Ganesh Festival

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Shri Ganesh
(Sattvik Picture of Shri Ganesh by Sanatan Sanstha)

speakerListen Ganpati  Jap and Aarti

O Hindus! Be Hindus by Action!

During the period of Ganesh Festival stop evils from entering into the festival and do maximum chanting of ‘Om Gan Ganapataye Namah’ to get real benefit of the festival. Hindu festivals are not just for social gathering but for faster spiritual progress (to gain the grace of the Lord) !

Denigration of Ganesh Idol !

footballganesh

Shri Ganesh with Football in Hand
View other defamations here

Anything which is in consonance with the scriptures proves to be ideal and beneficial. If the idol of Shri Ganesh is sculpted as per the science behind the idol then those worshipping it are benefited. Unfortunately today, idols are worshipped in various forms and shapes based on one’s liking and imagination without taking into account the science behind the idol. This is resulting in the denigration of Shri Ganesh.

Extreme Insult of Lord by Common Hindus !

See the shocking Picture: Bulldozers collecting parts of Ganesh idols made up of Plaster of Paris one day after Immersion. Will the Lord ever bless the devotee who worships Him in a way that hurts the Lord Himself and results in His extreme insult? The image is on BBC’s website. Click here and see ‘Seventh’ Image: Image

Evils in festival

  • Extravagent decoration
  • Water polluted by immersion of plaster of Paris statues
  • Scaring decorations
  • Lewd songs and vulgar dances
  • Noise pollution
  • Advertisements of addictive substances
  • Participation of anti-social elements
  • Extortion of funds
  • No programmes of Righteousness or Nation building
  • Domination by politicians
  • Gambling and drinking liquor within the pandal

For details click here


How to celebrate festival in an ideal manner?
(Do’s and Don’ts)

Following things should be there

Following things should not be there

1. House and decoration
A. Importance to Shree Ganesh first, then secondary importance to decoration.
B. Cleanliness, saatvic decoration, so also everybody should collectively prepare for pooja with devotion.

2. Idol
A. Made of clay and painted with natural colours
B. Seated on a platform
C. Made according to the science of idols

3. Religious rituals
A. Preparation of puja after purification to maintain the sanctity.
B. Everyone should remain present and experience the divine
consciousness.

4. Aarti
A. Selective and with devotionful aarti.
B. Prayer and chanting after aarti.

5. Prasad (offering)
A. Chanting while preparing prasad.
B. Taking prasad in a queue peacefully.

6. Procession
A. Disciplined,with chanting and concluding on time.

7. Immersion
A. According to the science immersion in flowing water.

1. House and decoration
A. Expensive lighting and decoration and a gaily decorated frame of thermocol.
B. While watching entertainment programmes on the television.
C. Listening to desireless songs during preparation

2. Idol
A. Plaster of Paris and big size.
B. Of strange attire (e.g soldier,saint etc)
C. Made out of items like coconut, bananas, utensils.

3. Religious Ritual
A. Children’s noise and chatting during rituals
B. Not remaining present at the time of ritual.

4. Aarti
A. Long aartis and in loud tone.
B. Laughing and making fun during aarti.

5. Prasad
A. Chatting while preparing prasad.
B. Crowding during taking of prasad and teasing.

6. Procession
A. Slow paced procession, alcohol, forcible application of gulal.

7. Immersion
A. Donation of idol and throwing from a height.


Defamation of Shri Ganesh by MF Hussain

hussain_ganesh ganesh_vyas
Shri Ganesha welcoming for
Hussain’s exhibition
Denigration of Vyasa and Shri Ganesha

Note : Information given in this Ganehs Festival section is interpretation of knowledge given in various Hindu scriptures such as Ganesh Puran, Ganapati Atharvashirsha, Ganapati Stotra etc.

 

Science Behind the Idol

The science behind the idol of Lord Ganesh is given in the ‘Shriganapatyatharvashîríha’ as ‘Ekadantam, Chaturhastam ….’, meaning one who has only one tooth (ekadanta), four hands (chaturbhuj), adorns a noose (pâsh) and a goad (ankush), holds a (broken) tooth in one hand and holds the other hand in a posture bestowing blessings (varadmudra), whose flag bears the symbol of a mouse, who has a red complexion, a large abdomen (lambodar), whose ears are like sifting pans, who adorns red clothes, whose body is smeared with a paste of red sandalwood (raktachandan) and who is worshipped with red flowers.

Sculpture an idol only from china clay or mud

plaster

Idols made of Plaster of Paris

One should prepare the Ganesh idol from china clay or mud. Nowadays, idols are made from plaster of Paris so that they become light weight and more attractive. There is a difference between idols made from mud and plaster of Paris. There are references in the Purâns (Mythological texts) that Ganapati was created from grime. Hence it is appropriate to use a Ganesh idol made of mud for ritualistic worship. The pure spiritual particles (pavitraks) of Ganapati get attracted to a greater extent towards an idol made of mud than to that made of plaster of Paris.

The following points shall illustrate how it is improper as well as harmful to make idols from plaster of Paris or from substances other than china clay.

A. Plaster of Paris does not dissolve easily in water and hence the idol floats on water after immersion. Sometimes in cities, the remains of idols which have not dissolved in water for a long period are collected and a bulldozer is run over them to convert them into mud. This amounts to extreme denigration of the deity. The deity should be offered the same reverence when immersing it as when it is invoked. Since the idol is not immersed properly, in a way it amounts to dishonouring the deity.

See the shocking Picture: Bulldozers collecting parts of Ganesh idols made up of Plaster of Paris one day after Immersion. Will Lord ever bless the devotee (?) doing worship that hurts Lord himself and results in extreme insult? The image is on BBC’s website. Click here and see ‘Seventh’ Image: Image

shell

Ganesh Idol made up of 10,001 Shells

B. Mixing of the plaster of Paris in water pollutes the river, sea, lake, etc. and can have an adverse effect on the health of living beings.

C. Nowadays a wrong trend has set in whereby idols are even made from coconuts, bananas, betulnut, silver, coins, etc. Some of these objects do not dissolve in water after immersion of the idol. The remains of such idols are used for other purposes or as toys by children.

 

 

 

 

Video: Science behind Ganesh idols (Part 1)

Note: Commentry is in Marathi.
Description: Why should we make idols according to science and avoid very huge Lord Ganesh idols, idols prepared in weird forms and attires and from non-traditional items like bottles, food grains etc.

Video: Science behind Ganesh idols (Part 2)

Note: Commentry is in Marathi.
Description: What is the science about preparing Lord Ganesh idols and material used to prepare it? Disadvantages of huge idols. What should be the attitude of Sculptor while preparing Lord Ganesh idols?


Idols should not be huge

28Feet
parshuram
28 Feet Ganesh Idol
Huge Ganesh Idol in lord Parshuram Form

A. According to the scriptures, the height of the Ganesh idol should be limited. The idol should have a maximum height of 1.5 metres because an idol larger than that makes it difficult to perform ritualistic worship. The custom of keeping a small idol for ritualistic worship and a huge idol for exhibition is absolutely incorrect. Idols of deities cannot be objects of exhibition.

B. As sufficient clay is not available to make huge idols, sometimes the idols are made from dry leaves and grass with a coating of clay over it. How much divinity will be present in such an idol?

C. When making huge idols, iron rods, bamboos, etc. are required to be inserted within them for support. It is improper to use such objects in the idols. Besides, if these idols surface above the water source after immersion, some people even break them and sell the iron rods and wooden plates found within.

D. It is very cumbersome and expensive to transport huge idols. Traffic congestion during transportation of these idols is a common phenomenon. There is also the risk of touching electric cables when transporting idols which are 51 feet high. At times, people even get injured while loading and downloading the huge idols from trucks.

E. Since transportation of huge idols is very slow, their arrival at the site of immersion is delayed. By then if there is high tide, one cannot go deep into the sea. By rule, the huge Ganesh idols should be taken into the sea for immersion before high tide, where the water is 10 to 15 feet deep. In reality however, the huge idols are immersed in water which is merely 6 to 7 feet deep. During immersion, the idols on trolleys are thrown into the water by fastening a rope around the neck of the idol. Thus the idol cracks and breaks down into several pieces. So also, sometimes the volunteers of the festival committees are so exhausted by singing and dancing in the procession that they are not prepared to immerse the idol in deep water. They partially immerse the idol in water, place it horizontally and leave.

F. The other idols and scenes kept along with the Ganesh idol should not be huge in size. When offering obeisance, one should touch the feet of the deity by which one can derive greater benefit of the energy emitted by the deity. This is not possible in the case of huge idols. It would be worth knowing the experience of a devotee of Lord Ganesh who insisted on having a huge idol. At Colval in Goa, a devotee obstinately made an idol which was the biggest in the entire village. He had to break the door of his house to take the idol inside and till today that door cannot be fitted properly! The government itself should enact a law to check the production of huge idols. If those making huge idols and Ganesh festival committees are fined heavily then it will curb this practice.

Idols of Lord Ganesh should not have weird forms and attires

The form of the idol should be such that devotion (bhakti) and spiritual emotion (bhav) towards the deity should be awakened instantly on seeing it.

multihand
bottleganesh
Lord Ganesh with multi hand and multi head
Ganesh made up of bottles

Nowadays, the custom of making idols of Lord Ganesh in varied forms and attires has become prevalent, e.g. Lord Ganesh attired in a loin cloth, resembling Lord Krushna adorning a peacock feather on the head, resembling Lord Dattâtraya, attired as a child, etc. are seen. During the period of the freedom struggle, Ganesh idols would be made in the form of Gandhiji or Nehruon public demand. Similarly, idols resembling King Shivâjî Mahârâj or a saint are made today also. Idols of Ganapati playing cricket or football, riding a motorcycle, etc. are also made.

Example: A Ganesh festival committee in Kalyân near Mumbaî had made a Ganesh idol from medical equipment, a syringe to depict the trunk, kidney trays were used for the ears, a bottle for the crown, gloves for the hands and capsules for eyes.

This is totally erroneous because Lord Ganapati cannot be compared to a leader, soldier, sportsman, etc. The Ganesh idol is humanised to gain cheap popularity and publicity. There is a difference between saints and deities; hence idols should not be made in the form of saints too.

Depicting the deity in such weird forms amounts to disrespect for the deity

According to the science of Spirituality, each deity is a specific principle. According to the doctrine that the word, touch, form, taste, fragrance and the energy associated with them coexist, only if the idol is made in accordance with the science behind the idol, is the principle of the respective deity drawn towards it. If this doctrine is not followed when making the idol then that principle is not imbibed in that idol. Consequently, the devotee does not benefit from that idol from the view point of Spirituality.

Idol should be a seated one, not standing

If a guest pays a visit, we offer him a seat and not keep him standing. During Ganesh Chaturthî, we invoke Lord Ganapati that is invite Him. One should offer Him a seat and proper hospitality. Harbouring the spiritual emotion (bhâv) that Lord Ganapati has actually come to visit us. Besides due to the entire weight of the idol resting on the feet, the idol may even break if it is kept in the standing position for ten consecutive days. Hence one should make an idol which is seated on a wooden seat.

Losses incurred when the Ganesh idol is worshipped in a different form rather than that which is usually worshipped :

Some such examples are given below.

1. Once a devotee of Lord Ganesh installed an idol of Lord Ganesh slaying demon Sindurasur, in his house. Since that day, the atmosphere in his home was ruined.

2. Once a person gave a picture of Lord Ganapati seated on a snail to Mr. Gajanan Salgaonkar, an idol maker from Bardez in Goa to have a similar idol made. Paying no heed to the refusal by the idol maker, he got such an idol made from him merely out of obstinancy. Later that individual incurred tremendous loss.

3. Some years ago, a member of a Ganesh festival committee from Miraj bought a new Bullet motorcycle. During Ganesh Chaturthî, he installed a Ganesh idol on his motor cycle depicting, ‘Ganapati riding a Bullet’. Within a few days of the immersion of the idol, that individual had a fall from that very motorcycle and sustained injuries.

4. An individual insisted on having an idol of Ganapati riding a tiger and got it made. Thereafter, within a year all his cattle were killed by a tiger.

Evils prevalent in the Festival: Worship that hurts the Lord!

Video: Malpractices in Ganesh immersion procession

Note: Commentry is in Marathi.
Description: Malpractices during Ganesh immersion procession, Experience of common public about procession.

Video: Malpractices in the Ganesh Festival: Part 1

Note: Commentry is in Marathi.
Description: Why Ganesh festival is celebrated publicly? Other topics – Malpractices during Ganesh Festival like money demanded with force for Ganesh festival. Saints guidance on present state of festival.

Video: Malpractices in the Ganesh Festival: Part 2

Note: Commentry is in Marathi.
Description: Malpractices during Ganesh Festival like pollution of sound during Ganesh festival, strange and fearful demonstrations, record dance, Action taken by police against malpractices, Saints guidance about the programs during Ganesh festival.

» See other Ganesh Chaturthi Videos

lightingExtravagant decorations
gambling
Gambling in the Pandal
micky
Welcoming Micky: Devoid of Religious Feelings
lottery
Lottery at the Ganesh Festival
addictive
Addictive Advertisements at Pandal Gates (Such advt. are banned now)
getpass
Gate passes sale
horrible_decoration
Horrifying Decorations
orchestra
Cinema Songs
gulal
Lewd Dancing
crackleCrackers and Fireworks

Present day Ganesha celebrations are devoid of devotion. In a survey conducted in 1999, it was found that there were more than 3500 Ganesha festival committees registered in Mumbai alone! What would be their number all over Maharashtra?

The festival committees spend huge sums for erecting the pandal, the idol, lighting, decoration, scenery, entertainment programs and processions. Right from a volunteer of the festival committee to the police of the entire state and even coast guards along the seashore are on their toes during these celebrations. Unfortunately, the spiritual benefit derived by the society from this festival is comparatively negligible.

Forcible collection of funds

Demanding and pressurising donors to donate is tantamount to organized extortion. People with illegal money, manufacturers of liquor or gutkha (tobacco) try to earn merits (punya) and reputation by offering huge donations. Cigarette and gutkha manufacturers advertise their products during the festival. A festival celebrated with such ill-earned wealth will never appease Lord Ganesha.

Fake lotteries

Incidents of citizens being cheated through these, are on the rise. One such Ganesha festival committee sold lotteries worth Rs. 125 each. However, nobody got a prize.. Photos of Lord Ganesha printed on lottery tickets are thrown and trampled upon after the results, causing denigration of the deity. To attract devotees, signboards such as, ‘Right here, Lord Ganapati fulfills wishes’, are put up. The faithful and naive, simple devotees are made to pay money in return for a receipt to queue up to see the idol! Some Ganesha festival committees organize two queues for paying obeisance to Lord Ganesha. One queue is for those who wish and can afford to buy a ticket and avoid the routine queue to get faster ‘darshan’ of the deity. This amounts to corruption in the name of the deity.

Demeaning advertising

In an advertisement of ‘Zandu balm’, Lord Ganapati uses the balm for a backache that developed on account of sitting continuously for 10 days during the Ganesha festival.

Base, tasteless programs

Nowadays orchestras, film dance programs, etc. not in keeping with the Indian culture are widely organized during the Ganesha festival. Lewd songs are played loudly.

Over expense on lighting

Electrical lighting is not restricted merely to the idol and pandal but covers long distances. Nowadays musical lighting, which has become popular, causes noise pollution too. Lighting done on such a large scale is a great loss of national wealth.

Noise pollution

Blaring music is played throughout the day and night as festival committees compete with one another.

Egoistic volunteers

Volunteers of the festival committee are seen celebrating merely for publicity. Attention of these volunteers is focused on undue prestige rather than on the sanctity of the festival, devotion (bhakti) and spiritual emotion (bhâv). Eg. A resident of Pune had a four year old daughter who was terminally ill. All treatment proved to be in vain. Blaring music played continuously on eight loudspeakers during the festival. The helpless bed-ridden child would constantly hold her head and groan in pain. Her father requested the volunteers of the Ganesha festival committee to lower the volume of the loudspeakers. They said, “What can we do if your daughter is ill? You can shift your residence. Should others stop celebrating the festival for the sake of your daughter?” They also passed casteist remarks. The very next day, the child expired.

Slow immersion processions

According to a survey in 1998, the Ganesha immersion procession in Pune lasted 28 hours and 25 minutes. 1560 Ganesha festival committees had participated in it

Throwing coloured powder: Dr. PP Lahâne, Head of the Department of Ophthalmology at JJ Hospital says if the powder enters the eyes it may cause redness of the eyes and lead to hemorrhage, corneal ulcer causing opacity and subsequent decrease in vision.

Lewd dancing

Nowadays under the influence of alcohol, crude dance competition to the tune of film songs, youth making vulgar gestures and eve-teasing form a path of celebration.

Politicizing

One year, a political dispute arose between activists of two political parties on the road itself during the immersion procession of Ganesh idols. The dispute which initially started with verbal abuses and minor arguments later took a serious turn. Workers of one political party pelted the other party with stones and soda water bottles. This was a clever plan of generating fear in the voters of their constituency by a cheap display of their power.

Security Problems

A large security force has to be posted on the day of immersion to prevent occurrence of any untoward incident.

Police & crowds

One may say that the crowds gathering on the seashores of Mumbaî for the immersion of Ganesh idols are the largest in Asia. The police have to put in special efforts to control this significantly large crowd much beyond its capability. Children get lost and can be kidnaped in this crowd

Effects of idol immersion

1. Accumulation of residue in the sea and lakes due to immersion of idols: According to the ‘Jidnyasa’ report, 6,625 idols were immersed in the Mâsundâ lake in 1998. The idols contained 20,446.68 kgs. of plaster of Paris and 1,144.12 kgs. of paint. In 1993, the lake was desilted by incurring expenditure to the tune of millions of rupees. The depth of the lake then was 18 feet. In 1998, when the depth was fathomed again, it was found to be only 10 feet. This meant that the depth of the lake reduced by 1.5 feet every year. If immersion of Ganesh idols were continued every year then by 2005, the above lake would be totally filled with the residue of plaster of Paris.
2. Drinking water problem
3. Danger to vegetation and aquatic life

Solution:

1. Instead of making huge idols, restrict their size as per the science behind the idol.
2. To avoid the tremendous pollution caused by plaster of Paris and artificial colours, make idols from clay and natural colours.
3. If flowers, dûrvâ and other substances which are used in the ritualistic worship are collected after immersion in water and are buried in the soil, they will serve as good manure.
4. Immersion of the idols should be done only in flowing water and not in lakes and ponds.

Efforts of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti

As Ganesh Festival is a religious festival it is necessary that the religious organizations take the responsibility to stop the malpractices and celebrate it in accordance to the sciene of spirituality. For this HJS is conducting campaigns for the last six years. As part of the campaign the Ganesh idol makers and the organisers are contacted and educated on this matter, Why should Ganesh idol not be tall, idol in the form of saint, other Gods or idols of strange and distorted form not be made, idols not be made of glass, coconut, plaster of Paris or of fiber instead be made of clay ,why to use natural colours while painting the idol, immersion of the idol in flowing water instead of donating it, the science behind it and the spiritual benefits on account of this is the information given and education conducted.

At some of the places in the state, by meeting the Ganeshutsav mandals, through the programmes organized by the police and the Mohalla committee education is conducted by placing the points of code of conduct prepared by HJS about what things should be there and what things should not be there is Ganeshutsav. Included in this are the education about problems in the procession, unwanted wastage of money on electrification, noise pollution, immersion and the programmes being held during the festival. So also the stand of not bursting crackers with pictures of God and National figures is placed and education done. For education in the Ganesh idol workshops and in public places through the medium of posters ,banners or an exhibition, distribution of handbills, and at many places through lectures or VCD’s ,education is undertaken.

An Ideal Ganesh Festival

How to please Lord Ganesh & invoke His Blessings

In ancient days, the rituals performed with spiritual emotion and the science behind them were the main part of the festival rather than external decoration. Unfortunately today, this aspect is overlooked while celebrating religious festivals. The idol should assimilate the Ganesh principle. A few years ago, in Kolhapur, Maharashta and Margao, Goa, the Ganesh idols worshipped in the public celebrations were in the form of Saints, Swami Samarth of Akkalkot and Shree Saibaba of Shirdi respectively. In Kalyan, Mumbai, Lord Ganesh’s idol was created from medical appliances. The trunk was made from syringes, the ears from kidney trays, the crown from saline bottles, the hands from gloves and the eyes from capsules.

According to the Science of Spirituality, every deity represents a specific principle. According to the doctrine of Spirituality, sound, touch, form, taste, odour and energy co-exist. Thus, the form of the deity should be such that it is able to attract maximum frequencies of the deitythat is worshipped. If this doctrine is not followed while making the idol, the frequencies of the deity do not assimilate in the idol, and the worshipper is not benefited by its ritualistic worship. Today, it is noticed thatmost of the times Ganesh idols are sculpted without considering these facts. Worship of such idols is wrong. According to the science of idols, an idol of Ganapati should have one tooth and four arms. The three hands should hold a noose, a goad and a tooth respectivelyand the fourth should be in a posture endowing blessings. The belly should be large and the flag should adorn a symbol of a mouse on it. The ears of the idol should be like sifting pans, and the deity should be seated on a wooden seat with a crown on it’s head.

Losses caused by giving a social form to a religious festival:

The Ganesh festival today, even though being a religious one, has proved detrimental to both Righteousness (Dharma) and society. Many people desire that the sanctity of a religious festival should be preserved. Rituals like moving lit lamps (arti), ritualistic worship (puja), making offerings to the deity (tirtha prasad), paying obeisance to The Lord, listening to songs in praise of God (kirtan) and discourses should acquire a significant position in the celebrations. Funds accumulated should be utilised for the spread of Spirituality.

Some examples of propagation of Spirituality are as follows –
1.Cleaning, repair, maintenance and renovation of neighbouring temples
2. Assisting in celebrating religious festivals in nearby places of pilgrimage (tîrthakshetra) and temples
3. Assisting individuals and organisations that aim at fostering Indian culture (sanskruti)
4. Assisting organisations in the study of the Vedâs and the science of Yoga.
5. Providing assistance in cash or in kind to organisations propagating Spirituality, e.g. lending a sound system for a discourse at a nominal rate or free of charge.

Has your local festival achieved this aim?

A religious festival is a religious ritual celebrated collectively in the society to provide rest to the body and happiness to the mind, especially social happiness. One should be able to experience happiness from Nature and fine arts through such festivals and help man to go beyond self (self centredness) and blend with society at least to some extent. Religious festivals unite people who normally do not come together in their day-to-day life, setting aside all discriminations – of financial status, caste and class, literacy, etc. Make this Ganeshotsav a time to unite and be righteous!

Ganesh Chaturthi

ganesh

History:

The day on which the Ganesh frequencies reached earth for the first time, that is the day on which Lord Ganesh was born is the fourth day (chaturthi) of the bright fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Magh. Since then, an association between Ganesh and chaturthi was established.

Video: Installation and Immersion of Ganesh idol

Note: Commentry is in Marathi.
Description: What is the importance of Ganesh Chaturthi? Why new idol of Lord Ganesh is established at every year? Information on Siddhivinayak vowed religious observarance and Aarti.

Significance of Ganesh Chaturthi:

A. Since the frequencies of Ganesh and those of the earth on the fourth day (chaturthi or Ganesh Chaturthi) of every fortnight of the Hindu lunar months match, they are favourable to one another. This implies that on that date, a greater quantity of frequencies of Ganesh can reach the earth.

B. Chaturthi means the turiyavastha, a state beyond the states of waking (jagruti), dream (svapna) and deep sleep (sushupti). This itself is the target of a seeker.

C. The holy text Agnipuran’ prescribes the vowed religious observance (vrat) of chaturthi for acquisition of worldly pleasures and the Final Liberation (Moksha).

Types of Ganesh Chaturthi:

The fourth day (chaturthi) of the bright fortnight of each Hindu lunar month is called Vinayaki and that of the dark fortnight is called Sankashti.

A. Vinayaki : The ritualistic worship on this day does not include viewing the moon and worshipping it like sankashti. On the day of Vinayaki, one fasts the whole day through and ends the fast only the next day. The deity of this vowed religious observance (vrat) is ‘Shri Siddhivinayak’. Vinayaki is performed for well-being and prosperity.

B. Sankashti : On this day, one should observe a complete fast the whole day. In the evening after a bath, one should make preparations for the ritualistic worship of Lord Ganesh. In the night after looking at the moon, either an idol of Ganesh or a betelnut placed on a mound of consecrated rice (akshata) symbolic of Ganesh, should be worshipped with sixteen substances (shodashopchar puja). Twenty-one rounds (avartans) of the Atharvashirsha should be recited. One should pay obeisance to the moon after giving an offering and sprinkling sandalwood paste (gandha), flowers and consecrated rice in its direction. On the day of chaturthi, the offering should be made in a circular shelving metal dish (tamhan). One should eat only after the holy sacrament which consists of five delicacies (mahanaivedya) is offered. The deity of this vowed religious observance is ‘Shri Vighnavinayak’. Sankashta means sankat (crisis). The 360 frequencies which are emitted from the core of the earth surround us and thus slow down the body processes. This itself is called a ‘sankat’.In the dark fortnight of the Hindu lunar month, these 360 frequencies are more active. This obstructs the flow of energy through the channels (nadis) in our body. Sankashti is performedto overcome this crisis. Ganesh controls the 360 frequencies. Hence by worshipping Him, one is released from the bondage of these 360 frequencies.

C. Angaraki : The chaturthi which falls on a Tuesday is called Angaraki. Angar means the planet Mars (Mangal) or earth(bhumi). Ganesh is the presiding deity of Mars just as He is of the earth. Ganesh and Mars, both have the same complexion.On the day of Angaraki, the Ganesh frequencies reach the earthin greater quantities and those from the Mars too reach the earth. Consequently, most of the frequencies emitted from the moon are destroyed. Hence the benefit obtained by performing ‘angarika vinayaki’ and ‘angarika sankashti’ is equivalent to that obtained by performing all the vinayakis and sankashtis respectively, throughout the year. Angaraki unlike other vowed religious observances (vrat) is not performed throughout the day and night. It is an observance lasting for five prahars (one prahar is a period of about three hours), four during the day and one at night. According to the ritual, a meal should be taken at moonrise. Thus that meal becomes a part of the ritual and is not partaken to conclude the fast.

Common Practical Questions and Spiritual Clarification about Ganesh Chaturthi

Get answers of following questions Click Here

1. Why there is need for a new Ganesh Idol?
2. What is the proper duration of the rituals according to the scriptures and local customs?
3. If idol is damaged, what should be done?
4. Why looking at the moon is prohibited on Ganesh Chaturthi?

Ganesh Chaturthi Rituals and their significance

Know about the scientific way to perform Ganesh Puja (Worship): Click Here

 

Rituals and their significance

Before commencing the ritualistic worship, rice (grain) is spread over the seat on which the idol is to be installed. Either a fistful or a mound of rice is used, depending on the local custom. On invocation of Ganapati and His ritualistic worship, energy is generated in the idol. This energy saturates the rice on which the idol is placed. If there are two strings of a musical instrument (a stringed musical instrument) of the same frequency, when sound is generated by one the same is generated by the other. Similarly, when frequencies of energy are generated in the rice below the idol, this energy is transmitted to the rice stored in the house. Thus one can eat rice saturated with energy as a sacrament of food (prasad) throughout the year.

When performing each of the following rituals a particular mantra is recited.

[Detailed information on ritualistic worship is given in ‘Science of Spirituality: Chapter 7 – Path of Devotion (Bhaktiyoga)’. The actual ritualistic worship is based on ‘Shri Ganesh Pujavidhan’ compiled by Mr. S. K. Devdhar.]

1. Sipping water from the palm (achaman): This brings about internal purification.
2.

The resolve (sankalpa): It may be difficult to obtain the benefit of a ritual without making a resolve.

3.

Purification of the seat (asanshuddhi): This is brought about by touching one’s seat and offering obeisance (namaskar).

4.

Chanting the Purushsukta (Purushsukta nyas): Amidst chanting of the Purushsukta, the deity should be invoked in one’s heart, head, small portion of hair on the head (shikha), face, eyes and between the eyebrows. This facilitates an increase in the sattvik (sattva predominant) temperament.

5.

Worship of the pot (kalashpuja): All deities, seas, holy rivers, etc., should be invoked in the pot. Sandalwood paste (gandha), consecrated rice (akshata) and flowers should be offered to the pot. This sattvik water is then used in the ritualistic worship.

6.

Worship of the conch (shankhapuja): The conch should be washed and filled with water. Then sandalwood paste and white flowers should be offered to it. One should not offer consecrated rice and tulsi leaves to it.

7.

Worship of the bell (ghantapuja): One should create sound by ringing the bell to welcome the deities and drive off the demons (asurs). The bell should be placed to one’s left and sandalwood paste, consecrated rice and flowers should be offered to it.

8.

Worship of the lamp (dipapuja): Sandalwood paste and flowers are offered to the lamp.

9.

Purification (pavitrikaran): The water from the conch should be poured onto one’s right palm and then sprinkled over oneself and on the substances to be used in the ritualistic worship.

10.

Worship of the entrance (dvarpuja): Flowers and consecrated rice should be scattered in all four directions. This itself is the worship of the guardian deities of the directions (dikpal).

11.

Consecration of the idol (pranpratistha): One should place the right hand over the heart of the idol of the deity and chant a mantra. Consecration of an idol is done at Ganesh chaturthi or to activate any new idol. This is not included in the usual ritualistic worship, as due to the regular worship the God principle has already been attained by it.

12.

Meditation (dhyan): One should chant ‘Vakratunda mahakaya suryakoti samaprabha Nirvighnam kurume deva sarva Karyeshu Sarvada

13.

Invocation (avadhan): Uttering ‘Om sahastrashirsha Purushaha” one should offer consecrated rice. The resolve is the same as is made when giving an invitation for a thread ceremony, wedding, etc.

14. The seat (asan): Consecrated rice is offered to the seat.
15.

The feet (padya): One should sprinkle water on the idol’s feet either with flowers or durva. This symbolizes washing the deity’s feet.

16.

Offering water (arghya): One should take an offering of spoonful (pali) of water, mix sandalwood paste (gandha) in it and sprinkle that water onto Ganapati’s body using a flower. This is akin to welcoming guests by sprinkling rose water.

17.

Sipping water from the palm (achaman): Imagining that the deity is sipping water from its palm, one should offer water with the offering spoon to the deity, thrice.

18.

Ablution for cleansing of the body (malapakarshsnan): One should bathe the deity using the offering spoon.

19.

Bathing with the five nectars (panchamrutsnan): First bathe the idol with a mixture of milk, honey, curd, clarified butter (ghee) and sugar that is panchamrut. Then bathe it with a spoonful of water. One should offer water as if God is sipping water (achman), thrice and finally offer sandalwood paste, consecrated rice and flowers.

20.

Ritualistic worship before the main worship (purvapuja): After worship with sandalwood paste, consecrated rice (akshata), flowers (red flowers for Ganapati), frankincense and a lit lamp, the remaining panchamrut should be used as an offering (naivedya). To make this offering, a mandal (a circle) should be made by sprinkling water in front of the idol. The panchamrut should then be placed on it. (The mandal prevents energies other than those of deities from manifesting there to partake of the offering.) Beginning on the left, using a flower or a tulsi leaf one should sprinkle water around the vessel containing the panchamrut. Then closing the eyes and directing the odour of the offering with the fingers towards the deity one should chant the mantra related to the five vital energies ‘Om pranaya svaha, Om apanaya svaha, Om vyanaya svaha, Om udanaya svaha, Om samanaya svaha, Om Brahmane svaha twice. This means I offer to you O pran, apan, vyan, udan, saman and Brahman. Both the times one should conclude the mantra by sprinkling water around the vessel. Then uttering ‘Neivedyamadhyepaniyam Samparyami’, meaning ‘I offer this at Your feet’, a little water should be sprinkled on the offering. This further enhances the sattva component in the offering. Thereafter, to signify the washing of the hands and mouth, water should be poured over the hand into a circular, shelving metal dish (tamhan), thrice. A flower dipped in sandalwood paste should be offered to Ganapati. Betel leaves should be placed in front of the deity and water should be poured over them. One should offer flowers and obeisance and then release water into the circular, shelving metal dish.

21.

Consecration by sprinkling with water (abhishek): After ritualistic worship and before the main worship, consecration by sprinkling with water, according to the Atharvashirisha or Brahmanspatisukta is done. Water is sprinkled on the idol either with a blade of sacred grass (durva) or a red flower.

22. Offering cloth (vastrarpan) : Two red cloths should be offered.
23. Offering the sacred thread (yadnyopavit): The sacred thread should be offered.
24.

Smearing with sandalwood paste (vilepan): With the ring (fourth) finger one should apply sandalwood paste.

25. Offering consecrated rice (akshatarpan) : Consecrated rice should be offered.
26.

Offering saffron coloured powder (sindurarpan): A saffron coloured powder (sindur) should be offered.

27.

Various fragrant substances (anya parimaldravya) : Turmeric, vermilion (kumkum), red coloured powder (gulal), a powder containing fragrant substances (bukka), asthagandha, etc., are offered.

28.

Offering flowers (pushparpan) : Red flowers should be offered. Offering tulsi to Ganapati is prohibited because Ganapati mostly favours devotion with expectation (sakam bhakti) while tulsi denotes detachment (vairagya). Thus devotees of Ganapati would not even grow tulsi plants in their compound unlike most Hindus.

29.

Ritualistic worship of the entire body (angapuja) : Either consecrated rice or flowers should be offered to every part of Ganapati’s body, from the feet to the head while performing His ritualistic worship.

30.

Ritualistic worship with other Names (namapuja) : While chanting each Name, the durva should be dipped in red vermilion paste and offered one by one.

31.

Worship with leaves (patrapuja) : With each offering of a leaf of a different kind a specific Name should be chanted.

32.

Worship with flowers (pushpapuja) : Flowers of different kinds with their stalks facing the deity, should be offered while chanting a specific Name with each type of flower.

33.

Worship with frankincense (dhupadarshan) : Frankincense and incense should be moved in a circular fashion in front of the idol.

34.

Worship with a lit lamp (dipadarshan) : A lit metal lamp (niranjan) should be moved in a circular fashion.

35.

Offering food (naivedya) : It should be offered in the same way as described in ritualistic worship before the main worship (purvapuja).

36.

Offering betel leaves along with betelnut, lime, cardamoms, etc., (tambul) : After placing betel leaves in front of the deity, water should be poured over them.

37.

Offering money (dakshina) : The offering should be placed on betel leaves and water should be poured over it.

38.

Offering fruit (phalasamarpan) : A coconut should be placed with its tip pointing towards the deity and water should be poured onto it. If a coconut is not available then seasonal fruits should be used. [The energy from the deity enters the pointed tip of the coconut, which is later consumed by devotees as a sacrament (prasad). Thus, they receive that energy.]

39.

Prayer (prarthana): Chanting the mantra ‘Avahanam na janami…. one should pour water over the palm and release it into the circular, shelving metal dish (tamhan).

40.

Partaking of holy water (tirthaprashan) : Chanting the mantra ‘Akalmrutyuharanam….one should partake of the holy water.

41. Moving lit lamps (arti): Amidst singing, lit lamps should be moved in a circular fashion.
42. Prayer (prarthana): ‘Surrendering at your feet ….’ should be recited.
43.

Offering flowers in the form of a mantra (mantrapushpanjali): This offering is made in the form of a mantra ‘Om yadnyena yadnyamayajantam’.

44.

Obeisance offered by the devotees (darshanarthincha namaskar): Those present for arti and mantrapushpanjali as well as those who come to pay obeisance throughout the day, should offer flowers and a sacred grass (durva) to Ganapati and prostrate before Him. The members of the family where the idol is being worshipped should offer them a sacrament of food.


Intermediate ritualistic worship (madhyapujavidhi)

As long as the idol of Ganapati is in the house, it should be ritualistically worshipped as usual, in the morning and evening. The worship should be concluded with singing of artis and offering flowers reciting a mantra.

 

The concluding ritualistic worship (uttarpuja)

A.

The ritual: This ritualistic worship is to be performed before the immersion of Ganapati. The worship should be performed amidst the chanting of specific mantras as follows:

1. Sipping water from the palm (achaman)
2. Making the resolve (sankalpa)
3. Offering sandalwood (chandanarpan)
4. Offering consecrated rice (akshatarpan)
5. Offering flowers (pushparpan)
6. Offering turmeric and vermilion (haridrakumkumarpan)
7. Offering sacred grass (durva – durvrpan)
8. Lighting the lamp and frankincense (dhupa-dipadarshan)
9. Offering food (naivedya). (Variation: Turmeric and vermilion are offered along with the sandalwood.)

Performing the aarti thereafter, flowers should be offered along with the recitation of a mantra (mantrapushpanjali). Everyone should offer consecrated rice onto Ganapati’s hand and move the idol with the right hand.

B.

Significance: The aim of this ritualistic worship is to endow the one performing it, with Ganesh frequencies. In ritualistic worship of Ganesh, the concluding ritualistic worship (uttarpuja) is the final step in augmenting the frequencies. During the concluding ritualistic worship all the pure particles (pavitrakas) present in the idol are expelled suddenly. This ritualistic worship is concluded by shifting the idol from its place. Consequently all the pure particles abandon the idol and the one performing the worship can acquire them.

‘In a temple of Lord Ganesh the concluding ritualistic worship is performed after the vowed ritualistic worship (mahapuja) by one devotee is completed. Then the vowed ritualistic worship by the next devotee is performed. This concluding ritualistic worship has special significance here. Ganapati should be bidden farewell (immersed) with honor “with an invitation to return”. Thus the concluding ritualistic worship is important.’


Immersion (visarjan)

After the concluding ritualistic worship, the idol is immersed in flowing water. When taking Ganapati for immersion one should also give curd, puffed rice, coconut, modak, etc., as provision for the journey. Beside the banks of the flowing water where the idol is to be immersed, one should perform aarti once again and then release the idol along with the provisions into the water. After immersion it is customary to bring home the earth from that place and to sprinkle it all over the house.

‘An important point regarding immersion of Ganesh is that the divinity induced in the mud idol by consecration cannot remain in it beyond one day. This means that no matter when the Ganesh idol is immersed, on the second day divinity from it is already lost. Hence after performing the ritualistic worship of the idol of any deity immersing it that very day is most appropriate in all aspects. Even if one observing seclusion due to birth (soyar) or death (sutak) in the family a priest should be made to perform the vowed religious observance of Ganesh (Ganeshvrat). Similarly immersion on the decided day without waiting for an event such as a delivery, etc., in the family is correct according to the scriptures.

Science behind some special substances used in the worship

One of the objectives of ritualistic worship is to charge the idol being worshipped with divine consciousness (chaitanya) so that it helps one in making spiritual progress. In order to generate that divine consciousness, the substance, which is offered to that idol, has more ability to attract the most subtle pure particles (pavitrakas) of that deity, from as far as the maha region in comparision to other substances.

1. Durva: A sacred grass called durva has special importance in the ritualistic worship of Ganapati.

i)

Origin and meaning: The word durva is derived from duhu + avam Duhu means that which is far away and avam means that which brings closer. Durva is thus that which brings the distant pure particles (pavitrakas) of Lord Ganesh, closer. Durva offered to Ganapati should be tender. It is called baltrunam. When it matures it becomes merely a type of grass. The durva should have leaflets in odd numbers 3, 5 or 7.

ii)

The length: Formerly the idol used to be about one metre in height. Hence the durva used would have the length of a sacrificial fire stick (samidha). If the idol has the height of a sacrificial fire stick then shorter durva should be used. However even if the idol is huge then the length of durva used should not exceed that of the sacrificial fire sticks. The durva are tied together just like sacrificial fire sticks. This preserves their fragrance for a longer duration. To keep it fresh for a longer period it is kept soaked in water and then offered. Both these factors attribute towards preserving the pure particles of Ganapati in the idol for a longer duration.

iii)

The number: Durva is mostly offered in odd numbers like 5, 7, 21, etc., as they are associated with Energy (Shakti). This facilitates the entry of larger amounts of energy into the idol. Usually 21 durva blades are offered. 21 according to numerology is 2 + 1 = 3. According to numerology, Ganapati is formed from number 3. Since number 3 represents origin, sustenance and dissolution, due to its energy it is possible to destroy the 360 frequencies. If offered in even numbers then most of the 360 frequencies are attracted first and later the 108 frequencies. (Ravan used to offer 360 + 108 = 468 durva.)

iv)

The method of offering: The entire body of Ganapati excluding the face should be covered with durva. This results in spread of the fragrance of durva around the idol. Since the idol is covered with durva this fragrance assumes the form of Ganapati and facilitates the attraction of the form of Ganapati’s pure particles to this form. This itself is called acquisition of a similar form. In other words, it is activation of the idol. The idol is consecrated (pranpratishta) to prevent the pure particles, which have entered it, from escaping. Also the pure particles remain in greater quantities as long as the fragrance persists. To retain them there the durva is changed thrice in a day. Hence, ritualistic worship is performed thrice a day.

2.

Shami leaves: The shami tree is the habitat of Agni (the deity of fire). To retain their radiance the Pandavas had kept their weapons in a hollow of this tree. The fire created by friction is done with sticks of the shami tree.

3.

Coral (mandar) leaves: There is a difference between the two trees milkweed (rui) and coral. The fruits of the milkweed are colored while those of the coral are white. Just as mercury is a chemical among medicines, so also is the coral among trees.

4.

Red substances: Ganapati’s complexion is red. Red cloth, flowers and red sandalwood (raktachandan) are used in His worship. Due to the red color of these substances, pure particles (pavitrakas) of Ganapati in the atmosphere get attracted to the idol in greater quantities and help its activation. Since it is difficult to understand this, one is simply told that Ganapati loves red cloth, red flowers and red sandalwood (raktachandan).

Common Doubts and scientific Spiritual Clarification

Q. Why is there a need for a new Ganesh Idol?

Answer: Despite having an idol of Ganapati that is routinely worshipped, a new idol is brought for Ganesh Chaturthi. The reason being , during the period of Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesh frequencies reach the earth in very large quantities. If these frequencies are invoked in the usual idol of worship then that idol will imbibe a tremendous amount of energy. To worship such an idol by meticulously observing all the norms of ritualistic worship throughout the year is a difficult task, since, one has to follow the restrictions of ritualistic worship (karmakand). Hence a new idol is installed to invoke and imbibe the Ganesh frequencies and is then immersed. The proportion of sattva, raja and tama components in the Ganesh frequencies is 5:5:5 while that in an average person is 1:3:5. This makes it difficult for an average person to imbibe Ganesh frequencies for a long time.

Q. What is the proper duration of the ritual of Ganesh Chaturthi according to the scriptures and local customs?

Answer: ‘An idol of Ganapati is sculpted from mud on the fourth day (chaturthi) of the bright fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Bhadrapad. It is placed on the left palm and is consecrated with the name Siddhivinayak. According to the scriptures, it should be ritualistically worshipped and immersed immediately thereafter. However, since man enjoys celebrating festivals, he was not satisfied with this and began festivities by keeping the idol for one and a half, five, seven or ten days. Many people immerse Ganapati along with Gauri. If the Ganapati idol has to be worshipped for five days according to one’s family tradition of spiritual practice (kulachar) yet one can worship the idol for one and a half or seven days if one desires so. One need not ask an authority in Spirituality before doing so.

Q. If the idol gets damaged, what should be done?

Answer: If a part of the idol breaks before consecrating it with divinity or after showering it with consecrated rice (akshata) to withdraw divinity from it before immersion, then there is no need to worry. If a part of the idol is damaged before its consecration then the idol should be replaced by another, whereas, if it is damaged after the divinity is withdrawn , the idol should be immersed as usual. If the idol is damaged after consecration, it should be immersed after showering consecrated rice on it. If this occurs on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi, one should worship a new idol. However, if this occurs on the second or third day of Ganesh Chaturthi, there is no need to do so. If the idol is damaged completely then, with the advice of the family priest, one should perform the ‘Adbhut Darshan Shanti’, a ritual for peace in the family, according to one’s convenience. The above remedy should be undertaken with faith (shraddhaa).’

Q. Why looking at the moon is prohibited on Ganesh Chaturthi?

Answer: Looking at the moon is prohibited on this day because the moon is the cause of the mind, that is it provokes the mind to operate. However a seeker wants to attain thoughtlessness. In the constellation of planets, just as the moon is unstable as it has phases of waxing and waning so is the mind unstable in the physical body. Looking at the moon increases the instability of the mind by 1/1,00,000 times. Only when the mind becomes thoughtless does one attain the turiyavastha. On sankashti, after doing spiritual practice the whole day, the moon is viewed at night. This is an indication for the mind to return to the usual state after doing spiritual practice that day. The story connected with this in the Purans (mythological texts) goes thus. Once the moon ridiculed Ganapati saying, What a big belly You have, Your ears are like sifting pans, that trunk is weird and those eyes are so tiny !’ So, Ganapati cursed it, Henceforth no one shall look at your face. Whoever does so will be accused of theft.’ Accordingly everyone began to avoid the moon. So it could not go anywhere. Living in seclusion is very difficult. Hence, the moon appeased Ganapati by performing austerities and pleaded for mitigation of the curse. When reducing the intensity of a curse, the main curse should not be destroyed. Both the curse and its mitigation should be present in certain proportions. It is not appropriate for Me to destroy a curse given by Me completely.’ Thinking thus, Ganapati mitigated the curse given to the moon by saying,’ None shall look at you on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi. However on Sankashti Chaturthi, no one will eat their meal without looking at you.’

Please note that above answers are interpretation of references given below.

Ref.: 1. Ganesh Puran
2. Ganapati Atharvashirsha
3.The book ‘Ganapati’ published by Sanatan Sanstha.

 

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