Gandana pooja has to be performed by all married and unmarried women in Madhva community. It is said that the married women should compulsorily do this pooja for 9 years. Before marriage, a girl is doing this pooja for getting a good husband.In the Aashada masa, on Amavasya day, we celebrate this festival. This pooja is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi.
Two numbers of mud models in the shape of “bella achu” are to be prepared and dried well. We have to decorate them by putting dots in sandal powder on all sides. One model is Lord shiva and the another one is Goddess Parvathi. A thread immersed in turmeric powder should be tied around the Parvathi model with turmeric root and flowers.They should be kept on a plate with raw white rice. One more thread immersed in turmeric powder, with nine knots and flowers has to be kept in front of Devuru.
We have to perform pooja in the usual manner with kunkuma, arisina, ghendha, atchadhai, gejavasthra and flowers to models as well as yellow thread. Payasa or pongal neivedhya has to be prepared. Thamboola, banana and coconut are also to be offered to God. Slokas and songs on Parvathi Parameshwara have to be recited. After taking aarathi, the girl or woman should sit on a manai with thamboola and coconut in her hands. The girl’s mother or mother-in-law or husband should tie the yellow thread on her right wrist.
Shall we see the story behind this festival. Vijayashekara was the son of King Vajrabahu. There was a poor brahmin named Madhava in that city and his wife was Susila. They had 5 daughters and 9 sons. Vijayashekara died suddenly and the king announced that the family of the girl who marries his died son will get lot of money. Madhava decided to marry one of his daughters to him and to get huge wealth to save other children. The girl who marred a corpse was left in a forest. She prayed to Lord Parameshwara and Goddess Parvathi. They appeared before her and asked her to perform this poja. In the forest she collected mud and made 2 models and worshiped with great devotion, with available flowers & fruits in the forest. The dead prince came back to life and everybody felt happy.