Ganesh Chaturthi, a 10-day Hindu festival, celebrates the birth of Lord Ganesha, the god of auspicious beginnings. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Ganesha is the younger son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The festival is believed to remove all obstacles from human life and bring peace and prosperity. Lord Ganesha has 108 different names and his the Lord of arts and sciences and the deva of wisdom. The holy books prescribe to do pooja in right way with right ingredients. It is believed that each ingredients have their own significance in the puja. It is mostly celebrated in several parts of India majorly in states like Maharashtra, Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, while North India too has increasingly taken to worshiping this god too. This year, Ganesha Chaturthi will begin on August 25 and end on September 5. Here is the list of items needed for the Puja, as per Vinayakchavithi Blogspot:
A Clay image of Lord Ganesha.
Akshata – prepared by mixing rice with wet turmeric, saffron and sandalwood paste)
Glass, udhdharani, plate
Two pieces of red cloth
Lamps and oil or ghee for the lamp and wicks
Plate to light camphor
Fruits especially bananas
Sandal wood paste
Betel leaves, nuts
Here’s how to perform puja
Bring the idol of lord Ganesha to your home. Before the idol is brought one need to keep the following things ready – joss sticks and incense (Aggarbatti and Dhoop) plate with earthen lamps, a cloth to cover the Ganesh idol, betel nuts (supari), betel leaf (paan leaf), another piece of cloth for Sandli (made of sandalwood, used for carrying the lord), as per Zee news.
The ritual of Ganesh Chaturthi puja starts with cleaning the entire house before bringing the idol. The puja starts with lighting the joss sticks and incense (Aggarbatti and Dhoop) which should be placed in an Aarti thali. Now, the betel leaf with a supari must be placed in front of the sandli. All the family members performing puja should chant ‘Om Gan Ganpatiye Namah’ while doing aarthi.
Dakshina should be given to a priest if he is performing puja. Those who bring in the ‘Ganesh’ idol home before chaturthi, should cover the face of the idol. The cloth should be taken off only on the day ‘Ganesh Chaturthi’ puja is performed during the installment of the idol. Now ask of one of the family members to bring a bowl of rice to shower it on the idol before bringing it inside. Before placing the Ganesh idol, one is advised to put some uncooked rice on it a betel nut, turmeric, red coloured sacred powder, as per Zee News.
After placing the Ganesha idol at home —there are certain things to be done. For instance, red flowers, druva grass blades, modak (jaggery filled sweet), coconut, red chandan (sandalwood paste), incense and aggarbattis to serve the idol.
Everyone in the family should take bath before sitting for puja. The idol should be placed on a clean, raised platform. Read the mantras being chanted for invoking Lord Ganesha. The practice of ‘Pran-Pratishtha’ (infusing life in idol) is one of the primary steps in this puja. It is advised that a specialised pandit should be invited to chant the holy mantras, as per Zee News.
After pran-pratishtha, the next step is that aarti and lighting of the lamps and aggarbattis. Then shhodashopachara, which are 16 forms of paying tribute to Ganesh, should be performed. After this, offer 21 blades of druva grass, 21 modakas and some red flowers to Ganpati.
Put the red Sandalwood tilak on the forehead of the idol. Then break a coconut which is placed right in front of the Lord’s idol. Try to recite the 108 salutations dedicated to Ganesh or read the Ganesh Upanishad.
Join your hands and close your eyes and pray to Ganesha.