Category Archives: Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi Celebration At Home-How To Celebrate Vinayagar Chaturthi

I wanted to make a post on How to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi at home during last year itself.So I had clicked all the pictures of our pooja procedures/Vidhanam and kept in draft.This year 2015,let me start my Vinayagar Chaturthi celebration with this post.Ganesha Chaturthi also known as ‘Vinayak Chaturthi’ or ‘Vinayaka Chavithi’ is celebrated by Hindus all around the world as the birthday of Lord Ganesha.It is observed during the Hindu month of Bhadra in Hindi /Avani in Tamil (mid-August to mid-September).This year,it falls on September-17th,Thursday.Ganesha is the Lord who is first worshipped before any holy occasion or puja.He is revered as the preserver of all good things and prevents Vigna (meaning obstruction/bad omen). His motto is Shubh-Laabh (good prospect and good prosperity).Generally Ganesh Chaturthi preparations commence from almost a month before the festival. The celebrations last for around ten days (from Bhadrapad Shudh Chaturthi to Ananta Chaturdashi).On the 11th day, the idol is taken through the streets in a procession & immersed in a river or the sea symbolizing a ritual see-off of the Lord in his journey towards his abode in Kailash while taking away with him the misfortunes of all the people.
At home,Ganesha pooja starts from installing a clay idol of Lord Ganesha. Various dishes are cooked for offering/Neivedyam (bhog).Although there are a large number of sweets offered to Lord Ganesha during the pooja, Modak is known to be the lord`s favorite sweet and is therefore one of the main dishes made on this day. Other dishes include Karanji, laddu, barfi, peda,vada,sundal and appam. The idol is given a bath(Abhishekam) with scented water and then decorated with flowers. Jyoti is lit and then the aarti begins.People read Ganesh Chaturthi story after pooja. Various bhajans and mantras are chanted at this time. It is believed that chanting the mantras with complete devotion brings life to the idol. It is also believed that during this period, Ganesha visits the home of his devotees and bring prosperity and good fortune with him. He removes all the obstacles that you experience on the spiritual path.Along with Ganesha, Gouri idol is also placed in South Indian families and worshipped. Gouri Vrata is performed as “Mangala Gauri” by women for good life and prosperity.

Source: Hinduism.org & Yahoo.com

Ingredients list for pooja & neivedyam

For Abhishekam & Pooja
  • Ganesh idol
  • Flowers
  • Milk
  • Curd
  • Honey
  • Tender coconut water
  • Water
  • Rice flour
  • Sesame oil
  • Turmeric powder
  • Shikakai powder
  • Kumkum,Sandal paste
  • Panchamirtham (Curd based delicacy consisting of Panch(5) items: Milk, Sugar, Ghee (clarified butter), Honey, Bananas)  Some items are not shown in pic.
For Decoration & pooja
  • Vastram for Ganesha ( New blouse bit or dhoti cloth)
  • ArugamPul (Bermuda grass (English). Arugampul (Tamil). Dhub (Hindi). Durva (Sanskrit). Karuka (Malayalam). Garikagoddi (Telugu). Garikoihallu (Kannada))
  • Vellerukku Malai ( refer the above picture)
  • Flowers
  • Kumkum & Sandal powder
  • Incense stick
  • Camphor
  • Sesame oil & ghee for lamp
  • Fruits,coconut,betel leaves & betel nut for offering
  • Banana leaf
  • Turmeric powder for manjal pillayar

For Neivedyam recipes

  • Coconut
  • Jaggery
  • Chana dal/Moong dal
  • Sugar
  • Besan
  • Urad dal
  • Green chillies,ginger,salt ( for pooran)
  • Raw rice for payasam
  • Urad dal for vada
  • Wheat flour,banana & jaggery for appam
  • Sesame seeds for ellu urundai

On the previous day morning, make pooran and laddu( if making).Store in a box.On that day night,wash all the lamps,put the thread,oil & keep it ready for pooja.Soak chana for sundal & urad dal for vada.Generally we do the neivedyam around 11-12 in the mid morning or during the auspicious time of chaturthi day.Usually it happens in the afternoon.So we do the lunch recipes,vada,kozhukattai & sundal on chaturthi morning.Start cooking around 8 am in the morning.You can finish everything by 11am.If you keep the pooran ready,u can make 21 kozhukattai in 30-45 minutes.In that 45 minutes,u can pressure cook dal for sambar.Inside the cooker,keep a tiffin box with the chopped vegetables for poriyal or kootu.Prepare the rice in another cooker.By this time,u can make kozhukattai and steam it.Make Dal, sambar, poriyal,pachadi and keep them ready for neivedyam.

Before starting abhishekam,draw the Rangoli using rice flour paste( Maakolam) in the entrance and the place where you are going to do the pooja.
 
Benefits of Abhishekam
PANCHAGAVYAM – Removes all sins of mankind
PANCHAMRUTHAM – Gives wealth
GHEE- Gives Moksha state
MILK – Gives long life
CURD – Gives Good Children
HONEY – Melodious voice
RICE POWDER – Frees from debts
SUGAR CANE JUICE – Gives good health and removes enmity
LIME JUICE – Removes fear of death
TENDER COCONUT JUICE – Gives enjoyment and full satisfaction in life
SANDAL PASTE – Gives Lakshmi’s Grace
SUGAR – Removes enmity
Abhishekam should be done by the elders of the family.
But in our house,my daughter sits with my husband and do the abhishekam :)Take all the abhishekham items in a plate as shown in the picture.Keep a bowl full of water.Keep some flowers in a plate.Keep an incense stick and a camphor ready.Take a wide plate ( thambaalam). Keep a wooden plank inside it and keep the Ganesh idol.Start the abhishekam by putting some flowers and few drops of water. Before doing abhishekam,keep this mind.Ganesh idol should not fall down during abhishekam.So do not pour more water and touch the idol carefully with support.First do the sesame oil abhishekam,then apply shikakai powder.Wash it well by adding water.Then apply turmeric powder.Light the incense stick and show the dhoop & dheep.Mix rice flour in water and do the abhishekam.Then comes milk, lemon juice, tender coconut water, curd, panchamirtham followed by honey.Collect the panchamirtham with honey in a plate.Pour some water and then continue with sandal paste,Kumkum and lastly viboodhi abhishekam.Finish the abhishekam with little milk.Show the dheepam.Pour water and start to decorate the Ganesh.Collect all the abhishekam water in the wide plate and pour in tulsi plant or under some trees. Put a poonool/Oru piri nool(single thread) from left to right keeping Ganesha facing towards you.Then wear a new cloth for the idol. Decorate with Vellerukku malai, arugampul malai and flowers.( If you are using homemade clay Ganesha,pour water and other abhishekam items only in spoons else Ganesha will dissolve in water).After abhishekam & decoration,start doing the pooja.
You can chant this Ganesha Gayathri mantram while doing Abhishekam.
Om Tatpurushaya Vidmahe Vakratundaya dheemahi, Tanno Danti Prachodayat”
 
How to do pooja

Take the decorated Ganesh and place it over peeta/Wooden plank.Light the lamp on the sides of Ganesha.Keep a small turmeric Ganesha( made of turmeric powder mixed with little water) nearby the idol.Keep kumkum & flowers.Place a plate with 5 types of fruits,coconut,betel leaves & nuts in front of the God.

In another plate or banana leaf,spread the nevideyam recipes.Kozhukattai varieties comes to the left side of Ganesha.Rice and other items has to be kept in the usual order.Refer picture for the idea.Keep payasam and aval.pori kadalai/Puffed rice with peanuts in small bowls.Chant Ganesha ashtothram and do the archanai.Then show the dhoop & dheep.Finally do the mangala aarti.Finish the pooja.
On Chaturthi evening,make wheat flour appam and do the neivedyam.The next day morning,you can keep idli for neivedyam or simply fruits would do.On afternoon,keep dal & rice with ghee for neivedyam.Continue this neivedyam till Ganesha stays in your house.The next day or the third day,take the ganesha idol along with flowers & vastram,some puffed rice,jaggery and fried gram dal(Do not remove anything from idol) and put it in water.Let the Ganesh idol dissolve  in water and take away all the misfortunes of people.
Disclaimer : I have shared the procedures based on our tradition.Please take the as a reference,consult the elders of your family and do the pooja as per your practice.Beginners can follow this if you don’t have any specific procedure at home.
Hope you find this post useful.Wish you all a very happy Ganesh Chaturthi !

Thanks for visiting this page!!

By Chitra Ganapathy

History of Ganesh Chaturthi

History of Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi, one of the most sacred Hindu festivals, celebrates the birth of Lord Ganesha – the supreme God of wisdom and prosperity. This annual occassion is observed by the whole of Hindu community with great fervor and piety. Do you know how this festival came to be practiced? If not, scroll down and read our informative article on the history and origin of Ganesh Chaturthi. Know all about the earliest Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations and how it evolved over the time. If you like our article on the history of Ganesh Chaturthi, do not forget to click here and send this page to your friends and dear ones. Have a grand time this Ganesh Chaturthi. May the Lord bless you and all your loved ones.

Ganesh Chaturthi or “Vinayak Chaturthi” is one of the major traditional festivals celebrated by the Hindu community. It is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period). Typically the day falls sometime between August 20 and September 15. The festival lasts for 10 days, ending on Ananta Chaturdashi, and is traditionally celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha.

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Ganesha is the son of Shiva (The God of Destruction in the Hindu Holy Trinity of Creator-Preserver-Destroyer) and Parvati (Shiva’s consort). The cutest and most lovable Indian God, Ganesha or Ganpati has the head of an elephant on which rests an elegant tiara, four podgy hands joined to a sizeable belly with each hand holding its own symbolic object – a trishul or a trident in one, an ankush or goad (made from his very own broken tooth) in another, a lotus in the third and a rosary (which is sometimes replaced by modaks, his favourite sweet) in the fourth. Revered as the deity of auspiciousness and wisdom, Lord Ganesha is also famous for being a trickster and for his profound sense of humour.

It is believed that Lord Ganesh was born on a fourth day (chaturthi) of the bright fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Magh. Since then, an association between Ganesh and chaturthi has been established. Thus the festival dedicated to the worship of Lord Ganesha on this chaturthi day is named as Ganesh Chaturthi.

There is a curiously interesting tale about the birth of Ganesha. It is believed that once while Parvati was bathing, she created a human figure from some unguent and balm, gave him life and asked him to guard the door while she bathed. After a long period of meditation on Mountain Kailash (Lord Shiva’s abode), Shiva chose that very moment to drop by to see his better half, but was abruptly stopped by the man-god Parvati had posted at the door. Outraged by the cheek of this stranger, Shiva cut off his head only to discover moments later that he had killed Parvati’s son! For fear of enraging his wife, Shiva immediately dispatched his ganas (attendants) to get him the head of the first living creature they could find. Well, the first living creature happened to be an elephant. As instructed, the head was chopped off and brought back to Shiva, who placed it on Parvati’s son’s body, bringing him back to life. This elephant-headed god was welcomed into the first family of the Hindu heavens and named Ganesha or Ganapati, which literally means the chief of the ganas, or the attendants of Shiva. Ganesha is the foremost god of the Hindu pantheon. This brave guardian of the door to Parvati’s bath is beheld today as the most auspicious God of new beginnings. He is worshipped during every festival and before people undertake a journey or embark upon a new venture. You will also see him carefully guarding entrances to temples and homes, peeping out of calendars and happily gracing marriages and other such occasions.

It is not known when and how Ganesh Chaturthi was first celebrated. But according to the historian Shri Rajwade, the earliest Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations can be traced back to the times of the reigns of dynasties as Satavahana, Rashtrakuta and Chalukya. Historical records reveal that Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations were initiated in Maharashtra by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaja, the great Maratha ruler, to promote culture and nationalism. And it had continued ever since. There are also references in history to similar celebrations during Peshwa times. It is believed that Lord Ganapati was the family deity of the Peshwas. After the end of Peshwa rule, Ganesh Chaturthi remained a family affair in Maharashtra from the period of 1818 to 1892.

1857 was a landmark year for India and moreso in the context of Indian freedom. It was the year of Sepoy Mutiny, an armed rebellion against the ruling British Empire by the Indian soldiers. This was the first war that India waged to gain back her independence from her white rulers. Though unsuccesful, this battle marked the beginning of the Indian struggle for independence. Many orators, leaders and freedom fighters all over India teamed to put up a united resistance to the British domination. One of these eminent leaders was Bal Gangadhar Tilak, an Indian nationalist, social reformer and freedom fighter. Greatly esteemed by the Indian people, especially of Maharashtra, Tilak was commonly referred to as “Lokmanya” or “he who is regarded by the people”. It was Tilak, who brought back the tradition of Ganesh Chaturthi and reshaped the annual Ganesh festival from private family celebrations into a grand public event.

Lokamanya saw how Lord Ganesha was worshipped by the upper stratum as well as the rank and file of India. The visionary that he was, Tilak realized the cultural importance of this deity and popularised Ganesha Chaturthi as a National Festival “to bridge the gap between the Brahmins and the non-Brahmins and find an appropriate context in which to build a new grassroots unity between them” in his nationalistic strivings against the British in Maharashtra. He knew that India couldn’t fight her rulers until she solved the differences within her own. Hence, to unite all social classes Tilak chose Ganesha as a rallying point for Indian protest against British rule because of his wide appeal as “the god for Everyman”.

It was around 1893, during the nascent stages of Indian nationalism, that Tilak began to organize the Ganesh Utsav as a social and religious function. He was the first to put in large public images of Ganesha in pavilions and establish the tradition of their immersion on the tenth day. The festival facilitated community participation and involvement in the form of learned discourses, dance dramas, poetry recital, musical concerts, debates, etc. It served as a meeting place for common people of all castes and communities, at a time when all social and political gatherings were forbidden by the British Empire for fear of conspiracies to be hatched against them. An important festival during the Peshwa era, Ganesha Chaturthi acquired at this time a more organized form all over India largely due to Lokmanya’s efforts.

Since then, Ganesh Chaturthi has been celebrated throughout Maharashtra as also in other states with great community enthusiasm and participation. With the independence of India in 1947, it was proclaimed to be a national festival.

Today, Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in the states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and many other parts of India. The festival is so popular that the preparations begin months in advance. Days before the actual worship, homes are cleaned and marquees erected at street corners to house the idols of the Lord. Elaborate arrangements are made for lighting, decoration, mirrors and flowers. The artisans who make the idols of Ganesh vie with each other to make bigger and better sculptures. The sizes of the relatively larger ones range anywhere from 10 meters to 30 meters in height. These are installed in marquees and in homes prior to the Puja (worship). During the festival days, the Lord is worshipped with great devotion and prayer services are performed daily. The duration of the Lord’s stay varies from place to place; once the worship is complete, the statues are carried on decorated floats to be immersed in the sea after one, three, five, seven and ten days. Thousands of processions converge on the beaches to immerse the holy idols in the sea. This procession and immersion is accompanied with dancing and the sound of exciting drum-beats, devotional songs and exploding firecrackers. As the idol is immersed amidst loud chants of “Ganesh Maharaj Ki Jai!” (Hail Lord Ganesh), the festival comes to an end with pleas to the Lord to return the next year with chants of “Ganpati bappa morya, pudcha varshi laukar ya” (Hail Lord Ganesh, return again soon next year). Tourists from all over the world come to witness this wonderful event in the sun kissed beaches of Goa and Mumbai.

While celebrated all over India, Ganesh Chaturthi festivities are most elaborate in states like Maharashtra, Goa (It is the biggest festival for Konkani people all over the world), Gujarat, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, and other areas which were former states of the Maratha Empire. Outside India, it is celebrated in Nepal by the Newars.

In the 21st century, with the world turning fast into a global village, Ganesh Chaturthi is now celebrated all over the world, wherever there is a presence of a Hindu community.

The Story Behind Ganesh Chaturthi

The Story Behind Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the major festivals celebrated in India with great enthusiasm and devotion. The festival marks the birthday of Lord Ganesha; the Lord of knowledge, wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. The festival is also known as Vinayak Chaturthi or Vinayak Chavithi. This day, observed as one of the most auspicious in the Hindu religion, is widely celebrated especially in the state of Maharashtra.

History

The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi finds its origin in the Maratha reign, with Chatrapati Shivaji starting the festival. The belief lays in the story of the birth of Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Although there are various stories attached to his birth, the one most relevant is shared here. Goddess Parvati was the creator of Ganpati. She, in the absence of Lord Shiva, used her sandalwood paste to create Ganesha and put him to guard while she had gone for bathing. While she was gone, Lord Shiva got into a fight with Ganesha as he did not allow him to enter, as per his mother`s orders. Enraged, Lord Shiva cut off Ganesha`s head. When Parvati saw this sight, she took the form of Goddess Kali and threatened to destroy the world. This worried everyone and they requested Lord Shiva to find a solution and calm the rage of Goddess Kali. Shiva then ordered all his followers to immediately go and find a child whose mother has her back towards her child in negligence and bring his head. The first child seen by the followers was that of an elephant and they, as ordered, cut his head and brought to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva immediately placed the head on Ganesha`s body and brought it to life again. The rage of Maa Kali was calmed and Goddess Parvati was overwhelmed, once again. All the Lords blessed Ganesha and the day is today celebrated for the same reason.

Celebration

Ganesh Chaturthi preparations commence from almost a month before the festival. The celebrations last for around ten days (from Bhadrapad Shudh Chaturthi to Ananta Chaturdashi). On the first day a clay idol of Lord Ganesha is installed in homes. Homes are decorated with flowers. Temples witness the visit of large number of devotees. Poojas are performed and bhajans are chanted. Often, families gather together to celebrate the festival. Localities organize and arrange for pandals and install large idols of Lord Ganesha to celebrate the festival with friends and family. On the final day of the celebrations, the idol of Lord Ganesha is taken on the streets. People exhibit their enthusiasm and joy in the form of dancing and singing on the streets along with the idol. The idol is finally immersed in the river or sea. The day witnesses a large number of devotees expressing their happiness and offering their prayers.

Ganesh Chaturthi Pujan

Ganesha pujan starts from installing a clay idol of Lord Ganesha in your home. Various dishes are cooked for offering (bhog). The idol is given a bath with pure water and then decorated with flowers. Jyoti is lite and then the aarti begins. Various bhajans, and mantras are chanted at this time. It is believed that chanting the mantras with complete devotion brings life to the idol. It is also believed that during this period, Ganesha visits the home of his devotees and bring prosperity and good fortune with him. For the same reason the day is observed as a very auspicious day.

Festival Dishes

Although there are a large number of sweets offered to Lord Ganesha during the pujan, but Modak is known to be the lord`s favourite sweet and is therefore one of the main dishes made on this day. Other dishes include Karanji, ladu, barfi and pede.