Rituals related to Ganesh Chaturthi- The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi commemorates the birth of Lord Ganesh, which falls on the fourth day of the waxing moon period of the Bhadrapada month, according to the Hindu calendar. His arrival is celebrated with people bringing in their houses, workplaces, and temples the idols of Lord Ganesh. For 11 days he is worshiped and served, the twelfth day known as Ananta Chaturdashi is when the festival ends by immersing the idol into the water. The family or Organization bringing the Ganesh Idol in is held fully responsible for his ‘bhog’ that is food and other to-dos, with praying and singing in his praise at least twice a day and other celebrations. The Rituals may vary as per different cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
Rituals related to Ganesh Chaturthi
Let’s find out about some of the common Rituals related to Ganesh Chaturthi that is considered auspicious and followed during the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi:
1. Like any other festival, a ritual that is followed by people all over is to ensure cleanliness in and around the place to welcome Ganesh.
2. The direction where the Ganesh is supposed to be placed for the period of 11 days should be North-East, which is the most auspicious; if North-East is not available then either East or West direction can be considered.
3. When the idol is brought its face should be covered with a saffron cloth preferably, if not any other color except for blue or black can be chosen.
4. The Idol, when placed, should be welcomed and graced with flowers and by applying sandalwood paste.
5. Before unveiling the face, a Kalash or brass pot or earthen pot should be placed, filled with holy water while raw rice should be placed in the bottom to support the Kalash.
6. Then the face should be unveiled only after performing the ‘Pranapratishtha’ceremony, which helps invoke life into the Ganesh idol.
7. Followed by another ceremony called ‘Shhodashopachara’, which means sixteen ways of worship. This ceremony requires different ingredients and the number in which the ingredient is used is usually 21, for eg: 21 Modaks, 21 betel leaves, etc. Number 21 signifies 21 various organs and elements present in the human body which includes, mind, five elements of life (water, air, earth, space and fire), five organs of action (feet, hands, genitals, rectum and mouth), five organs of perception or sense organs (eyes, nose, skin, ear and tongue) and five essential Pranas (Prana, Apana, Udana, Vyana and Samana).
Must read: Rituals related to Ganesh Chaturthi
8. The Ganesh Worship is performed by chanting hymns from Rig Veda, Ganesh Stotra from Narad Purana and Ganapati Atharva Shirsha Upanishad. After chanting these hymns, Ganesh’s 108 names are chanted with the recital of Ganesh Katha and Ganesh Aarti in the end. Pure desi ghee lamp is used for performing the Pooja or prayer.
9. The Prasad includes modaks, pedas, and other sweets with charnamrit made up curd, honey, milk, and ghee.
10. The prayers then end with bowing in front of the idol and asking for forgiveness in case of any mistake committed during the prayer and the rituals performed.
11. The prayers are regularly performed twice a day till the final day of Ananta Chaturdashi, when with great pomp and celebration with people hailing to call Ganesh again next year. The festival ends with the immersing of Ganesh idol in the water.
Ganpati Bappa Morya
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