Did you all celebrate Gowri or Ganesha habba well?
During the Gowri festival, we give bhagina. What does bhagina mean? Bhagina means fortune. We share our fortune with each others with the feeling that 'We are part of your life and you are part of our life, and so we share our fortunes'.
How do we share them? In a secretive manner. As per tradition, the items are enclosed between two wicker trays, and rocked three times before offering it. What is the purpose of these wicker trays? They are to separate the heavy from the light, to sift between the wheat and the chaff. And as you do this, the chaff, flies off and the wheat settles down. In the same manner, in everyone’s lives the chaff and wheat are mixed, and the process of separating them gives us our fortune. The wicker tray that we offer is an indication of viveka, the fortune in our lives. If we do not have any viveka, then our lives are without fortune.
What do we keep inside the wicker tray? We keep whatever has been newly harvested, like rice, pulses, etc.. Getting food is our biggest and first fortune. If we do not get food to eat, that is our greatest misfortune. And so we keep whatever has been newly harvested like rice, dal (pulses), jaggery, fruits, i.e., whatever is required for our daily needs. We even keep sarees, kumkum and bangles. Thus, we need viveka and nutritious food for our existence; we offer them both. We cover the tray with the saree pallu (the loose end of a saree that is worn over the head and shoulder) and offer it secretly; we don’t make a big show when we make the offering. We do not offer it to announce who we are or how great we are, nor to show that the other person is smaller. We offer it because the person who is receiving is doing so with a big heart, and so we offer it as our duty. We don’t offer it thinking that this will give us merit. Vadhagodhu is also known as bhagina; thus, both, to offer and to receive the bhaginas. This is the significance of celebrating the Gowri festival.