Ganesh Chaturthi: Lord Ganesha is considered the God of new beginnings in the Hindu religion. The occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated as the birthmark of Lord Ganesha every year.
Ganesh Chaturthi is a 10-day festival marking the birth of Lord Ganesha, the god of prosperity and wisdom. It begins on the fourth day (Chaturthi) of the month of Bhadrapada (August–September), the sixth month of the Hindu calendar. On this day, beautiful handcrafted idols of the Lord Ganesha are installed both in homes and in public places.
According to Hindi mythology, lord Ganesha was born mid-day, that’s why the most opportune time for doing Ganesha Puja is mid-day as per Vedic astrology. This year the celebrations will begin on August 22 onwards.
How to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi
The devotees of Lord Ganesha consider the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi as the symbol of starting new things in their life, and a symbol of wisdom, good fortune and business. The devotees of Lord Ganesha bring the idol of Lord Ganesha home or at any public place and immerse the same idol on the 10th day – Anant Chaturdashi day – in water. The maximum time to keep worshipping the Lord Ganesha is of 10 days, however, devotees can choose their own time period of worshipping Ganpati Bappa.
Ganesh Chaturthi Significance
As per Hindu mythology, Goddess Parvati created a baby Ganesha using sandalwood paste mud and infused life into it. She asked the baby Ganesha to stand at the entrance of her bathroom and not let anyone enter while she took a bath. When Lord Shiva tried to go inside, baby Ganesha stopped him and in lieu, Lord Shiva, severed his head, without knowing that he was in fact his child created by Goddess Parvati. When Goddess Parvati came to know about this, she was heartbroken, after which Shiva promised that he would bring Ganesha back to life. Lord Shiva ordered his followers to get the head of the first living creature and they found a baby elephant’s head, therefore, Lord Shiva attached the elephant’s head to the body of his child, and since then, Lord Ganesha became the leader of the Ganas – Ganapati.
Ganapati Puja Vidhi
According to Vedic rituals, Ganesh’s idol is worshipped with all 16 rituals is known as Shodashopachara Puja.
But for simple rituals to be done at home, you can follow the steps given below.
Step-by-step ritual –
1. Clean your house
2. Take a bath
3. Fill the Kalash with water and decorate it with Betel leaves. Put coconut on top of it.
4. Put the Ganesh idol on the raised platform
5. Put the Janve (Sacred thread) on the idol’s left shoulder.
6. Deck the idol with garlands and red flowers.
7. Offer Durva grass
8. Put tilak of Sandalwood paste on the idol
9. Recite the following Mantra from Rigveda to do the Pranpratishtha
“ganananh tva ganapatim havamahe kavim kavinam – upamashravastamam jyeshhtharajam brahmanan.h brahmanaspata A nah shrivnvannutibhih sida sadanam” (Rig Veda 2.23.1)
“ni shhu sida ganapate ganeshhu tvamahurvipratamam kavinam na rite tvat.h kriyate kinchanare mahamarkam maghavan.h chitramarcha” (Rig Veda 10.112.9)
10. Light the ghee lamp and sing the aarti
11. Offer the Modak and pray.
The festival comes to an end with a ritual called Uttarpuja. After the ritual, Lord Ganesha’s statue is immersed in water, which is known as Ganpati Visarjan.