. Bharadwaja 3.Kaundinya 4. Kaushika 5.Kashyapa 6.Atri 7. Jamadagni
They also worship the following PURUSHADEVS. (PURUSHADEVA – worshiped by different Gotris)
VACHHA GOTRA – SRI RAMAPURUSHA
BHARADWAJA GOTRA – SRI NIRAKARA
ALL OTHER GOTRA – SRI GRAMA PURUSHA
KAULA PRASADA: (Blessing to the Family):
The Kulavees of Sri Katyayani Baneshwara are given KAULA PRASADA twice a year – once the first day of Krishnapaksha of Ashwija month (i.e. on Ashwija Vadhya Pratipada day) and again on the first day of Krishnapaksha of Maghamasa (Magha-Vadhya-Pratipada). The head of the family should come and receive the Prasada. This Prasada is given in front of the Shrine of Sri Baneshwara. The heads of families should come in line one after another and receive it. It is supposed to be assurance of Deity’s protection to the entire family.