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Ganesh Chaturthi Celebration and Rituals in India

by kevinwatson362

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with great joy across India. People welcome God Ganesha on his birthday and celebrate it for the next 10 days. There are various ways to celebrate this festival and there are many rituals related to it.

There are 5 famous rituals associated with pleasing God Ganesha that the devotees must follow along with Choghadiya Muhurat for Puja. Read below the rituals and their related reasons:

Avoiding looking at the Moon

It is one the most followed rituals on Ganesh Chaturthi in the country. People avoid seeing the Moon on this day because of Mithya Dosham or false allegations of theft related to it. The story behind this goes that God Moon once mocked Ganesha for his fat belly and elephant face. Moon being handsome laughed at God Ganesha and made fun of his Mushak.

Ganesha cursed the Moon and said that no one will worship him and face false allegations on looking at him. God Moon realized his mistake and seeked mercy from Ganesha. Ganesha replied that a curse can’t be removed completely but its severity can be lowered. He said that except for Bhadrapada Chaturthi people can see the Moon. Watching Moon on this day will bring them false allegations and defamation.

Offering 21 Modaks to Ganesha

Devotees should offer 21 Modaks to God Ganesha as a part of Puja. The significance of offering 21 Modaks to Ganesha comes from a tale where God Shiva and Bal Ganesha visited Atri Rishi’s Ashram. Atri Rishi’s wife Anasuya offered them food starting with Bal Ganesha thinking that his appetite would be satisfied easily.

Ganesha kept on eating everything offered to him but he was still hungry. Looking at this, Anasuya offered him Modak and Ganesha was full. He burped once after having Modak and God Shiva burped 21 times along with Ganesha. When Goddess Parvati learned about this, she said that Ganesha should be offered 21 Modaks and this ritual has been followed since then.

Another story is about Menavati, Goddess Parvati’s mother, who used to give Modaks to Ganesha to satisfy his hunger. Parvati too followed this to instantly satisfy Ganesha’s hunger. Thus, the tradition of offering 21 Modaks to God Ganesha began as a part of Puja on Ganesh Chaturthi to satisfy his hunger and seek his eternal blessings.

Ganesha Visarjan

People end the 10 days celebration of God Ganesha’s birth with Visarjan. Visarjan is about immersing the idol of Ganesha in a water body as a farewell to him with a promise from him to visit his devotees next year on the same day according to Vedic calendar. Huge processions are carried out and devotees sing, dance, and play colors during the procession.

Performing Shodashopachara

Shodashopachara is a ritual wherein 16 steps are involved in a Puja. God Ganseha is appeased by performing Shodashopachara during the Puja. The Puja involves the following 16 steps:

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  • Avahana of Ganesha: This step is about welcoming God Ganesha to the homes or offices or Pandals of the devotees
  • Asana of Ganesha: This is also called as Asana, meaning seating of Ganpati.
  • Arghyam of Ganesha: This is about offering water to Ganesha to wash his feet and hands.
  • Achman of Ganesha: This ritual involves offering water to Ganesha to cleanse this mouth and for drinking water.
  • Snan of Ganesha: This is the bathing process followed for Ganapati. It involves bathing Ganapati in the following order: Panchamrit, water, curd, ghee, honey, jaggery/sugar, milk, and water.
  • Vastra Samarpana to Ganesha: It is offering new clothes to Ganesha in red or yellow color. The color of the clothes may also depend on the zodiac of the devotee as to what colored clothes would help to please the deity according to the zodiac sign of the devotee. Chat with an expert Astrologer to know the rituals you must follow according to your zodiac sign.
  • Janai Samarpana: In this step, the old Janai of Ganesha is also replaced with a new one.
  • Gandha Samparna: It is offering perfume or aromatics to Ganesha.
  • Akshat Samparna: Akshat Samparna relates to offering Kumkum, Chandan, and unbroken rice to Ganesha.
  • Pushpa Samparna: It relates to offering flowers to Ganesha, especially red hibiscus flowers for prosperity and removal of obstacles and enemies from life.
  • Dhoop: Dhoop implies burning of incense during the Puja to purify the environment.
  • Deep: It is the lightning of Diya for the Puja.
  • Naivedyam: Naivedyam is offering food to the deity. It includes 21 Modaks, Laddus, dry fruits, bananas, and coconut among other foods prepared for Ganesha.
  • Tambool: As a part of the Puja for Ganesha, offering betel leaves and fruits form an important part. Along with betel fruit, Paan is also offered to Ganesha.
  • Pradakshina: It is taking rounds of the deity.
  • Aarti: It is the final step in Shodashopachara, which is performing Aarti of Ganesha.

Offering 21 Druva to Ganesha

Offering Durva grass is believed to please Ganesha. Ganesha blesses the devotees with positivity and takes away their sorrows and negative thoughts and events from their lives.

The story goes that while fighting the demon named Analsura, Ganesha ate him. This gave him a burning sensation in the stomach. The Gods and Devtaas gave him many things to eat but nothing helped him. A few sages then gave him 21 blades of Durva grass which eased his pain.

Follow these rituals on Ganesh Chaturthi to please God Ganesha and seek his blessings of prosperity, wealth, and knowledge.

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