The 10-day Hindu festival, Ganesh Chaturthi, celebrates the birth of Lord Ganesha, the deity of auspicious beginnings. Lord Ganesha is the younger son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, according to Hindu mythology.
It is believed that the festival eliminates any barrier from human life and brings harmony and prosperity. There are 108 distinct names of Lord Ganesha and his Lord of Arts and Sciences and the Deva of Knowledge. The Holy Books recommend the best way to do pooja with the right ingredients. Each ingredient is thought to have its own meaning in the puja.
The festival is mostly celebrated in many parts of India, primarily in states such as Maharashtra, Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, though North India has also been increasingly involved in worshipping this deity.
Date, Time & Shubh Muhurt
Ganesh Chaturthi this year, i.e., 2022, is observed on 31st August, which comes on Wednesday. The auspicious time or Muhurat for Ganesh Chaturthi Puja starts at 11:09 AM and ends at 01:36 PM. The duration for this puja last for 2 hours and 27 minutes.
Significance of Ganesh Chaturthi
Called by 108 different names, like Vighnaharta, Vinayaka, Gajanana, and others, Lord Ganpati is worshipped for good fortune, prosperity, wisdom, and happiness. To commemorate the birth of Lord Ganesha, the auspicious 10-day festival, Ganesh Chaturthi, is celebrated between August and September. With dates varying annually, this festival which comes after the new moon or Amavasya, is observed in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada during Shukla Paksha.
Holding great significance all over the world, this festival of joy, excitement, and enthusiasm involves performing Aarti, puja, and other rituals with devotion and dedication. Many devotees pray and observe fast to get rid of the marital problems, fulfill their desires, and set them free from sins. Lord Ganesha is known as the ‘God of New Beginnings.’ He is worshiped before initiating any new venture, marriages, or housewarming ceremonies, etc. On this day, devotees are asked to avoid looking to the moon, as they can be falsely accused of theft or stealing.
Ganesh Chaturthi History
During the era of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the Ganesh Chaturthi was first publicly celebrated to unite the people against the rule of the Mughals. The tradition of celebrating this festival was then revived by the Indian economist, nationalist, and freedom fighter Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak. With an idea to create a consciousness about the culture and unite all castes, Tilak promoted public celebrations, i.e., Ganeshotsava.
This most widely celebrated festival carries a beautiful story. According to the legends, Lord Ganesha, the younger son of Lord Shankar and Goddess Parvati, was created by Maa Parvati from the dirt of her body to which life was infused. This little boy was asked to guard her bathroom till she finished her bath. A moment later, Lord Shiva happened to return, and it was then that Ganesha stopped him from entering the place.
This angered Lord Shiva, which resulted in severing the little kid’s head from this body. On knowing the incident, Parvati asked Lord Shankar to get Ganesha’s life back. Many people and Devas were sent to look out for the head but did not find it and instead bought an Elephant head fixed on the child’s body, which is how he was brought back to life.
Here is the list of items needed for the Puja, as per the rituals:
● Ganesh Ji Murti
● Akshata –Prepared by combining wet turmeric with rice, saffron, and pulp
● Mango leaves
● Two pieces of red cloth
● Lamps and oil or ghee for the lamp and wicks
● Incense sticks
● Plate to light camphor
● Fruits especially bananas
● Sandalwood paste
● Betel leaves
Here is how to do Ganesh Chaturthi puja at home?
Clean the house and make sure your home is tidy and organized before the arrival of Ganesh Chaturthi. Wake up early in the morning on Ganesh Chaturthi Day, and take a holy bath since it is a joyful and holy occasion. Each member of the family has to share the duties and conduct the puja together and seek his blessings.
Step 1. Getting the Ganesh Idol
In preparing the puja for Lord Ganesh, there are three approaches. The portrait, image, or idol that they already have in their puja room is used by some people. Alternatively, you can make an idol with the members of the family using clay or turmeric yourself. You can buy new images or idols (murti) of Ganesh from the shops and pandals. The most common alternative used by most households is this. Every year, people go looking during this ten-day festival for a new ganesh idol that they use for prayers and procedures.
Step 2. Establishing an altar for Lord Ganesh
Make the Lord Ganesh seating arrangements on an elevated platform or the home's traditional puja altar. Draw the rangoli before the altar. On the pedestal or platform, spread a good-looking fabric. Place the Ganesh image/idol at the puja altar.
Step 3. Ganesh Puja
Flash a lamp with coconut oil or gingelly oil. Light incense sticks and assembles with the family members in front of the altar. One may give an idol a holy bath (if the material of the idol is suitable to permit the water). Rosewater, sandal paste, coconut water, honey, panchamrit, and other materials may be used to do so. After the holy wash, wipe the idol with a clean cloth. Sandal paste, vermilion, clothing, ornaments, flowers, and garlands decorate the image of Ganesh. Chant Ganesh's mantras and give flowers at the base of the picture/idol.
Number of days you keep Ganesha at home and its relevance
Visarjan is the final or the last day of the Ganesh Chaturthi celebration, where our beloved Lord Ganpati bids a farewell with heavy hearts. Celebrated with great enthusiasm, Anant Chaturthi symbolized the journey of the Lord to his place after 1.5 days, 3 days, 5 days, 7 days, 10, or even 11 days, depending on the culture and tradition that every family follows. Following the specific Muhurta, some people also observe the Visarjan process on the same day itself, i.e., on the Pran Pratishthapana.
Go green with eco-friendly Ganesh Idols
But the most innovative way of celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi is to opt for Eco friendly Ganesh idols. These adorable idols are made of clay, paper mache, and red soil infused with seeds that transform into beautiful plants. Painted with organic colors, these idols contain no harmful chemicals and have an easy immersion process for each of the following murtis.
Clay Ganesha - Being 100% biodegradable, these Murtis made of organic clay can be immersed in a tub of water at home itself. To describe, once the Uttar Puja is done, take a bucket, tub, or huge vessel completely filled with water. Following all the steps of Visarjan, immerse the clay Ganesha slowly. This bucket of water which contains the dissolved clay, can be used for the plants in your garden.
Paper Mache Ganpati - These non-polluting idols are a combination of organic glue, paper pulp, and clay that are perfect for this Ganesh Chaturthi celebration. The immersion of these idols can be done in a tank of water which is extremely easy. The water that remains in the tub or tank can be used or recycled for gardening purposes.
Tree or Red Soil Ganesha - These handy Ganesha idols made of red soil infused with seeds and organic fertilizers. At the time of Visarjan, fill the pot with potting mix, natural clay, and organic fertilizers. Once done, place the Ganpati murti on the bed of mud and water it slowly. Constantly watering this idol makes the red soil mix in the pot, which will make the sown seeds turn into beautiful plants.
No one can express the joy, positivity, happiness, and aura of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival that wanders around. Carrying this love for our favorite Ganpati Bappa in our hearts, every home is decorated with beautiful, amazing, and aesthetic themes so as to welcome and please the Lord. Fascinating eco-friendly Ganesha Chaturthi decoration ideas with flowers, handmade craft items, and so much more also add a personal touch to the festival. To make your home more welcoming, here are a few decoration ideas for you.
● Adjustable Pink Floral Garland/Mala - This delicate and beautifully designed floral garland looks much prettier when put around the neck of lovely Ganpati Bappa. Along with other Vastra, flower garlands, you can use this Mala that is completely adjustable.
● Colorful transparent drapes accompanied with lights - To create a beautiful decorative background for the Ganesh Chaturthi celebration, you can pair the multi-colored transparent drapes with twinkling lights that create a mesmerizing appearance.
● Set of 10 Colorful Backdrop Decoration - Adding uniqueness to the festival, here is another item that adds to the list of Ganpati decorations. Every single backdrop hung with a bell at the bottom creates beauty when installed just behind the Ganpati idol.
● Paper Pinwheels - Got attractive colorful paper at home? Then why not craft them to pretty pinwheels? Yes, this is one of the finest and most affordable decoration themes. You can do this with fluorescent sheets of paper. Combines with fresh flowers make the best pair.
● Eco-friendly decoration with banana leaves and flowers - Banana leaves are something that is easy to get from the market as this is one of the amazing trees whose products are easily available throughout the year. You can create floral decorations or mantaps with the barks with no hassles as they have high strength and are easy to mold.
● Mayur 3 Layered T-light Stand - T-light holders are the evergreen options that style up any festival. Showcasing exquisite and intricate designs, this T-light stand, when placed beside the idol, spreads the radiance with its soft glow lit with candles.
Step By Step Ganesh Chaturthi Puja Vidhi
Decorated with floral decorations and gorgeous lights, Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations witness a doubling of joy, happiness, excitement, and devotion every day. Similarly, the Vidhis performed everyday symbolize the love towards the Lord Ganpati. Celebrated for 10 long days, this festival begins with the following Vidhis;
# Avahana and Pratishthapana
Join your palms together with thumbs folded inside, showcasing Avahana Mudra, and chant the following mantras to invoke the idol with life.
Mantra for Avahana :
Mantra for Pratishthapana :
# Asana Samarpan
Once the invoking and installing of the idol is done, take five flowers in your palms, recite the below mantra and offer a seat to the Lord and the flowers on his feet.
# Padya Samarpan
This includes washing the feet of Ganpati Bappa while reciting the mantra;
# Arghya Samarpan
While chanting the following mantra, offer scented water to the murti.
# Snana Mantra
Below are the mantras while offering Snana (bathing) to the murti.
● Jal Snana - With the chanting of the mantra Shri Ganesha is offered water for bathing.
● Panchamrita Snanam - Offering Panchamrit (milk, ghee, sugar, curd, honey) while chanting the below mantra.
● Payah/Dugdha Snanam - Give a bath with Paya (milk) while chanting the below mantra.
● Dadhi Snanam - Now bathe the idol with curd while chanting the below mantra.
● Ghrita Snanam - Give a bath with Ghee while chanting the below mantra.
● Madhu Snanam - While chanting the below mantra, offer honey to the murti.
● Sharkara Snanam - Now give a bath with sugar to the idol while chanting the below mantra.
● Suvasita Snanam - Along with chanting the below mantra, offer scented oil to the murti.
● Shuddhodaka Snanam - Bathe the murti with Gangajal while chanting the below mantra.
# Vastra Samarpan and Uttariya Samarpan
● Vastra Samarpan - This Vidhi includes offering Moli (new clothes) to the murti and chanting of the below mantra.
● Uttariya Samarpan - Offer clothes that cover the upper body of the murti while chanting the below mantra.
● Yajnopavita Samarpan - This includes offering Yajnopavita to the idol while chanting below mantra.
● Gandha - While chanting the below mantra, offer scent to the murti.
● Akshata - While chanting the below mantra, offer Akshat (unbroken) to the murti.
# Pushpa Mala, Shami Patra, Durvankura, Sindoor
● Pushpa Mala - Next, is to offer a garland made of flowers to the murti while chanting the following mantra.
● Shami Patra - Along with chanting the below mantra, offer Shami Patra to the murti.
● Durvankur - Now offer 3 or 5 leaflets of Durva grass to the murti while chanting the following mantra.
● Sindoor - Offer Sindoor (vermilion) while chanting the following mantra.
● Dhoop - Next is to offer Dhoop to the murti while chanting following mantra.
# Deep Samarpan
Now offer deep to the murti while chanting the below mantra.
# Naivedya and Karodvartan
● Naivedya Nivedan - This is the Vidhi of offering Naivedya to the Lord while chanting the following mantra.
● Chandan Karodvartan - Once Naivedya is offered, while chanting the following mantra also offer water mixed with chandan.
# Tambula, Narikela and Dakshina Samarpan
● Tambula Samarpan - While chanting the below mantra, offer Tambula, i;e. a Paan with betel nuts.
● Narikela Samarpan - While chanting the following mantra, offer coconut to the Lord.
● Dakshina Samarpan - Once done, offer Dakshina (a gift) to the Lord while chanting the below mantra.
# Neerajan and Visarjan
● Neerajan/Aarti - Once, Tambula, Narikela and Dakshina are offered, perform Aarti of Lord Ganesha after chanting the below mantra.
● Pushpanjali Arpan - While chanting the below mantra, offer Pushpanjali to the Lord.
● Pradakshina - While chanting below Mantra, offer Pradakshina (a symbolic circumambulate from left to right of Shri Ganesha) along with flowers.
● Visarjan - While chanting the below mantra, immerse the idol in the water.
Sukhkarta Dukhharta Varta Vighnachi ||
Nurvi Purvi Prem Krupa Jayachi ||
Sarvangi Sundar Uti Shendurachi ||
Kanti Jhalke Mal Mukataphalaanchi..||
Jaidev Jaidev Jai Mangal Murti ||
Darshan Maatre Man: Kaamna Phurti ||
Ratnakhachit Phara Tujh Gaurikumra ||
Chandanaachi Uti Kumkumkeshara ||
Hirejadit Mukut Shobhato Bara ||
Runjhunati Nupure(2) Charani Ghagriya ||
Jaidev Jaidev Jai Mangal Murti ||
Lambodar Pitaambar Phanivarvandana ||
Saral Sond Vakratunda Trinayana ||
Das Ramacha Vat Pahe Sadana ||
Sankati Pavave Nirvani Rakshave Survarvandana ||
Jaidev Jaidev Jai Mangal Murti ||
Ganesh Chaturthi Visarjan
Ganpati Visarjan is generally done on the final day, i;e, the Anant Chaturthi of the festival. But before the Visarjan process, each and every member of the family and Pandit should be present.
● The visarjan process begins with the Uttarang Puja.
● Five items like beautiful flowers, Diyas/oil lamps, Dhoop, Gandha, and Naivedya are to be offered to Lord Ganpati.
● With the chanting of the holy mantras, Ganpati Aarti is to be performed before the idol is moved for Visarjan and the Prasad is to be distributed among family members.
● The head of the family then slightly moves the idol of Ganpati, about an inch forward.
● Following the above step is a sign that the murti will be taken for the Visarjan process.
● A spoonful of curd is poured on the outstretched palm of Ganpati, as it is a belief that the loved ones or guests who receive curd are sure to visit again.
● Remove all the flowers, garlands, and other decorations before Visarjan and ask him to bless your family and forgive for any mistakes committed.
● Handle the murti, such that the face of the idol is towards the family. This lets you witness His journey. While chanting the below mantra, immerse the idol in the water.
● With heavy hearts, all the devotees repeat, “Ganpati Bappa Morya, Pudhchya Varshi Lavkar Ya”, and the Visarjan process is completed.
Some mostly narrated Ganesh Slokas for Ganesh Chaturthi Puja Vidhi:
1) Vakratunda Mahakaya Koti Surya Samaprabha, Nirvighnam Kurume Deva Sarva Karyeshu Sarvada
2) Om Gajaananam Bhuta Ganaadi Sevitam Kapitta Jambuu Phala Saar Pakshitam Umasutam Shoka Vinaasha Kaaranam Namami Vighneshwara Paada Pankajam
3) Shuklambharadharam Vishnum Shashi Varnam Chaturbhujam Prasanna Vadanam Dhyayet Sarva Vighnopa Shantaye.
4) Om Gam Ganapataye Namah!
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in Maharashtra all over the country. Huge idols are placed in places for everyone to pay and Visarajan takes place on the tenth day. The idol is carried to the shore and sunk with a festival procession. This marks the beginning of a new phase with Lord Ganesha’s blessing. Make sure to buy eco-friendly Ganesha that is made up of natural materials and celebrate the festival without hampering the environment.