This section is meant for
informing the browsers about various poojas that are performed according to the Hindu
culture and tradition. Our aim is to inform fellow tradition lovers about the details of
worshipping a God including the importance of the God, pooja vidhi or the method of
worship and the material required for performing the pooja. We will feature the details of
one God and pooja vidhi every week. You may note that there are certain differences in the
pooja vidhi and the type of material used depending on the regional practices. The
provided in these columns are general and
that are based on the basic rules of worship. Watch out for more information on the basic
pillar of the Indian tradition, God in these columns.
Sri Gam Ganapathaye Namaha"
This is the Lord Ganeshas
According to the Vaidic literature, Ganesha
is the eldest son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi and he is the head
of Pramadhaganas, hence Ganapathi. His brother is Kumaraswamy.
Hindus worship Lord Ganesha
with several other names like Vinayaka, Vighneswara,
Gajanana and Ganapathi.
Lord Ganapathi is
said to be the form of Omkara. Om, which is written in Devanagari (script)
is also considered as the pranava. In Om, the upper arc is said to be the
head or the face of Gajanana. The Lower arc is his belly. The
twisted arc, which is on the right side of Om is the trunk. Thus Omkara represents
the complete physical form of Lord Ganesha.
Similarly, yet another divine symbol, the Swastika
is also worshipped as another form of Lord Ganesha. According
to the Indian culture, both these symbols have divine values.
Every year, the fourth day after the
no-moon day (Amaavasya) in the month of Bhadrapada (September according to
the English calendar) is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha.
This day is known as Vinayaka Chaturdhi or Vinayaka Chavithi.
On this day, Lord Ganesha was born in Hasthami
Nakshatra and Kanya Raasi. The Lord of Kanaya Raasi is Budha (Mercury). Green
coloured jewel or Emerald represents Mercury. Owing to this, we worship Lord Ganesha with
grass, which is of green in colour.
As Ganesha was born
in the zodiac Mercury, he is intelligent like Budha. Similarly, who ever prays him
will also attain the intelligence. The Raasi in which Ganesha was born (Hasthami)
has the shape of an elephant trunk and rises before dawn on the day of Vinayaka
In the zodiac, Kanya Raasi is in the
sixth position. This place indicates the debts and diseases. Owing to this, by worshiping
the Lord, the devotees will get rid of the problems related to debt and ill health.
Ganesha is also
considered to be the Lord of agriculture. Bhadrapada, the month in which Ganesha
was born, falls in rainy season. Being the Lord of agriculture, even the body parts of
Ganesha have relevance to various agricultural implements. His
trunk resembles the plough. Ears are compared to dust pans. His belly is compared to
granary. His vehicle, the rat, indicates the abundant availability of grain. The goad he
holds is used for driving the bullock carts, which carry the grain to the granary.A fruit
in the other hand is indication of bountiful yield. All these indicate that Lord Ganesha
Vaayoh Sooryaha Kshiterishaha Jeevanasya Ganaadhipaha
This indicates Lord Ganesha
to be the Lord of water as well. Basing on this, his idols are immersed in water after
worshiping them for nine days during the Vinayaka navaratri.
Lord Ganesha inspires
all Lords related to the Karmendriyas (mouth, hands, legs, rectum and genitals),
five Gnanendriyas (eyes, nose, ears, tongue and skin), four antahkaranas (Manas,Buddhi,Ahankara
As every recital starts with an Omkara,
all the rituals too start only after praying Lord Ganesha. Otherwise, it is
believed, the rituals will not reach their logical end.
Lambodarascha vikato vighnaraajo ganaadhipaha
Dhoomaketurganaadhyakshaha phalachandro gajaananaha
Vakratundaha shoorpakarno herambaha skandhapoorvajaha
Who ever recites all these 16 names of Lord
Ganesha will avoid various starting troubles during any activity.
There is a mention about Lord Ganesha and
his importance in Padma Purana, Linga Purana, Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Skaanda Purana, Siva
Purana, Ganesha Purana, Mudgala Purana, Ganapatyadharva Sheersham and Ganapatyupanishad.
Lord Ganesha is
described to be having an elephant face, large ears, one tusk, four arms, large belly and
the rat as his vehicle. Noose, goad, tusk and an open palm assuring protection
description about his four arms. His colour is mentioned to be blood red and sports the
same coloured clothes.
Devotees worship him with 21 blades of
grass (Darbha) and 21 varieties of flowers. He is known as Modakapriya. Hence
is offered 21 Modakas (round cakes or balls made of rice flour). Lord Vinayaka also
likes Wood apple, coconut, black plum, plum and other varieties of fruits. Green gram and
Bengal gram are soaked in water and offered.
While reciting Ganapathi Stotra or Shata
or Sahasra Naama, every name starts with four beejaaksharasOm,
Shreem Glaum Gam and ends with Namaha.
Wednesday is the prominent day for Lord Ganesha.
Gam is the beejaakshara for Ganapathi. According to Shiva Purana,
21 forms of ganesha are worshipped. However, this number is put at 32 according to
another theory. Ganesha likes music and dance.
shashi varnam chaturbhujam
Prasanna vadanam dhyaayet sarva vighnopa shaantaye
Agajaanana padmaarkam gajaananamaharnisham
Aneka damtam bhakataanaam ekadanta mupaasmahe
Both these slokas are recited during every ritual.
Ganapathi pancharatnas and Ganaasthakam are
also recited by devotees.
Every fourth day after the full moon day is
known as Sankastha Chaturthi. Devotees observe fast on the day till dawn and
worship Lord Ganesha before having their meal. This practice is known as Sankashta
chaturthi vratham. The ritual performed on Bhaadrapada Shudha Chaviti is known
as Varasidhi Vinayaka vratham.
Vaishnavites, instead of worshipping
Ganesha, worship Vishwaksena. However, it is believed Vishwaksena is
the other form of Ganesha. A round areca/betel nut and raw turmeric are worshipped
as the forms of Lord Ganesha.
required for worshipping Lord Ganesha
Turmeric powder, Saffron , Gulvaalu , Bukka
, Camphor , Coconut , Incense sticks , Oil or ghee lamp , 21 grass blades (Darbha) , 21 varieties of flowers , Wood apple,Plum , Black
plum , Guava , Pomegranate , Bananas, Panchaamrutam (a mixture of milk, curd, ghee, honey
and sugar), Holy water collected from near by river, Turmeric , Round betel nuts (2 numbers)
, Unbroken rice, Sandal powder, New piece of cloth , Yagnopaveetham (Sacred thread) ,
Betel leaves Dates, 21 varieties of leaves, Dakshina (offering in the form of currency or
coins), Lord Ganeshas idol or a photograph, A book or a cassette which details the
mantras and process of worshipping.
Om ganaanaam tva ganapathigm
Kavim kaveena mupamashravasthamam
Jyeshtha raajam brahmanaam brahmanaspatha
This vaidic hymn is chanted before
starting Ganapathi pooja.
Omkara is a combination of the basic syllables A (as pronounced in Other),
U (as pronounced in USHA) and Ma (as pronounced in MOTHER).
Devanagari: This is a form
of script, which is used for writing Devabhasha or Sanskrit.
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