Ganeshotsav

Uniting Hindus, Igniting spirit of Dharma!

Ganeshotsav

Uniting Hindus, Igniting spirit of Dharma!

Ganeshotsav is a festival celebrated with much pomp and zeal across the nation. While families have celebrated Ganeshotsav at home for ages, public Ganeshotsav celebration has an interesting connection with India’s freedom struggle. The doyen of Swarajya, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, is credited with popularising public worship of Shri Ganesh ji on Ganesh Chaturthi. He used it to garner public support for the freedom struggle, and more importantly, to obtain the spiritual strength that this movement required.

However, numerous malpractices have become attached to Ganeshotsav in the decades since independence. The Hindu Janajagruti Samiti is striving to eradicate these malpractices. The Samiti continues to organise awareness campaigns and encourage Ganeshotsav mandals to celebrate Ganeshotsav in a spiritual manner. Public Ganeshotsav was instrumental in obtaining the Swarajya (Self Rule), and now it is our time to convert this Swarajya to Surajya.

Clay Ganesha – Eco friendly Ganesha

Dissolves in water and turns into mud, doesn’t block streams in the river bed

Does not pollute the water, harmless to human health and aquatic life forms

Spiritually purifies the water benefitting the people and the environment

Anti-Ganeshotsav Propaganda

Papier-mâché (paper pulp idols)

CLAIM

Paper pulp idols are eco-friendly

FACT

The NGT (National Green Tribunal) says idols made of paper pulp cause pollution and harm the environment

Paper pulp absorbs oxygen from water and emits methane gas which is harmful to living beings.

Lignin compounds in the paper increase the biological oxygen demand which is detrimental to aquatic life.

The paper pulp disintegrates into tiny pieces which are again harmful to aquatic life.

Paper Pulp Ganesha idols are harmful, Don’t use them ! 

Alternative ways of immersing idols

CLAIM

Some NGOs and environmentalists claim that immersing the idols in rivers causes water pollution and advocate the following alternatives to idol immersion

Immersing idols in portable artificial tanks

Donating Shri Ganesha idol to these NGOs or govt.

Dissolving in ammonium bicarbonate

FACT

Ganesh Idols are are taken out from the artificial tanks and then unceremoniously dumped into rivers

Immersion has spiritual benefits, which are absent when the idol is dissolved in chemicals

To donate or to accept a Deity’s idol is a grave insult to Deities, for we humans do not have the capability to give or accept Deities in donation

Immerse the Ganesha Idol in flowing water as per Spirituality

Two-faced environmentalists 

This particular breed of environmentalists is found in deep slumber throughout the year and awakens to sound alarm bells only during Hindu festivals. During Ganeshotsav, these environmentalists feel greatly concerned about water pollution. 

I Pledge To…

1

Bring home a Ganesha idol of clay and natural colours

2

Not install Ganesha idols in weird forms and huge sizes

3

Wear traditional attire and play sattvik bhajans and chants

4

Immerse Ganesha idol in flowing water as per Spirituality

5

Protest lawfully against the people who denigrate Shri Ganesha

6

Become a true Ganesha Bhakta, devote an hour every day to turn Swarajya to Surajya

Hindu Janajagruti Samiti’s campaign to preserve sanctity of Ganeshotsav

Awareness among Ganesh Idol makers and Ganeshotsav mandals to produce clay idols

Lectures & special discussions to create public awareness about ideal Ganeshotsav

Youth oriented social media awareness campaigns to counter anti-Hindu propaganda

Posters, exhibition, distribution of pamphlets with spiritual and scriptural information

Memoranda to Govt officials to ban adharmik artificial tanks and idol donation drives

HJS sought NGT and Pollution Control Board reports on so called eco-friendly idols

HJS has been at the forefront of the fight to bring a ban on PoP idols since 2002

HJS volunteers assist devotees and police administration for peaceful immersion of idols

HJS volunteers have succeeded in getting people to opt for sattvik immersion methods

How to celebrate an ideal Ganeshotsav?

Do’s

  • Decoration should be sattvik and of natural materials
  • Idol should be made of clay and painted with natural colours according to DharmaShastra
  • Selective aartis should be sung with devotion. Pray and chant.
  • Prasad should be prepared with chanting and bhav
  • A disciplined immersion procession, with devotees chanting, that starts and concludes on time
  • Immersion should be in flowing water

Dont’s

  • Expensive lighting and thermocol decoration
  • Idols of Plaster of Paris, huge size, in strange attire, made of items like coconut shells, bananas, utensils, etc.
  • Laughing, joking during aartis, long aartis, aartis set to film music
  • Unnecessary Chit-chat while preparing prasad
  • Procession where people consume alcohol, dance, apply colours forcibly, ends at odd hours
  • Donation of idol, immersion in ammonium carbonate, thrown into ravines

FAQs

Due to Chaitanya in Idols of Shri Ganapati on immersion it purifies the water. With the flowing water, this Chaitanya reaches far and wide and many people benefit from them. This water evaporates, too; hence, it makes the atmosphere sattvik (Sattva-predominant).

It is mentioned in the scriptures, that immersion of Shri Ganesh Idol should necessarily be done in flowing water or a reservoir. However, some people view the immersion of the Idol as an act that causes water pollution, famine etc. As a remedy on this problem, some anti-Hindus make a ridiculous appeal to the people to donate Idols instead of immersing them. Besides being unscientific, the donation of Idols is an insult to Shri Ganesh. The following are the reasons why the donation of Idol is unscientific.

  • Immersing an Idol (that is consecrated) on Shri Ganesh Chaturthi in the Bhadrapad month is a religious ritual as per the scriptures.
  • To donate a Deity or to accept the Deity’s donation is a grave insult to Deities, for we humans do not have the capability to give or accept Deities in donation.
  • An Idol is not a toy or a show piece that can be discarded or donated after use as per one’s whims and fancies.

Certain regions do not have reservoirs with enough water for immersion. At some other places, all the sources of water are polluted, making them unsuitable for immersion of the Idol. Likewise, because of a famine or a calamity in a place, Idol immersion may not be possible. Such a situation can be tackled in the following two ways :

  • Instead of consecrating an Idol, place a betel nut and worship it symbolically as Shri Ganapati. The betel nut can be immersed in a small well or a stream.
  • Buy a new metal Idol of Shri Ganapati for the Chaturthi festival and worship it after consecration. Though a Ganapati Idol is always present in daily worship, the reason for bringing a new Idol is as follows – The Ganesh waves descend onto the earth in a larger proportion on Shri Ganesh Chaturthi. If they are invoked in our daily worship, the Idol will get charged with tremendous amount of energy. It will become difficult to honour such an Idol possessing tremendous amount of energy with meticulous ritualistic worship throughout the year; for it means strictly following the restrictions of Karmakanḍa. Hence, a new metal Idol should be bought. Such an Idol need not be actually immersed in water. At the time of immersion, keep some akshata on the palm of the Idol and move the Idol a little with the right hand. With this, the Principle in the Idol also is immersed. Such an Idol need not be worshipped daily. Next year, this Idol may again be consecrated and worshipped.

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