Ganesh Chaturthi, is a popular Hindu festival celebrated all over India. The celebration begins on Shukla Chaturthi and ends on Ananta Chaturdashi in the month of Bhadrapada, according to the Hindu calendar. Depending on the various culture and traditions prevailing in different regions, the puja process and rituals slightly vary in different parts of the country. As per ancient scriptures, the Ganesh idol made of mud should be held in the left palm, purified there itself with the name Siddhivinayak and immersed into water immediately. However, the devotees of Lord Ganesh devotees are not satisfied with such a brief celebration and hence Ganesh Chaturthi puja lasts for 1.5 days, 7 days, or 9 days in different parts of India.
Ganesh Chaturthi Puja Process:
1) To begin with, houses are cleaned thoroughly and a pedestal is prepared for the installation of the clay idol of Lord Ganesha.
2) The idol, after placing on the pedestal, is adorned with sandalwood paste, kumkum and flowers.
The ritual of Pranprathistha or infusing life into the idol is performed amidst chanting of sacred mantras.
3) Then Shodashopachara or praying the Lord in sixteen ways, is performed.
4) Offering to the Lord is performed using 21 Druva grass blades, 21 Modaks, 21 sweet of Panch Khadya (5 types of dry fruits- cashews, almonds, pistachio, raisins and dry dates) 21 Tambulam (Betel nut), jaggery, flowers, etc.
5) Lord is worshipped by reciting 108 names of Lord Ganesha, which is followed by Arti and Prasad distribution. Vedic mantras from Ganpati Atharva Shirsha, Ganesha stotra and devotional songs are sung every day.
6) Visarjan ritual (immersion) is performed on the final day, following some specific rituals
7) The rituals of Ganesh Chaturthi puja are very detailed one, and is observed all over India with full of devotion and vigour.
Ganesh Chaturthi Pooja Vidhi:
As per Hindu religion, Lord Ganesh, the elephant headed deity, is worshipped in the month of Bhadrapada where a sixteen step ritual called as Shodashopachara is followed. The auspicious time for performing Ganesh puja is Madhyahnakala (afternoon); however, the puja can also be done during Pratahkala (morning) as well as Sayankala (evening). The worship of Lord Ganesh is done honestly, following the Ganesh Chaturthi Pooja Vidhi.
Items Required for performing Vinayaka Chavithi Pooja:
A Clay image of Lord Ganesha.
Akshata – are prepared by mixing rice with wet turmeric, saffron and sandalwood paste)
Glass, udhdharani (the spoon for taking water), plate (small one to put the water as an offering)
Kumkum – saffron
Sandal wood paste
Betel leaves, nuts
Mango leaves – To decorate the threshold and to put in the kalash (see picture)
Water – fetch after taking a bath
Two pieces of red cloth
Lamps and oil (sesame) or ghee (cow’s) for the lamp and wicks
Plate to light camphor
Fruits (esp bananas)
Patra (leaves which are required for this pooja, see the list of leaves to be procured)
For Madhuparkam – Mix a little of Cow Milk, Curd and Ghee
For Panchamrutam: Cow’s milk, curd, ghee and honey and sugar mixed
Leaves (patra for Ekavinsati patra puja) : One can get the list of leaves, whichever are available,; If not available, one can do the puja with Tulasi leaves or Akshata with the same benefit:
- Machee patram – Machi leaf
- Bruhatee patram – Vaagudaaru leaf
- Bilva patram – Bel (Maredu) leaf
- Doorvaa yugmam – Grass(garike) leaf
- Dattoora patram pujayaami – Datura (ummetta) leaf
- Badaree patram – Gooseberry (Amla) leaf
- Apaamarga patram – Achyranthus (Uttareni) Leaf
- Tulasi Patram – Basil leaf
- Choota patram – Mango (Mamidi) Leaf
- Karaveera Patram – Nerium (ganneru) leaf
- Vishnukranti patram – Evolvulus (Morning glory) leaf
- Dhadimee patram – Pomegranate (daanimma) leaf
- Devadaaru patram – Ashoka leaf
- Maruvaka patram – Sweet marjorm leaf
- Sindhoovara patram – Vitex plant (vavili) leaf
- Jaajee patram – Jasmine (Jaji) leaf
- Dandakee patram – Dandaki Leaf
- Samee patram –Banyan (Marri )Leaf
- Aswatha patram pujayaami – Peepal Leaf
- Arjuna patram – Bridelia (Maddi) Leaf
- Arka patram – Milk weed or swallorwart (jilledu) Leaf