Ganesh Chaturthi is a popular Hindu festival celebrated with great fanfare throughout India. It is a ten day festival which commences on the fourth day (Shukla Chaturthi) and ends on the fourteenth day (Anant Chaturdashi) of the waxing moon period. The re-birth of the elephant headed deity; Lord Ganesha is celebrated as Ganesh Chaturthi. This year Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated on 13 September (Thursday). This festival is known by various names such as ‘Vinayaka Chaturthi’ and ‘Vinayaka Chavithi’.

Legend of Ganesha

There are strange stories related to the birth of Ganesha. The stories behind Ganesh Chaturthi are contained in the book, Brahma Vivartha Purana, under the section of Ganesha Khanda. There are many stories which narrate the birth of the God of Supreme Intelligence: Lord Ganesha. Lord Ganesha is considered to be the God of spiritual knowledge, prosperity and good fortune. Among the innumerable tales, the most popular one is that of goddess Parvati creating a human figure out of sandalwood in order to provide her the privacy she needed while bathing. But at that moment, Lord Shiva came back home and was furious to have been denied entry by the guard. In a fist of fury, Shiva chopped off the guard’s head, only to realise later that what a blunder he had done by beheading a human creation of Parvati.

Lord Shiva then instructed his ganas or attendants to bring him the head of the first living creature they could find. The first living creature they could find was most certainly an elephant, whose head they chopped off and brought it to Lord Shiva. The deity then replaced back the chopped head and infused life into it. This elephant headed God was named Ganapati or Ganesha, which means the chief of ganas or attendants of Shiva. Ganesha is regarded as the most auspicious God who graces marriage ceremonies and all other events held for undertaking new ventures. Ganesh Chaturthi is thus the celebration of the re-birth of Lord Ganesh. Another story regarding the birth of Ganesha says that he was created by Shiva and Parvati on request of the Devas, to be a vighnakartaa (obstacle-creator) in the path of rakshasas (demonic beings), and a vighnahartaa (obstacle-averter) to help the Devas.

How to do Puja on this occasion?

According to the fact of Hindu time-keeping, there is a division of five equal parts of the time between the Sunrise and the Sunset named as Pratahkala, Madhyahna, Aparahna and Sayankal. The Vedic astrology suggests performing the Ganesha puja during Madhyahna part of the day.

The Puja begins by bringing home the idol of Ganesha and it is believed that this is the most auspicious day when you can bring home your favourite Lord. Before starting off with the puja you should make yourself ready with Aggarbatti and dhoop, Supari, Aarti Thali, Paan leaf, a piece of cloth for covering the idol and an another place of cloth for carrying the Lord’s idol. Also, don’t forget to take Sandli before the puja starts.

The puja starts off by lighting the dhoop and Aggarbatti placed in the Puja thali.

After that, put Paan leaf and the Supari on to the floor and also keep on chanting the mantra “Om Namah Shivay” of Lord throughout performing all the rituals.

Those who are bringing in the idol of Ganesha to their homes must cover the face of the idol with a cloth and should open it only on the day of the Ganesha Chaturthi. When you are bringing in the idol of Lord Ganesha in your home, before entering you must spread some raw rice.

The Key Puja Ingredients

Apart from the above given ingredients, you will also need the following things for the Puja to be completed:

  • Red Flowers
  • Druva grass Blades
  • Modak
  • Coconut
  • Red Chandan
  • Aggarbatti
  • The Puja starts by cleaning the entire house! This is done before bringing in the idol of Ganapati home.
  • All the members of the family should get themselves ready after taking bath before the Puja procedure kicks off.
  • Thereafter, the second step is ‘Pran-Pratishtha’, which is the process of bringing in life in the idol by enchanting mantras. It will be better if you can invite a learned Pundit to perform the whole puja.
  • Then, the second step involves lighting of lamps and Agarbattis and performing the aarati.
  • If the puja is being performed by a Pandit then you may also ask him to perform Shhodashopachara, which is the 16 form of offering Puja to Lord Ganesha. Just after that, worship the lord with 21 Modakas, 21 Druva Grass and also some red flowers.
  • After that put the Tika of red Sandalwood on the Lord’s forehead!! Then, break the coconut placed in front of the idol of Lord, after which all the evils could be warded off from your house.
  • Also, put some fried grains in front of Lord Ganesha, for his carrier, Mushaka. Along with performing the Puja, keep on reciting the 108 salutations of Lord Ganesha.

Follow these steps and show your respect to the Almighty, he will for sure shower upon all the love and happiness on to you if you will perform the puja as mentioned above. Pray, Love & Eat, he will be happy with you and will fulfil all your desires. The more pure-hearted you will be, the more Lord Ganesha will shower upon with prosperity, health and wealth.

Muhurat for Puja on Ganesh Chaturthi is as below:-

Madhyahna Ganesha Puja Timing: 10:55 to 13:23

Duration: 2 Hours 28 Mins

Beginning of Chaturthi Tithi: At 15:37 on 12th September 2018 (Wednesday)

Ending of Chaturthi Tithi: At 14:21 on 13th September 2018

Ganesha Visarjan 2018 Date: 23rd September 2018 (Sunday)

Ganesh Visarjan Muhurat Timing:-

Morning Muhurta (Char, Labh, Amrit): 13:30 to 15:21

Evening Muhurta (Amrit, Char): 16:53 to 21:21

Night Muhurta (Labh): 24:17+ – 25:45+

Early Morning Muhurta (Shubh, Amrit): 27:13+ – 30:09+

One God, Many Names

Lord Ganesha is famous all over the globe in innumerable names; however 108 names of Ganesha exist in the Hindu scriptures. Often people prefer naming their babies after one or the other of the many different names of Ganesha; surprisingly they perfectly suit both girls and boys. Listed below are some of the most popular Sanskrit names of Ganesha with each of their meanings.

  1. Bheema : One who is gigantic
  2. Akhuratha : One whose chariot is pulled by a mouse
  3. Balaganapati : Beloved child
  4. Alampata : One who is forever eternal
  5. Amit : One who is incomparable
  6. Chaturbhuj : The four-armed lord
  7. Anantachidrupamayam : One who is the personification of the infinite consciousness
  8. Haridra : One who is golden-hued
  9. Heramba : Mother’s beloved son
  10. Kapila : One who is yellowish-brown
  11. Kaveesha : The lord of poets
  12. Kirti : The lord of music
  13. Bhalchandra : One who is moon crested
  14. Gajanana : One who has an elephantine face
  15. Gajananeti : One who has the looks of an elephant
  16. Gajavakra : The trunk of an elephant
  17. Bhupati : The lord of lords
  18. Bhuvanpati : The lord of the heaven
  19. Buddhinath : The God of wisdom
  20. Buddhipriya : One who bestows of knowledge and intellect
  21. Buddhividhata : The God of knowledge
  22. Devadeva : The lord of lords
  23. Devantakanashakarin : Destroyer of evils and demons
  24. Uddanda : The nemesis of evils and vices
  25. Umaputra : The son of Goddess Uma
  26. Vakratunda : One with a curved trunk
  27. Varaganapati : Bestower of boons
  28. Varaprada : One who grants wishes
  29. Dharmik : One who is righteous and charitable
  30. Dhoomravarna : One whose skin is smoke-hued
  31. Durja : The invincible
  32. Dvaimatura : One who has two mothers
  33. Ekaakshara : One who is of a single syllable
  34. Ekadanta : Single-tusked
  35. Gadadhara : One whose weapon is the mace
  36. Gajakarna : One who has elephantine-ears
  37. Gajavaktra : One who has an elephantine mouth
  38. Ganadhakshya : The lord of lords
  39. Ganadhyakshina : Leader of all celestial bodies
  40. Kripalu : Merciful lord
  41. Krishapingaksha : One who has yellowish-brown eyes
  42. Kshamakaram : The abode of forgiveness
  43. Kshipra : One who is easy to appease
  44. Lambakarna : One who has large ears
  45. Lambodara : One who has a big belly
  46. Mangalamurti : The all auspicious Lord
  47. Manomay : The winner of hearts
  48. Mrityuanjaya : The conqueror of death
  49. Mundakarama : The abode of happiness
  50. Muktidaya : Bestower of eternal bliss
  51. Musikvahana : One who rides a mouse
  52. Nadapratithishta : One who appreciates music
  53. Namasthetu : Destroyer of evils and sins
  54. Nandana : Lord Shiva’s son
  55. Nideeshwaram : Bestower of wealth
  56. Omkara : One who has the form of ‘Om’
  57. Pitambara : One who has yellowish skin
  58. Pramoda : Lord of all abodes
  59. Prathameshwara : First among all Gods
  60. Purush : The omnipotent personality
  61. Rakta : One who is blood-hued
  62. Rudrapriya : One who is the beloved of Shiva
  63. Sarvadevatman : One who accepts all celestial offerings
  64. Sarvasiddhanta : Bestower of skills and knowledge
  65. Sarvatman : Protector of the universe
  66. Shambhavi : Son of Parvati
  67. Shashivarnam : One who has a moon-like complexion
  68. Shoorpakarna : One who is large-eared
  69. Ganapati : The lord of lords
  70. Gaurisuta : The son of Gauri
  71. Gunina : The lord of virtues
  72. Shuban : The all auspicious Lord
  73. Shubhagunakanan : One who is The Master of All Virtues
  74. Shweta : One who is as pure as the white
  75. Siddhidhata : Bestower of accomplishments and successes
  76. Siddhipriya : Giver of wishes and boons
  77. Ekadrishta : Single-focused
  78. Eshanputra : The son of Shiva
  79. Siddhivinayaka : Bestower of success
  80. Skandapurvaja : Elder of Skanda or Kartikya
  81. Sumukha : One who has an auspicious face
  82. Sureshwaram : The lord of lords
  83. Swaroop : Lover of beauty
  84. Tarun : One who is ageless
  85. Varadavinayaka : Bestower of success
  86. Veeraganapati : The vigorous lord
  87. Vidyavaridhi : The God of wisdom
  88. Mahabala : One who is enormously strong
  89. Mahaganapati : The Supreme Lord
  90. Maheshwaram : Lord of the universe
  91. Vighnahara : Remover of obstacles
  92. Vignaharta : Destroyer of all obstacles
  93. Vighnaraja : Lord of all obstacles
  94. Vighnarajendra : Lord of all obstacles
  95. Vighnavinashanaya : Destroyer of all obstacles
  96. Vigneshwara : Lord of all obstacles
  97. Vikat : One who is huge
  98. Vinayaka : The Supreme Lord
  99. Vishwamukha : Master of the universe
  100. Vishwaraja : King of the world
  101. Avighna : The remover of obstacles
  102. Avaneesh : Master of the universe
  103. Yagnakaya : One who accepts sacrificial offerings
  104. Yashaskaram : The bestower of fame and fortune
  105. Devavrata : One who accepts all penances
  106. Devendrashika : The protector of all gods
  107. Yashvasin : The beloved and ever popular lord
  108. Yogadhipa : The lord of meditation