Ganesh Chaturthi-गणेश चतुर्थी
Ganesh Chaturthi also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi is one of the important Hindu festivals. People celebrate throughout India with a great devotion and enthusisam. Ganesha is the symbol of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. Ganesh utsav is a 10 day festival which starts on Ganesh chaturthi and ends on Anant chaturthi. It is a belief that Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati bestows his presence during this festival. The origin of Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai dates back back to Shivaji, the Maratha ruler. The festival later got a fresh breath when Bal Gangadhar Tilak revived it as a perfect platform to come together and pray together upto the present time.
Devotees of Lord Ganesha bring idols of Lord Ganesh to their homes and do worship by sthapana. Sthapana/ स्थापना means make them seated at a particular place and decorate the place for worship. The duration of this festival varies from 1.5 days to 11 days, depending on the place and tradition. It can be for 1.5 day/ 3 days/ 5 days/ 7 days or 9 days. On 10th day i.e. Anant chaturthi the festival comes to an end with immersing of idol in river/ sea.
Ganesha puja on the Chaturthi/चतुर्थी day i.e. 4th day after amavasya, is usually performed as per the Muhurat, which can be checked form kalnirya panchang, or pundits/ guruji. Puja means the traditional ceremony for worshipping the God.
Sthapna [गणपति स्थापना]
We will clean and decoarate the sthapana sthaan/ place where we want to place the Ganehsa idol. Use raw rice grains the symbol of growth to make asan/ seat. Over the rice grains, place one supaari and put haldi and kumkum on the supari. Supari is also symbolism of ganesha.
“Ganpati Bappa Moriya” is recited during sthapana and then the Ganpati Idol is placed over this preparation. Generally the senior male member brings in the idol by keeping them on head inside the house.
Prasadam for Ganesh Chaturthi
After the stapana – supari, almond, kharik(date), one seasonal fruit and dakshina is placed over paan/ beetle leaves along with coconut.
Alongside, Nevedyam is prepared of panchamrut / charnamrut ( milk, curd, honey, ghee, sugar).
Khirapat, “Modak”, or even fruits or mithai’s are the sweet offerings as prasadam.
On the whole, People offer Prasadam, along with incense and flowers. They apply a Tika of ashthagandha or Sandalwood paste on the forehead of the Deity. In like manner, for the rest of the days, the worshipping of idol with Ganesh Stuti and devotional songs in the evening and morning continues. Must be remembered, everyone doing aarti should dress well after a bath and attend the sacred rituals. The famous aarti’s of Ganesha are –
“sukhkarta Dukhharta varta vignachi” and “shendur lal chadhayo”
Then we offer 21 Druva grass blades (with 3 stems), 21 Modakas, and Flowers to Ganesha.
Importance of 21 – ekavimshati is a sanskrit word which means (5+5+5+5+1) for-
5 organs of perception [gyanendriya] (nose – smell, tongue – taste, eyes -sight, skin – touch, ear – sound) +
also, 5 organs of action (karmendriya) +
and, 5 pancha prana (vital enrgy forces) +
as well as, 5 basic elements of nature (panch bhoota – Prithvi(earth), Vaayu (air), Jal (rain), Agni (fire), Aakash (sky/space) and the 1 mind, which all adds to 21.
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