Why Lord Ganesh is easily appeased?

Contents
1. Mission and special features
1.1 One who gets rid of obstacles (Vighnaharta)
1.2 One who eliminates distress caused by distressing energies
1.3 One who augments the vital energy (pranshakti)
1.4 Presiding deity of knowledge (Vidyapati)
1.5 One who converts the language of light (prakashbhasha) into the language of sound (nadabhasha)
1.6 One granting an embodied soul (jiva), the permission to take birth
1.7 Worshipped by all sects
1.8 Deity glorified by saints
1.9 Expert in music and dance
1.10 Principle, ability and manifest energy
2 Retinue
2.1 Family members
2.2 Vehicle (vahan)

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1. Mission and special features

1.1 Vanquisher of obstacles (Vighnaharta)

On account of this attribute, He is worshipped before commencing any function right from a folk dance for entertainment to a wedding and all rituals including house-warming (gruhapravesh). (Refer: ‘Meaning of Vighnesh’)

1.2 One who eliminates distress caused by distressing energies

30% of people in society and 50% of good seekers are afflicted by distressing energies. An individual experiences physical or psychological distress due to distressing energies or he constantly encounters some or the other obstacle in his life. Distressing energies pose obstacles even in the spiritual practice of seekers and take the benefit of the spiritual practice of seekers. From this it is evident how necessary it is for everyone to give preference to overcome distress due to distressing energies. Information about how distress due to distressing energies like possession, black magic (karani), etc. can be overcome by repeating (chanting) the Name of Ganapati is given in the holy text ‘Remedies to overcome distressing energies’ yet to be published by Sanatan Sanstha.

Sanatan Sanstha is an organisation undertaking the mission for the sake of society (samashti), that is propagating Righteousness (Dharma) in society. Just as Sanatan wants to ‘reinstate the Divine kingdom’, the distressing energies want to ‘establish a demoniacal kingdom’. Hence presently distressing energies are posing obstacles in the spiritual practice undertaken by Sanatan’s seekers as well as in the mission of propagating Righteousness, on a large scale. Sanatan’s seekers undertake collective repetition (chanting) of ‘Om Gang Ganapataye namaha’ and ‘Om namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya’ aloud thrice each alternately as suggested by The Lord during meditation in order to alleviate this collective distress faster. They are also benefited by it. This illustrates that Ganapati has the potential to overcome the distress caused to society.

1.3 One who augments the vital energy (pranshakti)

Various body functions in man occur due to various types of energies. (Information about these various energies is given in ‘Science of Spirituality : Chapter 35 – Pranayam’.) The basic energy of all these energies is the vital energy. Repetition (chanting) of the Name of Lord Ganapati augments the vital energy in our body.

1.4 Presiding deity of knowledge (Vidyapati)

Maharashi Ved Vyas and Ganesh

Refer: ‘Meaning of Vidyapati’. ‘There is an ancient custom of writing, ‘Shri Ganeshaya namaha, Shri Sarasvatyai namaha, Shri Gurubhyo namaha’, that is obeisance to Lord Ganesh, deity Sarasvati and the Guru, before beginning any writing, for example a letter. Why is this order followed? Knowledge of any subject is first acquired through the intellect and Ganapati is the bestower of intellect. Hence ‘Shri Ganeshaya namaha’ is written first. Deity Sarasvati’s mission is to put into words the knowledge acquired through the intellect. Sarasvati is called “abhinav vagvilasini”, the deity of development of speech by Saint Dnyaneshvar and “shabda mul vagdevata”, the deity of the origin of words by Saint Samarth Ramdasswami. Hence, deity Sarasvati is second in the order. Since the Guru is the medium of acquisition of knowledge and its transcription into words, He is third in the order.’

Maharshi Vyas wanted an intelligent writer to write the Mahabharat. So He prayed to Lord Ganapati to undertake this task.

1.5 One who converts the language of sound (nadabhasha) into the language of light (prakashbhasha) and vice versa

First repeat (chant) the Names – Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh and Ganapati for one or two minutes each and if you see light, assess whether it is faint or bright. Only then read further.

There were 42 seekers at a spiritual meeting (satsang) conducted by the Sanstha. The spiritual experiences obtained by them when doing the above experiment are given in the table below. The average spiritual level of the seekers was 35%. During a spiritual meeting, at times the spiritual level of seekers can even rise upto 40% to 50%. The spiritual level of an average person is 20% while that of one who has attained the Final Liberation (Moksha) is 100%. If average individuals perform the same experiment, they do not perceive anything. Hence everyone does not get spiritual experiences in such experiments. Only those who have attained a spiritual level of more than 35% through spiritual practice and are able to perceive something from the spiritual dimension can perceive this.

Spiritual Experiences
Name of
which deity?
Those seeing
faint light
Those seeing
bright light
Total number
of those
seeing light
Those unable
to see light
Total
1. Brahma 7 4 11 31 42
2. Vishnu 8 1 9 33 42
3. Mahesh 7 3 10 32 42
4. Ganapati 8 12 20 22 42

From the above table, one will realise that a greater number of seekers got the spiritual experience of seeing light by repeating (chanting) the Name of Ganapati than with the Names of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. This will also clarify why Ganapati is referred to as one who converts the language of sound into that of light.

Since Ganapati can comprehend the language of sound which we speak, He is a deity who is easily appeased. Ganapati is the deity who converts the language of sound into that of light and vice versa. Most of the other deities can understand only the language of light. Some examples with regard to this are given in the table ahead.

Deity Ability to comprehend
the language of light (%)
Ability to comprehend
the language of sound (%)
1. Brahma 98 2
2. Vishnu 80 20
3. Mahesh 80 20
4. Divine Energy
(Shakti)
70 30
5. Ganapati 60 40

1.6 One granting an embodied soul (jiva) the permission to take birth

Maha (the embodied soul taking birth) is born with the permission of Ganapati.

1.7 Worshipped by all sects

A sect is ‘one which considers only its deity of worship (upasyadevata) to be supreme and believes that it alone is responsible for the creation, sustenance and dissolution of the universe; it does not believe in other deities’. Despite the existence of several sects, every sect performs the ritualistic worship of LordGanesh. The Shaiva sect considers Ganapati to be the son of Lord Shiva and His main attendant (gan) whereas in the Vaishnav sect He has various forms like Aniruddha, Vasudev, etc. The Shakta (Divine Energy) sect is of two types – Dakshinmargi and Vamamargi, both of which worship Lord Ganesh. In this sect, Lord Ganesh is portrayed along with His consort as Shaktiganapati or Lakshmiganapati as well as worshipped in the feminine form too. Lord Ganesh is worshipped by the Jain sect too. Charumati, the daughter of Emperor Ashok who professed Buddhism, built a Ganesh temple in NepaL. Literature on Lord Ganesh mentions that the idol of Lord Ganesh installed in that temple, popularly known as ‘Heramb’, is seated on a throne and has five heads and ten arms.

1.8 Deity praised by saints

Although saints following different paths of spiritual practice may worship various deities yet all of Them have earnestly prayed to and sung the praises of Lord Ganesh. LordGanesh is highly venerable to all saints. Marathi literature authored by saints has described the worldly and spiritual nature of Lord Ganesh in a beautiful manner. The great saint, Shri Dnyaneshvar has offered His humble obeisance unto LordGanesh, ‘O Lord Ganesh, You alone enlighten our intellect (implied meaning).’ Saint Eknath has offered obeisance unto LordGanesh at the very beginning in His commentary on the holy text, Bhagvat, ‘Though the universe has originated from the Omkar, Lord you existed even before. You are the master of knowledge in vedas, vedants and different sciences in the universe. Of all those worthy of salutation, you are the Supreme.You are the master of all and everything lies within you (implied meaning).’ It is said that Saint Tukaram Maharaj had invited Lord Viththal and Lord Ganesh for a meal, both at the same time. Saint Namdev has said, ‘O Lambodar, (another name of Lord Ganesh) with your trunk, you vanquish all obstacles (implied meaning).’ Saint Tulsidas too has sung praises of Lord Ganesh at the commencement of His ‘Ramacharitamanas’.

1.9 Expert in music and dance

Omkar is the manifestation of Brahman in the form of sound. Lord Ganesh is also referred to as ‘Shriganesh whose form is of the nature of Omkar.’ Numerous verses in the Shriganesh Varadstotra clearly illustrate the relationship of Lord Ganesh with music. The devotional songs (abhang) composed by Saint Dnyaneshvar, Saint Namdev, Samarth Ramdasswami and others also illustrate the close relationship of Lord Ganesh with music. One also comes across idols of Lord Ganesh in dance postures. This idol of Ganapati has a golden complexion with eight arms and His left leg rests on a lotus while the right leg is in mid-air. Sage Madhva has sung praises of the treasure of dance postures possessed by Lord Ganesh,’O Lord Ganesh, You are the vanquisher of all obstacles, the compassionate One, the One praised in all the three worlds and the Master of dance and music (implied meaning).’ The poet Moropant has excellently portrayed the beautiful and attractive form of Lord Ganesh through his masterly and imaginative exposition of words while narrating that the dance performed by Lord Ganesh puts to shame even celestial singers (gandharva) and celestial dancers (apsara).

1.10 Principle, ability and manifest energy

Principle : 70% (Isham = 100%)
Ability : Creation 10%, sustenance 70% and dissolution 20%
Manifest energy : 10%

2. Retinue

2.1 Family members

According to the Purans, Shiva is the father, Parvati the mother and Skand is the brother of Ganapati. Shiva and Parvati are His parents implies that the Ganesh frequencies are generated by the confluence of the radiant (tej) frequencies of Shiva and Minakshi.

2.2 Vehicle (vahan)

The word vahan (वाहन) is derived from the root, vru-vaha (वृ-वह) which means, to transport. The vehicle of deities changes according to their mission. The vehicle mostly used by Ganapati is the rat. But He has other vehicles as well. A (आ) + vahan (वाहन) = avahan (आवाहन) which means, to invoke. A deity does not manifest itself without invocation, that is without an invitation. (However, if a devotee is in distress then it rushes to his rescue even without invocation.) Thus when a deity is invoked to carry out a mission, the vehicle should complement that mission, for instance, a lion for a battle. The vehicle of Heramb Ganapati is the lion while that of Mayureshvar Ganapati is the peacock. The table below gives the vehicle and special features of the idols of Lord Ganesh according to the yug (era).

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Where will you find Swayambhu Ganapati and Mahaganapati?

Contents –

Swayambhu Ganapati, the famous Ganapati idols in India and Mahaganapati

1. Three and a half seats (piths) of Ganapati in Maharashtra
2. Eight Vinayaks (Ashtavinayaks) in Maharashtra
3. Twenty-one seats of Ganapati according to the Purans
4. Twelve famous Ganapati idols in India
5. Mahaganapati

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Swayambhu Ganapati, the famous Ganapati idols in India and Mahaganapati

1. Three and a half seats (piths) of Ganapati in Maharashtra

No Name Place District
1 Moreshvar, Mayureshvar Morgaon Pune
2 Mangalmurti Chinchwad Pune
3 Mahaganapati Rajur Jalana
4 PravaLganesh (half a seat) Padmalay Jalgaon

2. Eight Vinayaks (Ashtavinayaks) in Maharashtra

Ashtavinayaks (Eight Vinayaks )

The eight Vinayaks are famous. The eight supernatural powers (ashta-siddhi) are the consorts of Ganapati. Each of the eight Vinayaks have become famous as being representative of one supernatural power. The eight Vinayaks are also associated with the eight directions.

No Name Place District
1 Moreshvar, Mayureshvar Morgaon Pune
2 BallaLeshvar Pali Raygad
3 Varadvinayak Mahad Raygad
4 Chintamani Theur Pune
5 Girijatmaj Lenyadri Pune
6 Vighneshvar Ojhar Pune
7 Ganapati (Mahaganapati) Ranjangaon Pune
8 Gajamukh Siddhatek Ahmadnagar


3. Twenty-one seats of Ganapati according to the Purans

Name Place District/State
1. Moreshvar, Mayureshvar Morgaon Pune
2. Chintamani Theur Pune
3. Ganapati Ranjangaon Pune
4. Girijatmaj Lenyadri Pune
5. Ballaleshvar Pali Raygad
6. Gajamukh Siddhatek Ahmadnagar
7. Chintamani Kalamb Yavatmal
8. Sharmavighnesh Adasa Nagpur
9. Vidnyanganesh Rakshasbhuvan Jalana
10. Mahaganapati Rajur Jalana
11. Bhalchandra Gangamasale Parbhani
12. Lakshavinayak Verul (Ellora) Aurangabad
13. Pravalganesh Padmalay Jalgaon
14. Ahundivinayak Kashi Banaras
15. Omkar Prayag Alahabad
16. Bhrushundiganesh Namalgaon Bid
17. Vighnaraj Vijaypur Andhra Pradesh
18. Vinayak Kashyapashram Near Kashi
19. Mangalmurti Ganeshpur Bangal
20. Shvetvighneshvar Near Kumbhakonam Tamilnadu
21. Mangalmurti Pariner Near Ujjain

4. Twelve famous Ganapati idols in India

Name Place Name Place
Vakratunda Madras Vighnarajend Near Kurukshetra,
Ekadanta Bangal Dhumravarna Keral
Krushnapingaksha Madras Bhalachandra Near Rameshvar
Gajavaktra Orisa Vinayak Kashi, Banaras
Lambodar Ganapatipule,
Maharashtra
Mahaganapati Mahabaleshvar,
Maharashtra, Gokarna
Vikat Himachal Pradesh Shrigajanan Himalaya

5. Mahaganapati

Ganapati along with Ruddhi-Siddhi [Divine Energy (Shakti)]. ‘The Ganesh created by deity Parvati is an incarnation of Mahaganapati. She sculpted a form out of mud and invoked Ganapati into it. Before the creation of the universe, since The Supreme God (Mahat) principle existed in an unmanifest and eternal form, it is called Mahaganapati. When Mahaganapati is worshipped for acquisition of a particular supernatural power or purely for attainment of the Final Liberation (Moksha), it is customary to choose a Ganapati idol with the trunk curved towards the right. But in such circumstances, as far as possible the idol is made of earth. Rarely does one comes across gold and silver Ganapati idols with the trunk curved towards the right’.

‘It is believed that every male deity has a specific Energy (Shakti), for example Brahma – Bharati, Vishnu – Lakshmi, Shiva – Parvati. Thus it is not surprising that devotees of Ganapati believe in one Energy of Ganapati in the Parabrahman form. There is a sculpture which portrays Ganapati embracing His Energy, seated on His lap. Even today one can see such paintings. So also, sculptures with “Siddhi” and “Buddhi”, His two consorts seated on either side of Him are also available. In the science of Tantra, Ganapati along with His Energy is referred to as “Mahaganapati”.’

What is the implied meaning of the many Names of Lord Ganapati?

Sattvik Picture of Lord Ganesh by Sanatan Sanstha

Sage Mudgal has written the ‘Ganeshsahastranam’ containing the thousand Names of Lord Ganesh. The Dvadashanam verse (sto­tra) contains the following twelve Names of Ganapati.

प्रथमं वक्रतुण्डं च एकदन्तं द्वितीयकम् ।
तृतीयं कृष्णपिङ्गाक्षं गजवक्त्रं चतुर्थकम् ।।
लम्बोदरं पञ्चमं च षष्ठं विकटमेव च ।
सप्तमं विघ्नराजेन्द्रं धूम्रवर्णं तथाष्टकम् ।।
नवमं भालचन्द्रं च दशमं तु विनायकम् ।
एकादशं गणपतिं द्वादशं तु गजाननम् ।।Meaning: First Vakratunda, second Ekadanta
Third Krushnapingaksha, fourth Gajavaktra
Fifth is Lambodar, sixth is Vikata
Seventh Vighnarajendra, eighth Dhumravarnam
Ninth Bhalachandra, tenth Vinayak
Eleventh Ganapati, twelfth Gajanan.

The meaning of these twelve names and some others is given below.
1. Vakratunda

Generally it is considered that Vakratunda means one with a crooked mouth or trunk. However, this is incorrect. ‘वक्रान् तुण्डयति इति वक्रतुण्ड: ।’, meaning Vakratunda is one who punishes those who follow the wrong (unrighteous) path and leads them onto the righteous path. Vakratunda is one who straightens the tiryak and visphutit frequencies, that is the crooked raja-tama predominant 360 frequencies by means of His trunk and makes them sattvik (sattva predominant) like the 108 frequencies.

2. Ekadanta or Ekashrunga

This Name is bestowed because He has only one unbroken tusk (the other is broken). Of the two tusks, the right tusk is complete while the one on the left is broken. The right side represents the surya (sun) channel (nadi). As the surya channel is effulgent, the tusk on this side of Lord Ganapati can never be broken. It is symbolic of the singular Brahman (God principle). The word dantin (दंतीन) is derived from the root dru-darshayati (दृ-दर्शयति) [meaning to show]. Thus the Name also means that He is the one who shows the direction to acquire the spiritual experience of Brahman which is non-dual. According to one school of thought, medha and shraddha (faith) are the two tusks. Medha means intellect, the ability to comprehend. Medha is the incomplete (broken) tusk and shraddha the complete one.

3. Krushnapingaksha

This word is derived from Krushna (कृष्ण) + pinga (पिंग) + aksha (अक्ष). Krushna means the one with a dark complexion, pinga means smoky and aksha means the eye. The dark complexion is in the context of earth while smoky refers to the clouds. Thus it means one who has the earth and the clouds as the eyes, that is one who can view everything on the earth and the clouds.

4. Gajavaktra

Gaja means cloud which is considered to be the representative of the dyu region (devlok) – the region of the deities. Vaktra means mouth. Thus Gajavaktra is one whose mouth is constituted by the dyu region (expansive). If Om (स्) is placed vertically, one gets the experience of Gajavadan (Ganapati). The Mudgal Puran has explained the meaning of the word ‘gaja’as ga = the principle wherein everything undergoes dissolution and ja = the principle from which everything is created. So Gaja means Brahman (God principle).

5. Lambodar

Lambodar is derived from the words lamba (large) and udar (belly). Saint Eknath has explained the meaning of this word as,

The entire animate and inanimate creation dwells within You. Hence You are called Lambodar. – Shri Eknathi Bhagvat 1:3

According to the Ganapatitantra,Lord Shiva played the Damaru (a small hour glass shaped drum). Lord Ganesh grasped the knowledge of the Vedas through the deep sound of the Damaru. He learnt dancing by watching the TanDav dance everyday and music from the sound of the anklets of deity Parvati. Since He imbibed such varied knowledge, that is digested it, He developed a large belly.

6. Vikat

Vi (वि) + krut (कृत) + akat (अकत) [akuti]. Vi means in a specific manner, krut means done and akat means the Final Liberation (Moksha). Hence, Vikat means the one who generates frequencies in a specific manner and bestows the Final Liberation.

7. Vighnesh

Vighna (विघ्न) + ish (ईश) = Vighnesh (विघ्नेश). The word ‘vighna’ is derived from ‘visheshen ghnati’ which means mainly distress. The one who controls and destroys obstacles is Vighnesh. The obstacle in this context is entrapment by the 360 (raja-tama) and 108 (sattva) frequencies. This is contrary to the aim of traversing beyond the three components (trigunatit). Ish (ईश) is derived from i (ई) + sha (श). I-ikshate (ई-इक्षते) means to watch and sha-shamayate (श-शमयते) means to cool. So Ish is the one who keeps a watch and destroys the heat generated by the 360 and 108 frequencies. Vighnaharta (vanquisher of obstacles) is another Name of Ganapati. Since Ganapati gets rid of obstacles, He is worshipped before performing any auspicious religious ceremony.

8. Dhumravarna

Dhumra means smoke. Smoke is the initial state of materialisation. It is the transitory state between the solid manifest (sagun) and the unmanifest (nirgun) states. Thus, one who possesses such a smoky complexion is Dhumravarna. According to the principle that ‘where there is smoke there is fire’, Ganapati also possesses the fire element [embers (angar)].

9. Bhalachandra

Bhal means the forehead. The frequencies arising from Prajapati, Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu and Minakshi merge into one another and produce many groups of thousands of frequencies. Though Prajapati, Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu and Minakshi are unmanifest (nirgun), Their frequencies are composed of the three components (gun). The point of origin of three of these frequencies namely those of affection, mercifulness and motherly love (ahlad) is referred to as the moon (chandra). Thus, the one who adorns such a ‘moon’ on the forehead is Bhalchandra.

Actually this is the Name of Lord Shankar. But since Ganapati is His son, it also came to be linked with Him !

10. Vinayak

The word ‘vinayak’ is derived from ‘visheshrupen nayakaha’. It means one who is endowed with all the features of a leader (nayak). ‘It is universally accepted that there are six Vinayaks. The summary of information on Vinayaks given in the Manavgruhyasutra and Baudhayangruhyasutra is that the Vinayak attendants (gan) create obstacles and are troublesome and cruel. When they start harassing, people begin to behave as if insane, get horrifying nightmares and constantly harbour fear. To overcome this obstacle posed by the Vinayak attendants, the scriptures have advocated various rituals (Shantividhi). Vinayak, that is Ganapati is the presiding deity of these Vinayaks (who bring about destruction).’

‘According to the information given in the Manavgruhyasutra, there are four Vinayaks – 1. Shalakankat, 2. KushmanDarajputra, 3. Urimat and 4. Devjayan. Sage Yadnyavalkya has mentioned sixVinayaks – 1. Mit, 2. Sammit, 3. Shal, 4. Kantak, 5. KushmanDa and 6. Rajputra. Lord Rudra and Lord Brahma appointed the Vinayaks as the presiding deities of the attendants and entrusted them with the task of posing obstacles in various human activities. Although Vinayak is ferocious by nature yet He bestows happiness when appeased. According to the Shaiva sect, Ganapati is the mild form while Vinayak is the ferocious form. The Smrutis Purans (mythological texts), stone engravings, etc. mention that Ganapati and Vinayak are one and the same; but it cannot be said when this concept became prevalent.’ (Reference – Abhinav Marathi Dnyankosh, part four.)

11. Ganapati

Refer point ‘1. Origin and meaning’.

12. Gajanan

Gaja means elephant and anan means countenance. Thus Gajanan is one whose countenance is like that of an elephant (and whose body constitutes the entire universe).

13. Vratapati

‘In the Ganapatyatharvashirsha,Ganapati is offered salutation as “Namo Vratapataye”. Vratapati is the chief of the vratyas. The Aryans bestowed the name vrat, on the group of non-Aryans who favoured vowed religious observances (vrat) and did not believe in sacrificial fires (yadnya). The people belonging to this group are vrat. “व्रात इव व्रात्यः ।”, meaning those like the vrat are vratya. A twice born (dvij) who does not have any sanskars (rites) performed on him is called a vratya.’

14. Chintamani

Chintamani is another Name of Lord Ganapati. An extroverted tendency (kshipta), a more extroverted tendency which may even lead to sin (mudha), an introverted tendency (vikshipta), a more introverted tendency (ekagra) and a state in which all activities have ceased (niruddha) are the five states of the subconscious mind (chitta). [Information on this is provided in ‘Science of Spirituality : Vol. 16 – Path of Meditation (Dhyanyoga)’.] The one who enlightens on these states is Chintamani. The theory according to the Mudgal Puran is that by devotion unto Chintamani, the five states of the subconscious mind are destroyed and total Serenity (Shanti) is acquired.’

15. Mangalmurti

‘Man’ means complete and ‘glu-gayate’ means one endowing Serenity or purity. That which purifies both internally as well as externally is auspicious (mangal). An icon bringing auspiciousness is Mangalmurti.

In Maharashtra, ‘Mangalmurti morya’ is used to proclaim Ganapati’s glory. The word ‘morya’ in it refers to a famous devotee of Lord Ganesh from the fourteenth century, Morya Gosavi from ChinchvaD, near Pune in Maharashtra. This depicts the inseparable relationship between God and His devotee.

16. Umaphal

Uma is Parvati and phal means product. Ganapati acquires this Name as He is the product, that is the son of Parvati. Umaphal also means spiritual knowledge (dnyan). Ganapati is the deity of spiritual knowledge. So this Name befits Him in both ways.

17. Vidyapati

Lord Ganesh is the master of the 18 vidyas – 1. Science of proper articulation and pronunciation (shiksha), 2. A part of the Vedas explaining rituals (kalpa), 3. Grammar (vyakaran), 4. Etymological explanation of difficult Vedic words (nirukta), 5. Astrology (jyotish), 6. Science of prosody (chandas), 7. Rugveda, 8. Yajurveda, 9. Samaveda, 10. Atharvaveda, 11. Purva-Uttarmimansa (concerned with the correct interpretation of Vedic rituals and the settlement of dubious points with regard to Vedic texts), 12. System of Hindu philosophy founded by Sage Gautam (nyaya), 13. Purans, 14. Science of Righteousness (Dharmashastra), 15. Ayurveda, 16. Dhanurveda, 17. Gandharvaveda and 18. Science of ethics or morality (nitishastra) Hence before commencing the study of any of these or in the ritual performed for their study, the ritualistic worship of Lord Ganesh is important.

18. Brahmanspati

The Vedas are referred to as Brahman. They may also be termed as Vedabrahman. Lord Ganesh is the master of the mantras in these Vedas. Hence He is called Brahmanspati.

19. Various Names according to the regions

One finds that Lord Ganesh is known by varied names in various regions. The Dravidian culture calls Lord Ganesh ‘Rajmukh’ or ‘Murugan’. In Nepal, He is known as ‘Suryaganapati’, in Myanmar (formerly Burma) as ‘Mahapini’, in Mongolia as ‘Dhotkar’, in Tibet as ‘Ekadanta’, in Cambodia as ‘Pradganesh’, in the Java islands as ‘Kalantak’, in China as ‘Kvanshitiyik’ while in Japan He is known as ‘Vinayakasha’.

Ganeshotsav

Contents
1. Special features of Sri Ganesh ji
1.1 Names of Sri Ganesh ji and their meanings
1.2 Spiritual science underlying calling Sri Ganesh jiVighnaharta’ ‘
2. Tithi associated with Sri Ganesh ji: Chaturthi
3. Sri Ganeshopasana
3.1 Daily worship of Sri Ganesh ji
3.2 Special substances used in the worship of Sri Ganesh ji

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Sri Ganeshchaturthi is not only a festival but also a religious festival and a vrat. Ganeshchaturthi is celebrated not only in Bharat but abroad too. Among the popular religious festivals in Bharat after Dipavali, it is only Sri Ganeshchaturthi which is worthy of mention. Due to Ganesh festival the sattvikta of the society increases and social integration is also achieved.

1. Special features of Sri Ganesh ji

A. Being worshipped first in every auspicious event: With the worship and remembering of Sri Ganesh ji at the commencement of any task, the ten directions are cleared. This means Sri Ganesh ji makes the necessary Deity’s principle available to us. This is called ‘Mahadvarpujan’ or ‘Mahaganapatipujan’.

B. Understanding man’s sound language and the Deities’ light language and inter-converting them: Sri Ganesh ji converts man’s language of sound into the language of light of Deities and the language of light into the language of sound and conveys our prayers to the Deities.

C. Eliminating distress caused by negative energies: Most people in the society have many difficulties in life. A variety of physical and mental distress is suffered due to negative energies. The distress of negative energies can be eliminated by chanting the name of Sri Ganesh ji with spiritual emotion.

1.1 Names of Sri Ganesh ji and their meanings
Vakratund, Ekdant, Krushnapingaksh, Gajavaktra etc. are some Names of Sri Ganesh. Sri Ganesh ji is also called ‘Vighnaharta’. ‘Vighnaharta’ means the One who removes obstacles.

1.2 Spiritual science underlying calling Sri Ganesh ji ‘Vighnaharta’
Three hundred sixty different frequencies are continuously in motion in the eight directions. The raja frequencies among them are called ‘tiryak’ frequencies and the tama frequencies ‘visphutit’. These clusters of frequencies adversely affect the world of living beings. Sri Ganesh ji controls these clusters and destroys the obstacles. Hence Sri Ganesh ji is called ‘Vighnaharta’, that is, the remover of obstacles.

2. Tithi associated with Sri Ganesh ji: Chaturthi
The tithi, that is, the date as per the Hindu lunar calendar on which the frequencies of Sri Ganesh ji Principle descended on Earth for the first time was chaturthi. Hence on chaturthi the vibrations of Sri Ganesh ji come on the Earth in higher proportion.

On the day of chaturthi of every month, the Ganesh Principle is hundred times more active on Earth than usual. The worship of Sri Ganesh ji performed on this day gives more benefit of Sri Ganesh Principle
In every month there are two chaturthis.
The Vinayaki chaturthi that falls in the bright fortnight of the month, that is, Shuklapaksha
The Sankashti chaturthi that falls in the dark fortnight of the month, that is, Krushnapaksha
The chaturthi that falls on a Tuesday is called ‘Angaraki chaturthi’.

3. Sri Ganeshopasana

Every person worships Sri Ganesh ji in various forms according to his faith. Many actions are included in the worship of Sri Ganesha ji. Some people utter the thousands Names of Sri Ganesh ji one by one and offer the fragrant grass, that is, Durva to Him along with each Name. This is called ‘durvachan’. There are two types of Sri Ganesh ji idols

A. Dakshinabhimukhi means the idol whose trunk is curved towards the right side. South means the right side. One who is able to face the south direction leading to the region of Lord Yama is powerful and One with an activated Surya nadi (Sun channel) is radiant. Thus in both senses, the Dakshinabhimukhi Ganapati is said to be ‘awakened’. The ritualistic worship of the Dakshinabhimukhi idol is performed by meticulously observing all the rules of the rituals.

B. Vam means the left side. Mostly the vamamukhi idols are used for worship. The trunk of the idol is curved towards the left side.

3.1 Daily worship of Sri Ganesh ji
Apply the sandalwood paste to Sri Ganesh ji with the ring finger.
Offer the hina scent.
Offer the Durva grass to Sri Ganesh ji.
Offer eight red flowers with the stems facing Sri Ganesh ji.
Offer two lit incense-sticks
Offer the Holy sacrament (naivedya) of Modak to Sri Ganesh ji.
Offer the arati to Sri Ganesh ji three times in a clock-wise direction.
Perform minimum eight circumambulations (parikrama) around Sri Ganesh ji. If this is not possible, perform three circumambulations by revolving around yourself.

3.2 Special substances used in the worship of Sri Ganesh ji
In the worship of Sri Ganesh, the Durva grass, the leaves of Shami and Mandar, objects of red or saffron colour like Raktachandan, red or saffron coloured cloth and flower are specially used.

In order to get more benefit of Sri Ganesh Principle, the use of incense sticks of sandalwood, kevada, jasmine and khas fragrance is beneficial

After the ritualistic worship, modaks are offered to Sri Ganesh ji as a Holy sacrament and kheer to the mouse, His vehicle. It is beneficial for a person to wear red or saffron clothes for obtaining Ganesh Principle.

Spiritual experience – Ganesh Principle being absorbed in higher proportion because of wearing of a red-coloured saree: On 2nd October 2006 after wearing a red-coloured saree with a zari border, I experienced that a spiral of Ganesh Principle was revolving around me. I became intensely conscious that due to wearing of a red-coloured saree, the Ganesh Principle was being absorbed in higher proportion. My devotion, spiritual emotion and Anand increased. This state lasted for four hours – Ms. Smita Joshi, Maharashtra.

How should the Ganesh Pujan be done for gaining maximum benefit?

Contents
1. Performing ritualistic worship of Sri Ganeshji in the beginning of religious ritual
2. Why is the worship of Sri Ganeshji beneficial for all?
3. Righteous actions to be done during the period of Sri Gaṇesh festival
4. Spiritual experience obtained by doing ritualistic worship of Sri Gaṇesh as per the Family tradition
5. Benefits of worshipping Sri Gaṇeshji on Sri Gaṇesh Chaturthi
6. Sri Ganesh Chaturthi and shauchashaucha
7. Important worship of Sri Ganeshji as per the Time

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1. Performing ritualistic worship of Sri Ganeshji in the beginning of religious ritual

It is customary to begin every religious ritual with ritualistic worship of Sri Ganeshji. In this ritual a small mound of unbroken rice is kept instead of the idol of Sri Ganeshji and betel nut is kept on it. In the regions like the western coast, coconut is kept instead of the betel nut. Sri Ganeshji is invoked in the betel nut or the coconut. At that time following mantra is recited:

ॐ भूर्भुव: स्‍व: ऋद्घिबुद्घिसहितं सांगं सपरिवारं सायुधं सशक्‍तिकं महागणपतिम्‌ आवाहयामि ।

Meaning: O Sri Gaṇeshji, I invoke You to come along with the Deities of supernatural powers (Riddhi-Siddhi), Your entire family, all weapons, Energy and with all valour.

With the recitation of this mantra, Sri Gaṇeshji is invoked and His ritualistic worship is done with sixteen substances (Shodashopachar-pūja). Then prayer is offered to Sri Gaṇeshji:

वक्रतुण्‍ड महाकाय सूर्यकोटिसमप्रभ ।
निर्विघ्‍नं कुरु मे देव सर्वकार्येषु सर्वदा ।।

Meaning: O Lord, who has a crooked trunk, a huge body, who is endowed with the radiance of a million suns, may all my tasks be always free of obstacles.

The betel nut in which Sri Gaṇeshji was invoked is immersed after the completion of the ritual.

2. Why is the worship of Sri Ganeshji beneficial for all?

Sri Gaṇeshji is associated with the frequencies of Desire associated with the Absolute Earth (Pruthvi) and Ether (Apa) Elements. That is why ritualistic worship of Sri Gaṇesh is beneficial both for men and women. It helps in conserving the sattva-guṇa in the body and there is an enhancement in the thoughts about spiritual practice.

3. Righteous actions to be done during the period of Sri Gaṇesh festival

Make a rangoli daily in the courtyard and in front of the Sri Gaṇesh idol which attracts the Gaṇesh principle.

Do ritualistic worship of the Sri Gaṇesh idol everyday in the morning and evening.

After the ritualistic worship, offer arati to Sri Gaṇeshji with spiritual emotion along with all the family members.

1. After the ritualistic worship, offer arati to Sri Ganeshji with spiritual emotion along with all the family members.

2. Sing the arati in a melodious and soft voice.

3. Clap and play the cymbals gently for generation of sound (nad).

Instead of singing many aratis, sing selective aratis. But sing with the spiritual emotion that Sri Ganeshji is actually sitting in front of oneself. As far as possible do not speak to one another while offering arati. Pray together after arati. After praying, chant together for sometime.

In the evening after offering arati once again, sit with all the family members and chant ‘Om Gang Gaṇapataye Namaha’.

During the period of Sri Gaṇesh festival do maximum spiritual practice and absorb the Chaitanya present in the environment.

As compared to the superior Deities, the Ganesh frequencies remain active on Earth in a greater proportion. That is why the Ganesh frequencies convey the prayers of the Jivas residing on the Earth to the superior Deities. For a person to reach out to the superior Deities spiritual practice and high proportion of spiritual emotion is required.

4. Spiritual experience obtained by doing ritualistic worship of Sri Gaṇesh as per the Family tradition

By ritualistically worshipping the Sri Gaṇesh idol for one and half days as per the observance peculiar to family (Kuladharma) and the Family tradition (Kulachar), having the experience that the idol of Sri Gaṇeshji is in bliss too: As per the guidance of H.H. Dr. Athavale, a Saint of a high spiritual level, I started following the observances peculiar to our family (Kuladharma) and the family tradition (Kulachar). In our family, the idols of Sri Gaṇeshji and Gouri are immersed together on the seventh day. In 2006 we worshipped the Sri Gaṇesh idol only for one and a half days. At that time I experienced that the idol of Sri Gaṇeshji is in bliss too. – Mrs. Sandhya Dongre.

During the period of Gaṇesh festival, the Gaṇesh principle is active in a greater proportion. That is the reason why the devotees of Sri Gaṇeshji get various spiritual experiences. The spiritual experience of Sandhya Dongre is an example of this.

5. Benefits of worshipping Sri Gaṇeshji on Sri Gaṇesh Chaturthi

Worshipper’s physical and mental stress reduces.

The intellect of the worshipper sharpens

The intellect of the worshipper becomes steady and the subconscious mind calm.

The raja-tama in the worshipper is destroyed.

If the worshipper suffers from the distress of negative energies, it is eliminated.

The vital energy of the worshipper increases and there is increase in his work efficiency also.

The Adnya-chakra of the worshipper is activated.

The subtle body of the worshipper is purified.

The worshipper can get spiritual experience of Divine touch.

So the ritualistic worship of Sri Ganeshji, chanting His Name etc. should be done with spiritual emotion on Sri Ganesh Chaturthi. Vrat of Sri Ganesh Chaturthi is also advised during the period of Sri Ganesh festival.

6. Sri Ganesh Chaturthi and shauchashaucha

If a woman among the family delivers a baby and there is ashaucha associated with a birth or the ashaucha associated with someone’s death during the period of Sri Ganesh Chaturthi, the religious rites like ritualistic worship etc. should be done through a vrat-representative. The vrat-representative could be any one – sister, disciple, priest or a companion. By doing this, the vrat will not break.

7. Important worship of Sri Ganeshji as per the Time

Various religious actions to be performed during Sri Ganesh festival and the benefits available from them:

Action Benefit
(Percentage)
1. Ritualistic worship of Sri Ganesh 20
2. Observing conduct for imbibing
the Gaṇesh Principle
20
3. Chanting the Name of Sri Gaṇesh 30
4. Preventing the denigration of the
image of Sri Ganesh
30
Total 100

From the above table one can understand that one gets 30% benefit from the act of preventing the denigration of Sri Ganeshji. Here a question can arise in our mind, who will denigrate Sri Ganeshji during the period of Sri Ganesh festival? However, it is a matter of regret that such incidents are taking place regularly.

The Deities are disrespected in various ways. They are insulted through the mediums of lectures, books, plays etc. The Deities are used as a model for the advertisements of commercial products. All these denigrating incidents happen in respect to Sri Ganeshji in higher proportion. For example:

In one instance, Ganeshji has been created using various parts of a computer.

In a Marathi play ‘Ganapati Bappa Moraya’, many jokes have been cracked on Ganeshji.

In a fashion show, there is a picture of Ganeshji on the dress of a model.

An example of a weird kind of denigration of Sri Ganeshji: In one state, an idol of Sri Ganeshji is placed in front of the house of those who do not worship Him on Sri Ganesh Chaturthi day. This is inappropriate as one who does not have any reverence for the Deity will not worship the Deity and it will remain unattended.

Due to ignorance about religious scriptures, during Sri Ganesh festival the idols of Sri Ganeshji are made mostly in weird forms, shapes and using raja-tama objects. Will we attain the grace of Sri Ganeshji by doing so? In such circumstances, preventing the denigrations becomes an important worship as per the Time.

Faith is the very foundation of the worship of Deities. The denigration of Deities affects faith. Hence denigrating the Deities in this manner is harm to Dharma. Prevention of the harm to Dharma is itself abiding by Righteousness, that is, Dharmapalan as per the Time. Hence, Ganesh devotees should be alert to the disrespect of Sri Ganeshji, should educate the society on this and try to prevent the harm to Dharma. The Hindu Janajagruti Samiti has launched a campaign to prevent the denigration of Deities. Everyone can participate in the Samiti’s campaign.

What is the significance of ‘durva’ in Ganesh Poojan?

Contents
1. Durva: Main component of the ritualistic worship of Sri Ganesh ji
1.1 Spiritual features of Durva
1.2 What type and how many Durva should be offered to Sri Ganesh ji?
1.3 Method of offering Durva to Sri Ganesh ji
1.4 Durvarchan
1.5 Effects of Durvarchan
2. Experiment with Durva
3. Durva and grass

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1. Durva: Main component of the ritualistic worship of Sri Ganesh ji

Durva is a special type of sacred grass. The word Durva is derived from the words duhu and avam. Duhuavam means that which is far away and means that which brings closer. According to this meaning, Durva is that which brings the distant pure spiritual particles (pavitraks) of Sri Ganeshji closer. Durva are used in auspicious events and ritualistic worship of Deities, especially in the worship of Sri Ganesh ji

1.1 Spiritual features of Durva

1. The process of absorption of the Deity’s Principle happens at its root

2. The Durva have the ability to absorb and emit the three Principles of Primal Shiva, Primal Shakti and Primal Ganesh.

3. Durva have the highest ability to attract the Ganesh Principle.

Its effect takes place in various ways. For example

The Nirgun Ganesh Principle and pure Chaitanya are emitted through the Durva in higher proportion.

The momentum of this emission is also higher.

The effect of the frequencies emitted by the Durva is on the subtlest, that is, most subtle level.

The effect of the frequencies emitted by the Durva is on the gross body, the subtle body and the causal body.

Hence, Durva are offered to Sri Ganeshji.

1.2 What type and how many Durva should be offered to Sri Ganeshji?

Generally, tender Durva shoots are used in the ritualistic worship of Sri Ganeshji. The blossomed Durva are not used in the worship. With the blossoming of the plant, its ability to attract the Ganesh Principle is reduced. Similarly the Durva whose middle stick has three leaflets should not be offered to Sri Ganeshji.

Offer the Durva with three or five leaflets to Sri Ganeshji. They are called durvankur. The middle leaflet of durvankur attracts the Principle of Primal Ganesh and the other two leaflets attract Primal Shiva and Primal Shakti Principles.

1.3 Method of offering Durva to Sri Ganesh ji

The minimum number of Durva to be offered to Sri Ganesh ji should be 21. Tie the Durva together and offer them to Sri Ganesh ji after dipping into water. The entire idol of Sri Ganesh ji excluding the face should be covered with Durva. Thus the fragrance of Durva spreads around the idol.

1.4 Durvarchan

Sri Ganesh ji is ritualistically worshipped by offering a Durva with each chant of ‘i’ or with each utterance of the one thousand Names of Sri Ganesh ji. This is called ‘durvarchan’. In this the offering of Durva begins from the Holy Feet of iGanesh idol.

1.5 Effects of Durvarchan

The Principle of a Deity is emitted in higher proportion through the Holy Feet of the idol. So the Durva offered in the beginning attracts Ganesh Principle in higher proportion. This Principle is then transferred to the Durva offered later on. This Principle is spread up to the top by the Durva offered in sequence. Due to this the Chaitanya frequencies are emitted from the idol in higher proportion.

As a result of the durvarchan done in this manner, the Ganesh Principle is attracted to the venue of the worship in higher proportion. The Nirgun frequencies of Principles of Deities are attracted in the idol. These frequencies are transformed into Sagun frequencies in Sri Ganesh idol and they are then emitted through the idol because of which the worshipper gets more benefit.

It is thus clear that due to the emission of the Deity’s Principle through the Durva, the adverse influence of the raja-tama-predominant Principles in the environment is reduced. This is the reason why a person suffering

from negative energies feels distressed when he comes in contact with the Durva.

2. Experiment with Durva

When a person affected by negative energies comes in contact with the Durva, he experiences distress.

Based on the subtle picture above, one can see here that on coming in contact with Durva the negative energy distressing the woman has manifested. Due to the sattvik frequencies emitted by Durva, the negative energy manifest in the woman is distressed. As a visible result of this, the woman is also seen experiencing distress.

Effect of Durva on a woman having distress by negative energy:

The Chaitanya is activated in the Durva placed in front of the woman affected by negative energy and keeps moving in the form of a spiral.

From the tips of Durva the saviour and destroyer energy is emitted towards the woman.

This energy flows in the woman’s body, is activated and its spiral keeps moving.

The negative energy fights with the energy emitted by the Durva through the medium of the black energy it has stored in the woman’s body.

The negative energy is distressed and is pushed away. At the same time the black energy also disintegrates.

Through the Durva the energy particles spread in the environment and are conserved for a long time.

The root cause of this type of effect is the ability of Durva to attract and emit the Principles of Deities:

Durva has 0.75% vibrations of Divine Principle, 2% vibrations of Chaitanya, 3% of Shakti and 4% of Ganesh Principle.

Flow of Divine Principle and Shakti is attracted in the root of the Durva leaflet.

Spirals of Divine Principle, Shakti and Chaitanya are generated in the roots and leaflets of Durva and circulate in active form.

Particles of vital energy spread in the environment from the tips of Durva.

Flow of Ganesh Principle is attracted at the nodal points of the Durva leaflets.

A. Spirals of Ganesh Principle are generated in the roots and leaflets of Durva and circulate in an active form.

B. Flows of Ganesh Principle are emitted into the environment from the tips of Durva.

C. Particles of Shakti in the form of Ganesh Principle spread in the environment from the tips of Durva.

This shows that there is a scientific perspective behind the religious rituals mentioned in Sanatan culture, every action therein and every ingredient used in them.

3. Durva and grass

Durva have the highest ability to attract and emit the Principles of the three Deities – Primal Shiva, Primal Shakti and Primal Ganapati. The grass does not have any such ability. The vibrations that the grass attracts and emits are illusory, that is, artificial.

Subtle effect of grass:

Raja-guna is active in the roots of grass, which flows in outward direction.

Due to the raja-guna in the grass, the illusory vibrations flow in it and are also emitted by it.

If Durva is not available, the all-encompassing akshat, that is, unbroken rice grains smeared with kumkum should be offered to the Deity. The Scriptures mention: ‘सकलउपचारार्थे अक्षताम्‌ समर्पयामि ।’ which means, ‘Akshat can be used in place of all the substances offered in the rituals’.

Points to be kept in mind while bringing Durva for the ritualistic worship of Sri Ganeshji:

1. Select Durva grown in a clean place only.

2. The Durva should not have been trampled upon.

3. While plucking Durva, chant the Name of Sri Ganesh ji continuously.

4. While bringing Durva home they should not be held in the left hand or on the head.

The three leaflets of the tri-foliage Durva to be offered to Sri Ganesh ji denote the three gunas, sattva, rajatama and . If the bhav of the worshipper or the seeker is that ‘offering the tri-foliage Durva means offering our gunas’, he gets the benefit at the spiritual level. One can say that the sole aim of life of a person on the path of Spirituality is to contribute to the Divine mission by going beyond the three gunas. In short, one gets the learning from the Durva that, one should be in a state beyond trigunas and continue to perform the Divine mission with the help of the trigunas.

One’s distress of negative energy is reduced by coming in contact with Durva, but it can increase again due to the raja-tama. Chanting the Name of a Deity persistently is an excellent medium to root out the distress.

Sri Ganeshji Visarjan-Ananta Chaturdashi

Contents
1. The immersion of idol of Sri Ganeshji and its underlying spiritual science
1.1 Why ‘donating the idol’ is unscientific?
2. Science underlying immersion of Sri Ganesh idol in flowing water
2.1 Methods of ‘immersion of idols’ in emergency situations
2.2 Proportion of active components in the idol of Sri Ganeshji at the time of immersion in flowing water
3. The effects of breakage of an idol and its remedy

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1. The immersion of idol of Sri Ganeshji and its underlying spiritual science

As per the science, the Divinity generated in the idol consecrated on the day of Sri Ganesh Chaturthi lasts only for a day. That is why the idol should be immersed in water that very day or the next day, after performing ritualistic worship.

Before immersing Sri Ganesh idol the concluding ritualistic worship (uttarpuja) is performed. After performing this ritualistic worship, the idol is shifted slightly from its place. Uttarpuja means bidding farewell to Sri Ganeshji with due reverence.

When taking the Sri Ganesh idol for immersion, one should also offer curd, puffed rice, coconut, sweet delicacy (Modak) etc. as provisions for the journey.

As far as possible all the members of the family should go for the immersion of the Sri Ganesh idol.

When taking the Sri Ganesh idol for immersion, the back of the idol should face the person carrying the idol.

One should go to an ocean, a river, reservoir of water or a well for immersing the idol.

Arati should be offered to Sri Ganeshji.

After the arati, the idol should be immersed in flowing water together with the provisions.

Spritual experience in context to the provisions during the immersion of the idol of Sri Ganeshji: While going for the immersion of the Sri Ganesh idol, the rickshaw not starting, then realising about forgetting the provisions for the journey at home and the rickshaw starting immediately after bringing the provisions: In 2007, at 5 p.m. we left the house for going for the immersion of the Sri Ganesh idol in a rickshaw. But the rickshaw would not start. We made all efforts to start it, but it would not budge. It was then that my sister realised that we had forgotten to bring along the provisions for the journey made for Sri Ganeshji. She asked her husband to get the provisions. The rickshaw started immediately upon bringing them and we were able to go for the immersion of the idol. Sri Ganeshji Himself took care that our seva does not remain incomplete. The moment I realised this I expressed gratitude. – Mrs. Gouri Afle, Sanatan Ashram, Panvel, Maharashtra

Through the above spiritual experience, one can realise the importance of the provisions for the journey offered to Sri Ganeshji. The importance of performing the observances peculiar to the Family tradition (Kulachar) as per the science is evident here.
Spiritual experience of immersing the idol of Sri Ganeshji with spiritual emotion: Perceiving bliss (Anand) on the faces of the people participating in the procession for immersion of the Sri Ganesh idol while doing collective chanting, hailing the idol and uttering slogans: This year we decided to have an ideal procession while taking the Sri Ganesh idol for immersion. Accordingly we were proceeding with the procession collectively chanting the Name of Sri Ganeshji on the way. Sometimes we would also hail the Name of Sri Ganeshji or utter slogans. At the time bliss was perceived on the faces of the people participating in the procession. Due to chanting, the idols of Gouri and Sri Ganeshji were immersed in water amidst an atmosphere filled with spiritual emotion. Thereafter, we enquired with the elderly people of the village about the procession. They said that an ideal procession should be like this only. – Mrs. Namrata Divekar, Maharashta

The decision of Mrs. Namrata to conduct an ideal procession and conforming to the same is inspiring for everyone.
1.1 Why ‘donating the idol’ is unscientific?

Nowadays many organisations make appeals to donate the idols of Sri Ganeshji putting forth reasons like water pollution, drought etc. These organisations take the idols as donation and later throw them in the stone mines. Is it appropriate to throw the idol of the Deity worshipped so ardently in such a way?

The various reasons why ‘donating the idol’ is unscientific:

The immersion of Sri Ganesh idol consecrated on Sri Ganesh Chaturthi in the month of Bhadrapad is an observance or ritual prescribed by the Scriptures.

Man does not have the capacity to give or take the Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent Deities as a donation. Therefore giving and taking the idols of Deities as donation amounts to denigration of the Deities.

The idol of Sri Ganeshji is not a toy or a piece of decoration which can be donated to another after usage.

Hence, one should not denigrate the seats of our reverence with our own hands and educate others too. This simple act will contribute to the mission of Dharma.


2. Science underlying immersion of Sri Ganesh idol in flowing water

Due to the ritualistic worship, the idol of Sri Ganeshji is charged with the Ganesh Principle. By immersing the idol in flowing water the Ganesh Principle in the idol also flows and spreads far and wide. With the evaporation of the water charged with the Ganesh Principle, the entire environment also becomes sattvik. In some places, the reservoirs do not have enough water for immersion of the Ganesh idol. At other places the source of water is not appropriate.
2.1 Methods of ‘immersion of idols’ in emergency situations

1. Symbolic worship of a betel nut: In emergency situations, instead of an idol, use a betel nut and worship it in the form of a symbol of Sri Ganeshji. Immerse the betel nut in a small well or a spring.

2. Bringing a new metal idol and worshipping it: Where there is paucity of water, consecrate a new metal idol for Ganesh Chaturthi. There is no need to immerse such idol in flowing water. At the time of immersion, place a few unbroken rice grains on the hand of Ganapati and move the idol slightly from the place. Thereafter keep the idol at some sacred place in the house. Next year the same idol can be consecrated and worshipped.

The reason underlying why the metal idol need not be immersed in flowing water: By consecrating a new metal idol and worshipping it, the Ganesh Principle infuses in the idol. For immersion purpose when the idol is shaken slightly, this Principle is expelled. It is not necessary to worship such idol daily. Next year the idol can be re-consecrated and worshipped.
2.2 Proportion of active components in the idol of Sri Ganeshji at the time of immersion in flowing water

By immersing Sri Ganesh idol, a person gets 4% each of the Absolute Earth Principle and Absolute Water Principle and 2% of the Absolute Air Principle. By the ritualistic immersion of the idol, the Chaitanya and the vibrations of Ganesh Principle are emitted in higher proportion.

Spiritual benefits from the various sevas from the creation of the idol to its immersion in flowing water as mentioned by H.H. Parulekar Maharaj ji, a Saint from Sindhudurga district, Maharashtra:Seva Proportion
of benefit

Seva Proportion
of benefit
(Percentage)
1. Creation of idol
A. Bringing clay and kneading it 10
B. Giving shape to the clay 25
C. Painting the idol 5
D. Showing the eyes of the
idol open
15
2. Bringing the idol home and taking
it to the place of immersion
11
3. Ritualistic worship, devotional
songs and arati
8
4. Preparing food and offering
Holy sacrament
21
5. Lighting of incense and a lamp
and keeping the lamp burning
uninterrupted
5
Total 100

By sculpting an idol with the bhav of seva, the benefit obtained by the idol-maker is maximum, that is, 55%.In comparison with the ritualistic worship, devotional songs and arati, the body and mind is fully surrendered at God’s Holy feet in making the idol, cooking food for offering as a Holy sacrament (naivedya) and actually offering the Holy sacrament. One gets more benefit from this.

One gets more benefits when the actions like bringing the idol home and immersing it in flowing water are performed by oneself considering them as seva.
3. The effects of breakage of an idol and its remedy

Events of ill-omen like a lamp being extinguished, breaking of the grinding stone, flowering of the cress tree, damage to an idol etc., are indicative of impending financial loss, serious illness or an untimely death in the family.

Remedy after breakage of an idol: The Scriptures have laid down some remedies. They depend on when the breakage of the idol takes place.

If the idol is broken before its consecration, a new idol should be brought and worshipped.

If the idol is broken after the concluding worship after showering it with akshat, it should be immersed in flowing water in the regular way.

If the idol is broken after consecration, akshat should be showered on the idol and it should be immersed in flowing water.

If this happens on the day of Sri Ganesh Chaturthi, another idol should be worshipped.

If this happens on the second or third day, there is no need for a new idol.

If the idol is completely damaged, one should perform the ‘Adbhut darshan shanti’, a ritual for peace in the family, as per the advice of the family priest and one’s convenience.