Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha,
Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarvakaryeshhu Sarvada"
- Ganapati, One with a curved trunk, a large body, and
a brilliance equal to a crore suns! O God, please make
all my undertakings free from obstacles always."
is a day of worship of Lord Ganesha or Ganapati. Ganesha
or Ganapati is an extremely popular God in India. He is
called Vighneshvara or Vighnahartaa, the Lord of and destroyer
of obstacles. People mostly worship Him asking for siddhi,
success in undertakings, and buddhi, intelligence. He
is worshipped before any venture is started. He is also
the God of education, knowledge and wisdom, literature,
and the fine arts.
On this day every
household in Maharashtra installs a small clay murti of
Ganeshji in their homes. He is offered pujan and prasad
until Sud 14 - Anant Chaturthi. This is celebrated with
great festivity and fervor and the murti is taken to a
river or lake and submerged. A well known chant is chanted
during the procession for submersion : Ganpati Bapa Moriya
- Farewell O Lord Ganpati!
Gheema ladu choriya - Who avails 'ladus' soaked in ghee
Pudcha varsi laukariya - Return in haste next year.
Bapa Moriya re, Bapa Moriya re - O Lord farewell, O Lord
In Gujarat and in
the Swaminarayan mandirs a clay or plaster of paris murti
of Ganesh is installed on Ganesh Chaturthi and worshiped
for ten days. The murti is submerged on 'Parivartini'
i.e. 'Jal Zilani' Ekadashi. Devotees observe a waterless
fast. The traditional prasad offered to Lord Ganeshji
are chopped cucumbers and 'ladus' - sweet balls of wheat
flour, ghee and sugar.
Five pujas and arti
are offered, together with a boat ride after each arti
before Ganeshji's 'Visarjan' - submergence.
In this manner Ganesh
is a deity of auspiciousness, wisdom and wealth. Ganesh
Chaturthi is a festival inspiring devotees to inculcate
redemptive virtues in their lives.
The puja of Lord
Ganesh or Ganesha on the Ganesha Chaturathi day is to
be performed at noon. A clay image of the God, painted
beautifully, is installed on a raised platform. After
the usual preliminary rituals, the Pranapratishhtha must
be done with the appropriate mantras. This Pranapratishhtha
is done for the purpose of invoking the presence of Lord
Ganesha into the image. This is followed by the worship
with sixteen modes of showing honor, known as Shhodashopachara.
Offering of Durva
(grass) blades and modaka, a delicacy prepared from rice
flour, jaggery, and coconut, is an important part of the
Ganesh Chaturathi puja. Ganesha is also offered red flowers,
and anointed with a red chandana. The immersion of the
image in a body of water is ceremonially performed at
the end of the chaturathi vrata.