CELEBRATING THE GOD OF BEGINNINGS! VINAYAKA CHATHURTHI & RITUALS.
Ganesh Chathurthi popularly known as Vinayakar Chathurthi in the South is one of the main festivals in India. People come together irrespective of any differences to celebrate this festival in a pompous way and with devotional fervour!
A prelude of Vinayaka:
Lord Ganesha or Vinayakar was created by Goddess Parvati to guard her door while she was bathing. When Lord Shiva tried to enter, Ganesha not knowing who he was, got into combat and lost to Lord Shiva. Seeing Parvati heartbroken and infuriated, Lord Shiva brought the boy back to life by attaching an elephant’s head – and thus came to be known as Vinayaka. He is also called by 108 names including Vigneshawara, Vighnakartaa, Pillayar, Mooshikavaaganan!
Lord Ganesha is the inception point of any ritual or important day, as he is the destroyer of obstacles and brings in success to any endeavours.
The 10 Day Festival:
Every year, Vinayakar Chathurthi is celebrated on the fourth day Aavani or Sharavana Month, most likely between August – September. According to history, the festival was celebrated widely with passion like a gala under Maratha Ruler Shivaji to bring together the subjects of the country. But it was discontinued and later revived by Freedom Fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak. It is what we now celebrate. The festival is celebrated worldwide in countries such as Nepal, Indonesia, Mauritius, Singapore and Malaysia with the same zeal and splendour.
The festival is celebrated for 10 days with 4 main part - Pranapratishhtha, Shhodashopachara, Uttarpuja, and Ganapati Visarjan. With stunning clay statues of Lord Ganesha decorated and installed in the set up ‘Pandals’, people visit for all 10 days to pray and give their offerings.
Rituals at Home:
This year the celebration of Vinayakar Chathurthi is going to be different but safe with people worshipping Lord Ganesha at home to keep the people safe from the virus breakout.
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Here are the general rules to perform the Vinayakar Chathurthi Pooja at home:
- The house should be cleaned before the day of the festival.
- On the day of the festival, the members of the family wake up early, bath and keep a fast to Lord Ganesha, praying for prosperity and positivity.
- The Pooja room is set up with the idol of Lord Ganesha, usually handmade with clay and painted with vibrant colours. But in recent times, keeping the environment in mind, many people are switching to Green & Sustainable Ganesha Idols.
- The idol is bathed and decorated with Arugam Pul (Grass), Thumba Poo & White Erukkam Poo (Flowers).
- Additionally, a savoury called ‘Kolukattai’ or ‘Modakam’ made with stuffed coconut and jaggery is also offered and is considered to be the favourite dish of Lord Ganesha.
- The pooja is to be performed every day until the day of immersion or Ganapati Visarjan, where he is taken to the river and bid farewell until next time he returns to bless the home.
Immersion of the idol happens on 3rd, 7th or 10th day according to the region people prevail from. But the procedures and devotion are the same among them. Performing Vinayakar Chathurthi pooja at home can bring in harmony among families with prosperity! Lord Ganesha blesses the family with two important things – Siddhi and Buddhi – Power and Intelligence, to break all the obstacles and lead a peaceful life!
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