Grihapravesham: The Significance of House-warming
Sadhguru looks at the significance behind Grihapravesham, the traditional house-warming ceremony in India.
Q: What is the significance of Grihapravesham, and how should it be done?
Sadhguru: There are two kinds of Grihapravesham generally celebrated in India. When a woman gets married, when she enters her husband’s house for the first time, it used to be a big event. Nowadays, they may already be living together, but otherwise, it was a major event. So this was made into a very sacred process and a Grihapravesham was performed, because what kind of woman enters your house and how she enters your home will determine the nature of your future, your progeny and how they live. It is very important that she enters with love, wanting to give herself totally to the home and family. If she enters having something else in her heart and mind, she can ruin that family in a million different ways. If she enters the house with negative emotions, when she conceives, she will create the wrong kind of life and bear the wrong kind of children, which will make you suffer for the rest of your life. So it was ensured that she entered the house with utmost honor and auspiciousness.
There is a lot of ritual around the event. Gradually, the ritual has gotten smaller and smaller, and now, the woman enters the house before she is married. How she enters the home does not mean anything anymore. Today, marriage means just a little bit of romance between two people. That is not how it was looked at earlier. A marriage was a partnership that was going to determine everything about the couple and their children. Elaborate care was taken so that she entered the house properly. This is one kind of Grihapravesham.
Making the Space Alive
The other kind of Grihapravesham is, when a new structure is built, you conduct a process which makes the space alive. You want the house to be in the right kind of condition. The design of the house, the aesthetics, what kind of paint – that is also important, but what kind of energy fills this space is very important. Grihapravesham is a minor form of consecrating the space. No one would ever move into a house which was not consecrated. All these things were done essentially to create a certain enhanced sense of life energy, so that the people who lived in this house would naturally move towards wellbeing.
People always consecrated their homes in whichever way they knew best, and only then moved in. If the kings were sensible and benevolent, they consecrated the whole town. They created any number of consecrated places in the town because they wanted everyone to live in consecrated spaces. Whether you walk on the street, or do business, or live in that town, everyone was constantly in a consecrated space because if you want to produce generations of enhanced human beings with a phenomenal sense of energy, intellect, and capability, you need this kind of energy and space. Otherwise, only by accident or by personal dint, someone may become something, but you will not produce a whole generation of wonderful people.
This sense that no human being should live in an unconsecrated space is deep-rooted in this culture. It is just like, if you plant something into this earth, only if the roots are sticking in rich earth, flowers and fruits will grow. If the earth is not rich and enhanced enough to sustain life, flowers and fruits will not grow. Even if they appear, they will be too meager; it will never be a full-blown flowering. So we always gave enormous importance to these aspects of life.
It is because of this that the culture produced a galaxy of knowledge, a galaxy of enlightened beings. Every generation produced this simply because they took care of many aspects like this. Nowhere else on this planet have single generations of people attained to such glorious heights of knowing as this culture.
The Right Kind of Nourishment
Unfortunately, in the last 800 to 900 years, this aspect has been badly fractured. There was a time when almost every family had the fortune of doing Grihapravesham before they moved into their homes. Periodically, they did something to enhance the house; this was part of almost every household. They conducted the needed rituals and processes at least once a year to see that the space in the house was enhanced. This was an essential understanding of how to generate a conducive atmosphere for a human being to grow to his full potential.
When we say “full potential,” today’s world thinks of full potential only in terms of how much money a person can make. The modern idea of success has unfortunately become extremely rudimentary and gross. How far can you climb the social ladder, how much money have you made, this is all the idea of success is.
In earlier times, the idea of success was not like this. It was very broad and profound. Someone was considered successful only if he was in a certain state of blissfulness and knowing about himself and the world he lived in. If he was socially honored, materially prosperous and able to earn the love of his family, friends and society – only then was he considered a successful man; that is how this society looked at it. No matter how much money he had, if he did not earn people’s love, they would say his life was wasted. Even till the last generation, this used to be a common conversation, “What does it matter how much money you have? Have you earned people’s love? Do people around you love you?” This was the most important thing. But in a matter of 30 to 40 years, we have managed to uproot this quite substantially.
Grihapravesham is about creating the right kind of soil for this plant – yourself – to grow, flower and fruit. Unfortunately, most people who conducted these things became corrupt and routine-bound rather than being able to understand and articulate their understanding as to why this was being done. So people began to give up on these processes. Today, moving into a new house means people throw a party where everybody will eat more than they should and get drunk. That way, you are not going towards your wellbeing; in fact, your wellbeing is going to be an uphill task.
Any amount of intellectual knowledge or money is not going to bring wellbeing. You can see this in the world: affluent societies are not living well simply because the fundamentals that are needed for life are not taken care of. It is very important that you create the right kind of space around you so that you live well.
Editor’s Note: The Bhairavi Punya Pooja is a unique process of energizing a space in such a way that it transforms into a vibrant, live environment. It has been designed by Sadhguru and is available for new homes, old homes, office spaces, hospitals, or any residential and commercial building.
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