Ganesha Chaturthi , also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi is the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the god of wisdom, prosperity , good fortune and the one who removes obstrucles in life. The festival is celebrated for 10 days starting on shukla chaturthi (4th day of waxing moon period) in the month of Bhadrapada and ending on Ananta Chaturdashi (14th day of waxing moon period) as per the Hindu Calendar.
As the god of beginnings, he is honoured at the start of rituals and ceremonies. Ganesha is also invoked as patron of letters and learning during writing sessions. Several texts relate mythological anecdotes associated with his birth and exploits and explain his distinct iconography. There are around 108 names of Lord Ganesha. Vinayaka is a common name for Ganesha that appears in the Puranas and in Buddhist Tantras. A prominent name for Ganesha in the Tamil language is Pillai (Tamil: பிள்ளை) or Pillaiyar (பிள்ளையார்). In the Burmese language, Ganesha is known as Maha Peinne. The widespread name of Ganesha in Thailand is Phra Phikhanet or Phra Phikhanesuan. In Sri Lanka, in the North-Central and North Western areas with predominantly Buddhist population, Ganesha is known as Aiyanayaka Deviyo, while in other Singhala Buddhist areas he is known as Gana deviyo. In Nepal, the Hindu form of Ganesha, known as Heramba, is popular; he has five heads and rides a lion. In Japan, where Ganesha is known as Kangiten. Devotion to Ganesha is widely diffused and extends to Jains, Buddhists, and beyond India. This festival is celebrated in Nepal and Sri Lanka with great enthusiasm.
Panchang Details of Ganesh Chaturdi 2014:
- Month : Bhaadrapada or Bhādra or Prosthapada
- Paksham (fortnight) : Krishan Paksha
- Tithi(lunar day) : Chaturthi – 27:42 (3.42 pm IST)
- Nakshatram : Hasta- 13:51 (1:51 pm IST)
- Yoga : Shubha – 16:31
- Karana : Vishti – 27:42
- Sun sign : Simha
- Moon sign : Kanya
- Amrita Kalam : 07:15 – 09:01
- Abhijit : 12:14 – 13:04
Ganesh Chaturthi 29th August 2014 Panchang
- Before 12:20 PM Ganesh pooja should be completed.
- Ganesh avahana or sthapana should be completed by 13:04.
- As per Vedic astrology, Abhijit Muhurta is auspicious time to perform Ganesh Pooja on Ganesh Chaturthi on August 29th 2014.
- Abhijit Muhurat time is 12:14 to 13:04 PM.
- Suryodaya (Sunrise): 06:26
- Suryastamaya (Sunset): 18:52
- Chandrodaya (Moonrise): 09:12
- Chandrastamaya (Moonset): 21:14
- USA (EST) August 29th
- USA (CST) August 29th
- USA (MST) August 29th
- USA (PST) August 29th
- USA (EST) August 29th
- UK and Europe August 29th
- Dubai (UAE) and Gulf countries August 29th
- Singapore August 29th
- Australia August 29th
- New Zealand August 29th
- Festival Origin
- Significance Of Ganesh Form
- List of 21 Patra for Ganesha Chaturthi Pooja
- Pooja Vidhan / Vratam
- List Of Temples Across The World
The most well-known story is probably the one taken from the Shiva Purana. One day Goddess Parvati was at home on Mt.Kailash preparing for a bath. As she didn’t want to be disturbed, she told Nandi, her husband Shiva’s Bull, to guard the door and let no one pass. Nandi faithfully took his post, intending to carry out Parvati’s wishes. But, when Shiva came home and naturally wanted to come inside, Nandi had to let him pass, being loyal first to Shiva. Parvati was angry at this slight, but even more than this, at the fact that she had no one as loyal to Herself as Nandi was to Shiva. So, taking the turmeric paste (for bathing) from her body and breathing life into it, she created Ganesha, declaring him to be her own loyal son.
The next time Parvati wished to bathe, she posted Ganesha on guard duty at the door. In due course, Shiva came home, only to find this strange boy telling him he couldn’t enter his own house! Furious, Shiva ordered his army to destroy the boy, but they all failed.
This surprised Shiva. Seeing that this was no ordinary boy, the usually peaceful Shiva decided he would have to fight him, and in his divine fury severed Ganesha’s head, killing him instantly. When Parvati learned of this, she was so enraged and insulted that she decided to destroy the entire Creation. Lord Brahma, being the Creator, naturally had his issues with this, and pleaded that she reconsider her drastic plan. She said she would, but only if two conditions were met: one, that Ganesha be brought back to life, and two, that he be forever worshipped before all the other gods.
Shiva, having cooled down by this time, agreed to Parvati’s conditions. He sent Brahma out with orders to bring back the head of the first creature he crosses that is lying with its head facing North. Brahma soon returned with the head of a strong and powerful elephant, which Shiva placed onto Ganesha’s body. Breathing new life into him, he declared Ganesha to be his own son as well, and gave him the status of being foremost among the gods, and leader of all the ganas (classes of beings), Ganapati.
The significance of Ganapati form:
Sage Mudgal has written the ‘Ganeshsahastranam’ containing the thousand Names of Lord Ganesh. The Dvadashanam verse (stotra) contains the following twelve Names of Ganapati.
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 ।।
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 : Gana (गण) + pati (पति)= Ganapati. Pati is the nurturer. The various meanings of the word gana are given below.
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.
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’.
1.Sanskrit Name: Machi Patram
Telugu Name: Machipatri (Davanam)
Mantra: Sumukhaya Namaha
Botanical Name: Artemisia vulgaris/Imperata Cylindrica
Medicinal Use: used for curing skin diseases (leprosy, leucoderma), nervous diseases, and abdominal related
2.Sanskrit Name: Brihathi Patram
Telugu Name: Vaakudaaku
Mantra: Ganadhipaya Namaha
Botanical Name: Solanum indicum/Carisssa Carandass
Medicinal Use: Used for asthma, cough, constipation. Also used for women in post natal period
3. Sanskrit Name: Bilva patram
Telugu Name: Maaredu
Mantra: Gowriputraya Namaha
Botanical Name: Aegle marmeolus
Medicinal Use: Used for Dysentery. It also purifies water. Bilva leaf is very popular in the worship of Lord Shiva
4.Sanskrit Name: Durvara Patram
Telugu Name: Garika
Mantra: Gajananaya Namaha
Botanical Name: Cyanodon dactylon/Cyanodon Dacry
Medicinal Use: used for Skin diseases, arresting bleeding, anemia. Durva leaf is used in the worship of Lord Ganesha
5.Sanskrit Name: Dattura Patram
Telugu Name: Ummetta
Mantra: Harasunve Namaha
Botanical Name: Stramonium
Medicinal Use: Used for joint pains, abdominal, skin diseases, hair fall. Also used in poisonous bites
6.Sanskrit Name: Badari patram
Telugu Name: Regu
Mantra: Lambodaraya Namaha
Botanical Name: Zizyphus mauritiana/ Z.jujba
Medicinal Use: Used for digestive disorders, wounds and injuries, blood impurities. Also used for maintaining the voice.
8. Sanskrit Name: Tulasi patram
Telugu Name: Tulasi
Mantra: Gajakarnaya Namaha
Botanical Name: Ocimum sanctum
Medicinal Use: Used for respiratory diseases, skin diseases, purifies air, water and surroundings. The leaves are used in the worship of Lord Vishnu who is very much fond of Thulasi
9.Sanskrit Name: Choota Patram
Telugu Name: Mamidaaku
Mantra: Ekadantaya Namaha
Botanical Name: Azadarcata indica/ Mangifera indica
Medicinal Use: Used in Diabetics, for cracked heals, diseases of throat.
10.Sanskrit Name: Karaveera Patram
Telugu Name: Ganneru
Mantra: Vikataya Namaha
Botanical Name: Thevetia Nerifolium/Nerium indicum
Medicinal Use: Used for leprosy, wounds and injuries, hair fall, lice.
11.Sanskrit Name: Vishnu Kranta Patram
Telugu Name: Vishnukanta
Mantra: Bhinnadantaya Namaha
Botanical Name: Evolvulus Aisinoides/Convolvulus pluricaucis
Medicinal Use: Used for Nervous related, memory power
16.Sanskrit Name: Jaji Patram
Telugu Name: Jaji
Mantra: Surpakarnaya Namaha
Botanical Name: Jasminum grandiflorum/Myristica Fragrams
Medicinal Use: Used for skin diseases, Mouth related problems and also in indigestion.
18.Sanskrit Name: Shami Patram
Telugu Name: Jammi Aaku
Mantra: Ibhavaktraya Namaha
Botanical Name: Prosopis specigera
Medicinal Use: It is used for respiratory problems. This tree is also worshipped as a remedy and we find people taking pradakshina around this tree on the day of Vijaya Dasami.
19.Sanskrit Name: Aswatha Patram
Telugu Name: Raavi Aaku
Mantra: Vinayakaya Namaha
Botanical Name: Ficus religiosa
Medicinal Use: Its bark is used in preparation of many medicines. It is also used for arresting bleeding. The significance and importance of this tree is so much that it is considered as Trimurthi (Trinity) swaroopa (Trinal Lords, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva). We find people performing Naga Devatha Pratishta under this tree.
20.Sanskrit Name: Arjuna Patram
Telugu Name: Tella Maddi
Mantra: Surasevitaya Namaha
Botanical Name: Morinda Tinctoria/Terminelia Arjuna
Medicinal Use: Used for Joint pains, Vata/Pitta/Kapha related, heart diseases, wounds and septic conditions.
21.Sanskrit Name: Arka Patram
Telugu Name: Jilledu
Mantra: Kapilaya Namaha
Botanical Name: Calotropis Procera
Medicinal Use: It is used in poisonous bites, wounds and injuries, curing skin diseases, leprosy, tumors, joint pains, etc… It is said that it has 64 varieties of medicinal usage. It is called as a healing herb. We find usage of this leaf on the day of Ratha Sapthami. It is associated with the worship of Sun God, Lord Hanuman and also Lord Ganesha.
Ganesha Chaturthi Pooja Vidhi:
All rituals which are prescribed during Ganesha Pooja are given below and it also includes sixteen steps which are prescribed in Shodashopachara Pooja. Deep Prajawalan and Sankalpa are done before starting the Pooja.
1. Avahana – invoking Lord Ganesha
2. Pratishthapan – installing Lord Ganesha into the statue
3. Aasan Samarpan – offering seat to Lord Ganesha
4. Ardhya Samarpan – offering scented water to Lord Ganesha
7. Vastra Samarpan
8. Yagyopavit Samarpan
10. Akshata – unbroken rice for Pooja
11. Pushpa Mala
13. Deep Darshan
14. Naivedhya Nivedan
15. Tambula Arpana – offering Paan made of betal nut and leaves
16.Neeranajan – Lord Ganesha Aarti
Receipies for Ganesh Pooja:
Modak is the favorite sweet of lord ganesha. there are many types of modak prepared during ganesh chaturthi. Each family has their own traditional and favorite dish that they prepare. A few more Vinayaka Chavithi recipes are:
|Name of the Temple||Country|
|Sri Sri Sri Sidha Binayak Pitha, Berhampur, Ganjam, Orissa, India (www.sidhibinayakpitha.org)||India|
|Ashtavinayak, a group of eight Ganesha temples around Pune, Maharashtra, India||India|
|Girijatmaja Vinayak Temple, Pune, Maharashtra, India||India|
|Siddhivinayak Temple, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India||India|
|Ranthambore Temple, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, India||India|
|Ganesh Tok Temple, Gangtok, Sikkim, India||India|
|Ganapathi Temple Idagunji,Karnataka||India|
|Ganapathi Temple in Kottarakkara, Kerala, India||India|
|Ganapathi Temple, Malliyur, Kottayam, Kerala, India||India|
|Sree MahaGanapathy Temple, Panniyali, Omalloor, Pathanamthitta, Kerala||India|
|Maha Ganapathi Temple, Ganapathivattam, Sulthan Batheri, Wayanad, Kerala||India|
|Maha Ganapathi Temple, Pampa, Kerala||India|
|Iswaramangalam Ganapathi Temple, Kerala||India|
|Edappally Ganapathy temple, Kochi, Kerala||India|
|Velam Ganapathi temple, Mayyil, Kannur, Kerala||India|
|Madhur Maha Ganapathi Temple, Kasaragod, Kerala||India|
|Suryakalady Maha Ganapathi Temple, Nattassery, Kottayam, Kerala||India|
|Ganapathi Temple, Pazhavangadi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala,||India|
|Ganapathi Temple, Vazhappally Mahadevar Temple Complex, Changanassery, Kerala, India||India|
|Sree Vinayaka Mandir, Sarojini Nagar, New Delhi, India (Siddhi Buddhi Sametha Karpaka Vinayakar)||India|
|Karunya Mahaganapathi Temple, Mayur Vihar Phase II, Delhi||India|
|GDP Temples, Shimoga, Karnataka, India||India|
|Chintaman Ganesh Temple, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, India||India|
|Chintamani Temple, Pune, Maharashtra, India||India|
|Ganapati Temple, Pernankila, Karnataka, India||India|
|Anegudde Sri Vinayaka Temple, Anegudde, Udupi district, Karnataka, India||India|
|Idagunji Devasthana Temple, Idagunji, Uttara Kannada district, Karnataka, India||India|
|Ganapatipule Ganapati Temple , Ganapatipule, district of Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, India||India|
|Tekadicha Ganapati Temple, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India||India|
|Karpaka Vinayakar Temple, Pillayarpatti (near Madurai), Tamil Nadu, India - Where Lord Ganesha is worshiped in his Swayambu Form. He is known as Karpaga Vinayagar.||India|
|Rockfort Ucchi Pillayar Temple, Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, India||India|
|Sharavu Mahaganapathy Temple, Mangalore, Karnataka, India||India|
|Velam Mahaganapathi Temple, Mayyil, Kerala, India.||India|
|Shri SiddhiVinayak Temple, Prabhadevi (near Mumbai), Maharashtra, India (www.siddhivinayak.org)||India|
|Dodda Ganesha Temple , Basavanagudi (near Bangalore), Karnataka, India||India|
|Shri Sunder Vinayak, Pratishthanam (near Bangalore), Karnataka, India||India|
|Shri Vijaya Ganapati Temple, Ullagaram (near Chennai) Tamil Nadu, India Vijaya Ganapati means The victorious Ganesha. Ullagaram Vijaya Ganapati||India|
|Madhur Mahaganapathi Temple near the town of Kasaragod, in Kasaragod district, Kerala, India||India|
|Nayanmarkaddu Arasady Pillaiyar Alayam, Nallur, Jaffna, Sri Lanka||Sri Lanka|
|Nayanmarkaddu Sri Vigilugantha Vinayagar Temple, Nallur, Jaffna, Sri Lanka||Sri Lanka|
|Manipay Maruthady Pillaiyar Kovil, Jaffna||Sri Lanka|
|Sri Varisithi Vinayakar Temple, Scarborough, Ontario ||Canada|
|Richmond Hill Ganesha Temple, Richmond Hill, Ontario ||Canada|
|Katpaka Vinayakar Kovil, Brampton, Ontario||Canada|
|Muthu Vinayakar Temple, Toronto, Ontario||Canada|
|Sri Maha Ganapati Temple, Edmonton, Alberta||Canada|
|Sree Sakthy Ghanapati Temple, Thornton Heath, Surrey||Canada|
|Sree Ghanapati Temple, Wimbeldon||Canada|
|Sri Ganesha Hindu Temple in South Jordan, Utah, USA ||USA|
|Sri Maha Vallabha Ganapati Devasthanam in Flushing, New York City, USA ||USA|
|Hindu Temple in the city of Omaha, Nebraska, USA||USA|
|Nashville Ganapati Temple in the city of Nashville, Tennessee, USA||USA|
Celebrations in parts of India and other countries:
In Maharashtra, most Hindu families also install their own small clay statues for worship on Ganesh Chaturthi. As per the tradition of their respective families, the domestic celebrations come to end an end after 1,3,5,7 or 11 days when the statue is taken in a procession to a large body of water such as rivers or sea for immersion. Due to environmental concerns, a number of families now avoid the large water bodies and instead immerse the statue in a bucket or tub at home. After a few days the clay is used in the home garden. In some cities, a public eco-friendly process is used for immersion.
In Andhra Pradesh, Clay Ganesh (మట్టి వినాయకుడు) and Turmeric Ganesh (సిధ్ది వినాయకుడు ) is usually worshipped at homes along with plaster of paris Ganesha.
Here it is known as vinayakachaturthi or pillayar chaturthi and the festival falls on the fourth day after new moon in the month of Aavani. On this day ganesh idols made of clay are worshipped in all homes. It is known as kaliman pillayar. ganesh is decorated with garlands and Bermuda grass known Asarukampul(அருகம்புல் ) in tamil.
People throng ganesh temples all day .Famous ganesh temples in state will be decked up with devotees all day. Large ganesh idols are installed in public places in the state particularly in Chennai and the idols are not usually more than 13 feet high. In many places idols are made of coconuts and other organic products. The idols are worshipped for some days in pandals and are immersed in the Bay of Bengal the following sunday. Ganesh chaturthi has become one of the major festivals in Tamil nadu especially Chennai.
Kerala is a state where Ganesh chathurthi is celebrated in a great pomp.It is also known as Vinyakha chathurthi or Lamboodhara piranalu. It falls in the month of Chingam . People worship idols of Ganesha and do milk abhishekam. Temples are very crowded and people give for nivedeyam . In each locality their would be fairs, concerts, dance and skit. In the city of Thiruvanathapuram a grand procession is held from the Pazhavangadi ganapathi temple to the Shankumugham beach with tall statues of Ganesh made of organic items and milk which immerced into the sea. Elephant worship is done all over Kerala. In the temples peoples break thousands of coconuts for removing sins.Grand feasts are given to people after nivedyam. Streets are fully decorated with flowers and rangolis.
Ganesh Chaturthi is the most popular and extravagant festival celebrated by the Hindu Goans. Locally known as Chavath in Konkani and is also known as Parab (Parva or an auspicious celebration). Preparations begin a month before,and the actual festivities begin on the third day of lunar month of Bhadrapada, on this day Haritalika or Gauri with Shiva is worshiped by women, which also includes fasting. On the day of festival, elaborate Poojas and feasts are organised, Arati is one of the major attraction of the festivities. Many instruments which are unique to Goa like Ghumot, Shamel, and other classical instruments such as cymbals, Pakhawaj etc are played.
In Karnataka, Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with prayers offered to Gauri, the mother of Lord Ganesh. The married women pray to Goddess Gauri, to get blessings offer long lasting married life. It is celebrated in different temples of Lord Ganesh, where prayers are offered to the Lord and Gauri. In Karnataka, Ganesh Chaturthi is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi and is counted amongst the popularly celebrated festivals.
In Ahmedabad, the capital city of Gujarat, Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with great pomp and show. Offerings are made to Lord Ganesh at numerous temples. Elaborate arrangements are made for lighting and decoration and Ganeshji is fervently worshipped for about 7-10 days. On the day of the Chaturthi, i.e. the last of the ten days dedicated to God, idols are immersed at river Sabarmati and Kankaria Lake. Firecrackers are let off and huge images of Ganeshji are carried in grand procession for ‘Ganesh Visarjan’ (immersion), accompanied by the sound of devotional songs and drums.
In Rajasthan, on Ganesh Chaturthi, an image of Ganesh is bathed in red kumkum and a garland of red flowers is put on the idol, placed by many households right outside their entrance. A small thaal, with haldi and kumkum, is also placed at the entrance, so that the visiting people take a pinch of each and put it on their foreheads and throat. Ladoos are usually kept in the house, to be first offered to Ganeshji and then distributed as prasad to the devotees.
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in the UK by the migrant Hindu population as well as the large number of Indians residing there. The Hindu culture and Heritage Society, UK – a Southall based organisation celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi for the first time in London in 2005 at The Vishwa Hindu Temple. The Idol was immersed in the riverThames at Putney Pier. Another celebration organised by an Gujarati group has been celebrated in the Southend-on-Sea which attracts over 18000 devotees. Annual celebrations also take place on the River Mersey at Liverpool. The festival is similarly celebrated in many locations across the world. The Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA, an organisation of Hindus based in the US organises many such events to mark the Hindu festivals. In USA, Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated by various associations of people from India. The Philadelphia Ganesh popularly known as PGF is the largest Sarvajanik (fully contributed by public funds) Hindu festival in North America. Since 2005 the festival is conducted every year in Bharatiya Temple, Chalfont, Pennsylvania. In Canada, Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated by associations of Marathi-speaking people. Over the years the festival gained such popularity on the island that Mauritian government has attributed a public holiday for that day.
In Malaysia and Singapore, the festival is more commonly known as Vinayagar Chakurthi because of the relatively larger Tamil-speaking Hindu minority among the other South Asian ethnic groups. It is very common to see pictures or statues of Lord Ganesha at the entrance of homes, business premises and schools. These idols are usually decorated with flower garlands alongside offerings of fruits and sweets. Most Ganesha temples mark Vinayagar Chaturthi with morning prayers, abhishegam (ritual bathing of the deity) and free vegetarian lunch for devotees and the poor. Chariot processions organised by Ganesha temples in the evenings often attract huge crowds of devotees and tourists.
Public celebrations of the festival are hugely popular, with local communities (mandalas) vying with each other to put up the biggest statue and the best pandal. The festival is also the time for cultural activities like singing and theater performances, orchestra and community activities like free medical checkup, blood donation camps, charity for the poor, etc. Today, the Ganesh Festival is not only a popular festival, it has become a very critical and important economic activity for Mumbai, Pune, Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad,Bangalore and Chennai. Many artists, industries, and businesses survive on this mega-event. Ganesh Festival also provides a stage for budding artists to present their art to the public. In Maharashtra, not only Hindus but many other religions also participate in the celebration like Muslims, Jains, Christian and others.
The most serious impact of the Ganesh festival on the natural environment is due to the immersion of idols made of Plaster of Paris into lakes, rivers and the sea. Traditionally, the Ganesh idol was sculpted out of earth taken from nearby one’s home. After worshipping the divinity in this earth idol, it was returned back to the Earth by immersing it in a nearby water body. This cycle represented the cycle of creation and dissolution in Nature.
However, as the production of Ganesh idols on a commercial basis grew, the earthen or natural clay (shaadu maati in Marathi) was replaced by Plaster of Paris. Plaster is a man made material, easier to mould, lighter and less expensive than clay. However, plaster takes much longer to dissolve and in the process of dissolution releases toxic elements into the water body. The chemical paints used to adorn these plaster idols, themselves contain heavy metals like mercury and cadmium.
On the final day of the Ganesh festival thousands of plaster idols are immersed into water bodies by devotees. These increase the level of acidity in the water and the content of heavy metals. The day after the immersion, shoals of dead fish can be seen floating on the surface of the water body as a result of this sudden increase.
To handle religious sentiments sensitively, several temples , spiritual groups , governmental and private bodies have been addressing this issue. Few solutions proposed by various groups some are as follows:
- Return to the traditional use of natural clay idols and immerse the idol in a bucket of water at home.
- Use of a permanent idol made of stone and brass, used every year and a symbolic immersion only.
- Recycling of plaster idols to repaint them and use them again the following year.
- Ban on the immersion of plaster idols into lakes, rivers and the sea.
- Creative use of other biodegradable materials such as paper mache to create Ganesh idols.
- Encouraging people to immerse the idols in tanks of water rather than in natural water bodies.
How to make a clay Ganesh:
1. First make two balls one bigger which forms the body and the little ball forms the head.
2. Make two long coils (Snakes) for hands and slightly thicker ones for legs.
3. Place the balls one upon another and merge the ends that touch. Attach the legs to the body part and merge them well into the body.
4. Now add the hands to the upper body part and merge them well.
5. Add another coil to the head part to form the trunk. Slightly flatten the free ends of the hands and legs to form palm and feet.
6. Create small balls of clay and flatten them to look like ears. Attach these to the sides of the head and merge the ends very well into the head portion.
7. Now, take a cotton bud dip it in water and try and smoothen out the clay all over. Make sure that you don’t damage the structure, do it very gently. And take care not to use loads of water.
8. Then add two little coils for the tusks. Using a fork make impressions on the ears. Using toothpick mar the eyes, fingers and toes.
9. If you want to be more creative, you can pot for four hands and other additions like jewels. Now leave the Ganesh idol to dry but not in direct sunlight as cracks may appear. After it dries, you can paint eyes, ‘tilak’, eyebrows etc.