What is Vastu Shanti Pooja?
What Does It Mean?
Griha Pravesh is a Hindu ceremony widely performed in India upon the purchase of a new home. The ritual involves a puja ceremony followed by a ceremonial feast. The puja is performed to invite good vibes and positivity into the living space while simultaneously eliminating any bad energy that may have been there before. The words 'vastu shanti' can be roughly translated to household peace and that is the ultimate purpose behind the performing of this puja or ceremony. The new house is not considered habitable until the ceremony is performed. It’s an age old custom but still widely practiced in the Hindu community.
How did this custom originate?
The words 'griha' and 'pravesh' literally mean house and entry in the Sanskrit language. This ceremony therefore signifies ones entry into a new home. The rituals which one has to follow are supposed to bring about peace, health and prosperity amongst the members of the family.
Understanding its Significance
Vastu Shanti Puja is a ceremony which is supposedly performed to eliminate the negative effects of certain planets on the individuals living in the household. It’s also believed to solve personal problems and help with money matters by bringing prosperity into the household. The results of the puja are supposed to vary according to the month during which it was performed. But the results of the puja nevertheless are always positive.
According to ancient beliefs griha pravesh in the month of 'magha', approximately January, leads to wealth gain. Whereas moving house in 'jyestha', May to June, leads to increased fertility and acquiring of cattle. These widely accepted beliefs are obviously not proven. But the vastu shanti in general is believed to bring about harmony and prosperity in the household.
Three Traditional Return Gifts Given After Vastu Shanti Puja
A Box of Sweets
No Indian ritual is completed without a sweet ending. A box of traditional Indian sweets is therefore the perfect gift for guests attending your Vastu Shanti Puja ceremony. Send your guests home with a box of Misthi Peda from dilocious.com. This delicious sweet treat contains saffron and nuts. A 200 gm box will cost you Rs.279 . Alternatively, you can order the boxes at a sweet shop nearest to you.
Griha Pravesh is an auspicious occasion, therefore, your return gift should reflect that. A religious idol would be something you could consider giving to your guests to mark the occasion. The little Lord Ganesha stand in gold from nandigifts.com would make a lovely griha pravesh gift. Buy it for Rs.160.
Shagun Ka Lifafa
A shagun ka lifafa is simply an envelope containing money. It’s a popular gift for a large number of social occasions like engagement ceremonies, weddings, birthdays and festivals like Diwali, Navratri etc. It’s customary to add a one rupee coin to the envelope for good luck. Nowadays cash in the envelope is being rapidly replaced by a cheque or a gift card.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of picking out and buying return gifts you could always go for this option. You can buy pretty envelopes from Amazon to put your ‘shagun’ money in. Gathbandhan Aone India Shagun Envelopes will cost you Rs.250 for a pack of 25. These envelopes are made of good quality metallic paper and are available in a variety of colors.
Quick Shopping Guide: 15 Return Gift Ideas for Vastu Shanti
Griha pravesh is not only a religious ceremony but also a social function. The ceremonial feast is therefore attended by friends, relatives and neighbors. It’s like the Indian version of a housewarming party. Like every party griha pravesh ceremonies also involve the giving of return gifts as a goodwill gesture. If you are confused about what to present to guests at a griha pravesh or vastu shanti puja ceremony then take a look at the list of gifts that we have curated for you.You can put a modern spin on conventional vastu shanti gifts by going for gifts which are traditional yet trendy. You can easily find them online and they are easy on the pocket as well.
Ganesha Key Holder
The Ganesha key holder is a contemporary take on the tradition of gifting religious idols for auspicious ceremonies. This aesthetically pleasing piece of home accessory features a resin Ganesha idol perched atop a brown wooden key holder. Buy it from Flipkart for Rs.499.
Set of Handmade Soap
With growing awareness of how much harm chemicals added in our cosmetic products cause, more people are shifting to all-natural handmade soaps. These soaps use natural ingredients that cause minimal damage to the skin while cleansing in full measure. That's why it is a great idea for a return gift. Consider this gift set of Khadi Natural handmade soap collection which offers a selection of wonderful fragrances made using high-quality natural products and Glycerine. Packed in a lovely box, this gift set is available on Amazon for Rs. 249.
Handmade Mirror Work Pen
Buying a home is expensive, therefore you can’t really afford to spend a fortune on griha pravesh gifts. Everyone could do with an extra pen and if you are looking for a gift which is traditional, pretty and easy on the pocket then your best bet would be Handmade Designer Mirror work Lac Pens from Amazon. These beautiful handmade pieces would add beauty to any work table or desk. These are priced at Rs.99 for 3 pcs.
Feng Shui Good Luck Set
Send your guests back home with good luck wishes with this gift idea. Under Feng Shui principles, tortoises bring good luck and wisdom. Many who believe keep it on their desks or decorative shelves in order to attractive positive vibrations. This decorative tortoise set made of crystal is a fantastic gift idea if you have a reasonable budget for your gift. Check out this option on ecraftindia.com for Rs. 299.
Gift Boxes and Jewellery Boxes
If you think that beautiful things are bound to be expensive then the Oxidised Wooden Box with Metal Polish would prove you wrong. Elegantly crafted by highly skilled craftsmen, this gorgeous box combines beauty with utility and is priced at Rs.215 only! Buy it from theoneshop.in. The dimensions of the box are approx 23 cms x 18 cms x 6.4 cms.
Small Smoke Incense Fountain
Burning incense is not only a traditional habit in many houses, but provides other benefits such as improved mood, spreading a sense of calmness and purified air. While you could give out a box of the incense itself, you could also consider a decorative piece that beautifully creates a fountain using smoke from incense cones. Just put a burning incense cone at the top and see the smoke cascades down. This Ganesha themed product s made of pily resin and is available for Rs. 299 on Amazon. The item measures 7 cm x 7 cm x 12 cm, and comes with 10 free cones.
Wooden Agarbatti Holder
If this does not appeal to you, then consider this simple yet useful product. An agarbatti box is highly welcome in every mandir as you can safely store your agarbattis in one place without breakage or losing aroma. Made of sheesham wood with brass inlay work, it measures 10 x 10 x 10 cms. This wooden box is available on Amazon for Rs. 199.
Kolhapuri Silver Puja Thali
A Puja thali is a highly functional item in any Hindu household and therefore would make a great Griha Pravesh return gift. The Ooltha Chashma Designer Thali Set is as beautiful as it’s useful. This multicolor exquisitely decorated set consists of 5 pieces; a Puja Plate, an Incense Holder, one Diya or lamp Stand, a Small Katori or bowl, 1 Small Dibbi or container with lid. Available on Flipkart for Rs. 309
A dream catcher is supposed to catch bad dreams and give you peaceful sleep all night long. It’s the perfect griha pravesh gift if you are not much into conventions. ILU Dreamcatcher Car and Wall Hanging is a beautiful accessory that will add a bit of whimsy to any contemporary household. Buy this colourful piece from flipkart.com for Rs.199.
Oxidised Swan Shaped Spoon Holder
The perfect gifts are those which are functional and also aesthetically pleasing. The Oxidized Swan Shaped Silver Colored Spoon Stand with 6 Spoons is a beautifully crafted piece which will add splendour and elegance to any dinner table. Buy it for Rs.985 from boontoon.com.
Mouth Freshener Container
In India we always follow up our meals with some kind of a mouth freshener like a mixture of fennel seeds, palm sugar, cardamom etc. Therefore the Swan shaped mouth freshener container from boontoon.com would make a very useful gift and also be a beautiful centerpiece for the dining table. The set is made from oxidized metal and coloured glass. It costs Rs.465 on boontoon.com.
Meenakari Tea Coasters
Coasters are useful little things that are always needed especially when you have guests over. The Meenakari Tea Coaster Set in Wood & Metal will add an element of ethnic grandeur to your coffee table. It’s crafted out of Wood & Metal and will be loved by anyone with a fondness for exquisitely crafted handicrafts. The beautiful color and designs of this coaster set elevates it from a simple household accessory to a piece of artwork. Buy it from boontoon.com for Rs.510
Oxidised Hanging Candles Stand
If you are gifting your Griha Pravesh guests home décor then nothing beats the Decorative Hanging Candle Stand in Oxidized Metal from boontoon.com. This exotic looking piece is made of coloured glass and oxidized metal and will be an aesthetically pleasing addition to a room. It’s a piece of accessory which is beautiful, artistic and useful. The cool blue glass will let you change the ambience of any room in seconds. It’s priced at Rs.710
Small Wooden Tray
A good housewarming return gift is something that adds value in some way, rather than something just superficial. That's why homeware is a great idea. You can gift serveware sets, kitchen decorative items or even special cutlery. We have chosen this handmade mango wood serving tray that can be used as decor or for serving. The design is simple but elegant while it is built for durability. The tray measures 11.5 x 7x 1.5 inch. Available on Amazon for Rs. 240.
Gemstone Wall Clock
Every house needs a wall clock or two and the Square Shaped Gemstone Wooden Clock is the perfect home accessory to gift to you Griha Pravesh Ceremony guests. The Square Shaped Gemstone Wooden Clock is a wonderful display of fine craftsmanship. The face of the clock features four equal compartments of differently colored gemstones with a square shaped clock in the middle. We are certain this beautiful piece will find pride of place on your living room or dining room wall. Buy it from boontoon.com for Rs.460.
Shadow Candle Light Holder
Made of metal, this elegant tea light holder has a Om background that throws a shadow when lit. A wonderful way to brighten any room in the evening, this stand costs just Rs. 169 on Flipkart
Cost-Effective Return Gifts
Return gifts are tricky purchases since you need to buy the right gift for a large group of persons. Look around for options within your budget, and once you've identified the right gift, don't hesitate to negotiate for a favourable rate - after all, you will be ordering bulk quantity. You can also try giving different gifts either by gender or age.