Engross yourself for the grand celebration of the country, with a COVID friendly Ganesha.
By upending our lives this year, COVID 19 has also come in the way of our festival celebrations. These much-awaited festivals have been canceled to contain the spread of the deadly virus — including Lord Ganesha’s arrival. Although unfortunate, this in fact is the need of the hour.
The excitement of Ganesh Chaturthi settles in weeks before the festival actually begins. Artisans start preparing clay idols of Ganesha in different poses and sizes. The Ganesha idols are installed in beautifully decorated ‘pandal’ at homes, temples or localities. The statue is also decorated with flowers, garlands and lights.
A ritual called Pranapratishhtha is observed where a priest chants mantra to invoke life in the diety. Prayers are then offered to Ganesha’s idol in 16 different ways. This ritual is called Shhodashopachara. People celebrate by singing or playing religious songs, dancing to drum beats and by lighting up fireworks — all of which add to the festive mood. The Uttarpuja ritual is then performed which is about bidding farewell to Ganesha with deep respect.
While Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in a grand manner, Ganesh Visarjan is equally important as well. The celebration denotes the significance of the cycle of birth, life, and death and also lays emphasis on the fact that everything in life is momentary.
Visarjan ends with a ritual called ‘Uttarpuja’. After this is done, Lord Ganesha’s statue is immersed in water and blessings are sought. Devotees chant slogans such as Ganapati Bappa Morya! While taking the idols to be immersed in the sea, people sing and dance on the way, celebrating the moment.
While some like to celebrate Visarjan on the same day as Sthaphna, Ganesha Visarjan is considered pious if it is performed on the said days :
Although the day of Anant Chaturdashi is the most significant day to perform Ganesha Visarjan, many families do it on the 7th day from the day of Ganesha Chaturthi. It is important to note that Ganesha Visarjan is done during odd number of days e.g. 3rd day, 5th day and 7th day.
Anant Chaturdashi is regarded as the most virtuous and auspicious day for performing the ritual of Ganesha Visarjan. Ganesha comes to the home of his devotees on Ganesh Chaturthi day. He brings auspiciousness, hope, success and happiness to all homes. During His brief stay, He removes all obstacles. While returning He takes with him all problems and unhappiness.
The ritual is done to signify the birth cycle of Lord Ganesha; just as he was created from clay/Earth, his symbolic statue is as well. The idol is immersed in water so that Ganesha may return to his home after his ‘stay’ at the devotees’ home or temple where the Ganesha Chaturthi rituals are conducted.
On day of Visarjan, the day should start with the Pooja (Morning Aarti). We sing the Jai Ganesh Deva and Sukhkarta Dukhharta Aartis. After the Aarti, it is preferred to put ‘Bhog’ the Holy Prasad! which should be distributed among all the family members.
The visarjan ritual begins with the Uttarang puja which involves offering five items, namely deep (oil lamps), pushp (flowers), dhoop (incense), gandh (fragrance) and naivedya (food) to Ganpati.
When it is time for Visarjan, the family members should gather once again and perform the Visarjan Aarti before leaving the house. After the Visarjan Aarti and distributing the prasad, one of the family member should very slowly and slightly move the Ganpati Murti, about 1 inch forward. This should be done just before leaving the house abt 5–10 mins before. This is an indication / significance to Him that the family is going to take Him for Visarjan.
We should thank Ganesha for visiting our home. Thank him for bringing prosperity and auspiciousness. Thank him for taking away all difficulties with him.
We should ask for his pardon for any mistakes committed.
If you plan to bring Ganesh murti next year, then ask him to return.
According to the ritual, a spoonful of curd is poured into Ganesha’s outstretched palm because Hindus especially Maharashtrians believe that any guest who receives curd and rice is sure to visit again.
By taking a red cloth, and putting sukha nariyal (half), stuffed in with jaggery and 5 different grains, tie it in a knot and tie this around Ganesh ji’s hand. This is the food prepared for His journey.
When the family is ready to take Ganeshji for Visarjan, the family members must pick up the Ganesh Murti and take Him around the House, mainly the master bedrooms and the kitchen so that His Holy Feet and Blessings are taken around the full house.
The Murti can then be immersed and His face can be towards the Family when taken inside the water, so we can see Him while He is going.
His Blessings will remain with us and our family, and He will take with Him away all problems and bless us and our family with Peace, Prosperity and Health.
This is one of the most popular festivals in the Country. There are several reasons for this. Ganpati is after all a popular God. His blessings are invoked at most religious ceremonies as He is the one who can remove all obstacles to success. He is the giver of fortune and can help to avoid natural calamities.
Ganpati, the god of wisdom and the benevolent deity of the dynasty of Peshwas who ruled Maharashtra inculcating a special culture in the state. Ganpati is the herald of auspicious beginnings and is the beloved deity of all.