Continuing from the previous post on symbols 🙂
Apart from various items used as symbols, certain symbolic acts are also performed as part of the prayers.
Even though present day India, and the world for that matter, treats women abominably, the ancients had different ideas. According to Hindu tenets, the woman of the house, especially the married woman, has a certain elevated status. She is considered to be the ‘Grihalakshmi’ : ‘Griha’ meaning home and ‘Lakshmi’ meaning the goddess of wealth (Vishnu’s wife). The idea is a happy woman brings health, wealth and good blessings to her family. Basically on her lies the onus of all things good. A new house is usually inaugurated with her entering by spilling rice at the door step, again going back to the idea that rice signifies prosperity and the act symbolizes the prayer ‘may prosperity lie at her feet’.
These mini footsteps are symbolic again to indicate that the first steps in the house are those of the goddess of wealth
Next was inaugurating the kitchen of the new house. The kitchen is considered the center of an Indian household and if there is enough food to feed the family and guests, then the household is doing well. So as a prayer to bring in the wealth of food, a pot of milk is boiled over a flame. Traditionally the flame is supposed to be generated from firewood and dried cow dung but that aint happening in today’s age. Milk is also a symbol of prosperity. Fire being another auspicious symbol which is worshiped as a God. More on that later.
Ironic how the idea of ‘good’ revolves around wealth