Ganesh Chaturthi (also known as Ganesh Chauth or Vinayak Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chavithi / Vinayagar Chaturthi) is a Hindu festival celebrated to honour the birth of Lord Ganesha. It falls on August 25, 2017 Friday and ends on Anant Chaturdashi September 5, 2017 Tuesday which is also known as Ganesh Visarjan. On the day of Ganesh Visarjan, devotees immerse the idol of Lord Ganesha in a lake or sea after a long and gala procession through the city.
Chaturthi Tithi starts at 20:27 (Aug 24) and ends at 20:31 (Aug 25). Timing for Madhyana Puja (during the day except morning and evening) starts at 11:06 and ends 13:39 until Visarjan.
The elephant-headed Ganesha is known as Vighnaharta, the remover of obstacles and Buddhi Pradaayaka, bestower of wisdom. He is the god of beginnings and the first deity to be worshipped before any religious ceremonies. He is worshipped as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. According to the Hindu calendar, Ganesha was born on the fourth day of the first fortnight (Shukla Paksha) in the month of Bhadrapad. This usually falls between August and September.
Celebrated by all the sections of the society:
Ganesha is the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. He is called the leader of all gods and therefore, he must be worshipped first to awaken the consciousness. Ganesh rules all the positive attributes within us, hence worshipping Lord Ganesh ensures the blooming of all good qualities within us. The joyous occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi unites people of all religions and backgrounds. It is celebrated all over India, but festivities attain their peak in Maharashtra, Telangana, and Karnataka. Beautifully crafted clay idols of Lord Ganesha are installed in homes and in public pandals (temporary shrines or mandapas made by people from a particular community or locality) and worshipped for ten days.
The festival ends with the immersion of the idols on the eleventh day in a body of water, such as a river or lake. The idol is immersed traditionally with extensive fanfare. Depending on the tradition and commitment certain homes or pandals celebrate this festival for a day and a half, three days, five days, or seven days. Ideally, Ganesh puja should be done during the Madhyanhana. It is believed that Ganpati was born during the Madhyahana Kala, and hence this period is considered auspicious for worship. For this reason, Ganpati Sthapana and Ganpati Puja on Ganesh Chaturthi are performed during the Madhyahna part of the day. At midday, Ganpati is worshipped with all sixteen rituals, also known as Shodashapachara Puja.
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How to do Ganpati Puja at home
First you must establish the Ganpati idol in the Puja place in your home. When you are ready, worship begins with the invocation of Lord Ganesha. One can chant the Mantra in front of the Idol, with joined palms and with both thumbs folded inward. After the Lord has been invoked, invite Ganpati to be come and inhabit the statue (Pratishthapan) while chanting his Mantra.
Once Lord Ganesha has been invoked and installed into the statue, take five flowers in your palm for Anjali and place them at the feet of the Idol to offer a seat to Ganesha.
Now that the Idol has been installed, spread 5 betel leaves and place one supari on each, sprinkling a little haldi and kumkum. Offer your Ganesha some shringar in form of a mukut, mala, bracelets and vastra for Idol. Put a garland of fresh flowers around your Ganesha. Then dab on His forehead some haldi, gulal and sindhoor.
After puja, you can offer Ganpati his favourite prasad, the Modak. Place a red pooja thread next to Ganpati and later on, this can be tied on the wrists of all family members after the aarti. Once this is done, you can light the diyas and incense sticks and offer Lord Ganesha.
Now you can perform the Shodashopachara, the sixteen forms of paying tribute to Shree Ganesha.
Here you offer 21 Druva grass blades, 21 Modakas, and Flowers to Ganesha. You need to apply a Tikka of red Sandalwood paste on the forehead of the Deity and keep the coconut along with the idol.
Offer 21 blades of Druva Grass. Offer 21 modaks Offer red flowers Apply a tilak using red Sandalwood. The number 21 signifies - the five organs of perception, five organs of action, five vital airs (pranas), five elements, and the mind.
Using a Diya wick, make and light the Akhand Jyot (the diya). Light up the aarti thali which can have agarbattis, dhoop, (incense and fragrance) and camphor tablets to be lit during aarti.
Now honey and khadi shakkar should be offered to Ganpati. You can also offer chandan now. Keep the prasad you have prepared in front of Ganesha and sprinkle with ganga jal. You can also recite the 108 salutations dedicated to Lord Ganesha or read the Ganesha Upanishad or just simply pray.
Translation: Salutations to the supreme Lord Ganesh, whose curved trunk and massive body shines like a million suns and showers his blessings on everyone. Oh my Lord of Lords, Ganesh kindly remove all obstacles, always and forever from all my activities and endeavors.
After Aarti, the family members should gather in front of Ganesha, keep a coconut next to Him and say, "Dear Ganesha, we welcome you to our home. In our offer of prayers, if we have committed any mistakes, knowingly or unknowingly, kindly forgive us. We pray on behalf of all of us to make this Chaturthi a blessed one. Keep us all happy and healthy always”.
It is essential to ask for forgiveness at this time while placing the coconut. On the day of the visarjan, this coconut should also be immersed in the water.
All family members can bow down to Ganesha and ask for God's blessings to fulfill all their desire.
Note that you can always be flexible while performing Ganesha Pooja. Strict rituals are for Vedic priests. All you need to be careful is to perform the pujas with a clean body, a clean mind and a heart full of devotion. Keep things simple. Concentrate on the prayers, not on decoration and other ritualistic details.
Why is Moon Sighting Prohibited during Ganesh Chaturthi?
It is a popular belief that one should not look at the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi as doing so may result in Mithya Dosham or Mithya Kalank, which means that the person may be wrongly accused of stealing something. According to a legend in the Puranas, Lord Krishna was once accused of stealing the Syamantaka jewel. Sage Narada witnessed the plight of Krishna after this false accusation and told Him that He was cursed with Mithya Dosha because He had sighted the Moon on the day of Bhadrapada Shukla Chaturthi.
Lord Ganesha had put a curse on Chandra (the Moon God), which stipulated that anyone who looked at the Moon on Shukla Chaturthi during the month of Bhadrapada would be cursed with Mithya Kalank or Dosh. The person would be tainted and their reputation in society would be ruined. Narada then advised Shree Krishna to observe a fast on Shukla Chaturthi in order to get rid of Mithya Dosha.
On the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi, we at Rudra Centre are happy to introduce a range of spiritual products that include the Ganesh Chaturthi special merchandise, puja and gift items. Above all, we wish you a “Happy Ganesh Chaturthi”.
Ganpati Bappa Morya ! Pudchya Varshi Lavkar Ya!
Also see more on the Spirit of Ganesh Chaturthi here:
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