Shravana is an important month for Hindu ladies as it brings a series of festivals. During this period, poojas such as Choodi Pooja and Hosthila Pooja (worshipping at threshold for lasting wealth, chastity and happiness) are observed chiefly the chaste women.
Demon Jalandhara’s wife Vrunda was very beautiful and a chaste woman as well as the devotee of Lord Vishnu. But, to save the world from the clutches of the demon, Lord Vishnu was waiting for an opportunity to kill the wicked Jalandhara, which was possible only when Vrunda loses her chastity. One day, when Jalandhara was away in the battlefield, Lord Vishnu appears before Vrunda in the form of her husband and has an intercourse with her. Vrunda loses her chastity and as a result Jalandhara lost his life in the war field.
Soon, Vrunda came to know that it was not her husband Jalandhara but Lord Vishnu who had an intercourse with her and took away her chastity as well as her husband’s life. Bur being the devotee of Lord Vishnu, she knew that Vishnu’s act was aimed at the welfare of the world. Lord Vishnu suggests her offering Choodi Pooja to the Tulasi plant during Shravana month, which brings lasting chastity and fortunes for women. It was apst 12 O’ clock in the noon when widow Vrunda offered Choodi Pooja. So there is a tradition of offering Choodi Pooja before noon.
Women offer Choodi Pooja on every Friday and Sunday of Shravana Masa (month). While they perform Choodi Pooja at their houses, a mass Choodi Pooja is offered in Temples once in a year. Women assemble near the Tulasi (Basil) plant in front of the house (or Temple), holding Choodi Kattu (bundles of flowers and Kadire grass) in their hands. First they wash the Tulasi Katte (a basin round the foot of the basil plant) and then apply vermilion (Kumkum), turmeric powder (Arasina) and sandalwood paste (Gandha) and place the Choodi bundles along with betel leaves and betel nuts (Veelya) on the basin at the foot of the Tulasi plant. Chaste women then offer their worship, Naivedyam and fruits (Hannukayi), followed by Arathi. Then singing Bhajans, prominently “Sri Tulasi Daya Thoramma…” and throwing Akshatha (rice coloured with vermilion and consecrated by Manthram), they circumambulate the basil plant for about five times.
After the Choodi Pooja, leaving one bundle of Choodi on Tulasi, they take all other Choodi bundles, which are used in Hosthilu Pooja.
Drawing Rangolis on either sides of threshold of the main door, Chaste woman places bundles of Choodi, betel leaves and arecanut and perform Arathi. (It is also followed when inviting Goddess Lakshmi -Goddess of wealth and prosperity- into the home.) In some communities, horse-gram (called as Huruli in Kannada) and jackfruit seeds are also used in Choodi Pooja. Choodi Pooja is offered on each day of Shravana Masa. After Choodi Pooja and Hosthilu Pooja, the chase woman hands over the Veelya (containing betel leaves and betel nuts) to her husband, father-in-law, mother-in-law or any other elder member in the family and seeks their blessings. A special luncheon is prepared for the celebration of Choodi Pooja, for which near and dear ones are invited.