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
- Red Chandan
- 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.
- Bheema : One who is gigantic
- Akhuratha : One whose chariot is pulled by a mouse
- Balaganapati : Beloved child
- Alampata : One who is forever eternal
- Amit : One who is incomparable
- Chaturbhuj : The four-armed lord
- Anantachidrupamayam : One who is the personification of the infinite consciousness
- Haridra : One who is golden-hued
- Heramba : Mother’s beloved son
- Kapila : One who is yellowish-brown
- Kaveesha : The lord of poets
- Kirti : The lord of music
- Bhalchandra : One who is moon crested
- Gajanana : One who has an elephantine face
- Gajananeti : One who has the looks of an elephant
- Gajavakra : The trunk of an elephant
- Bhupati : The lord of lords
- Bhuvanpati : The lord of the heaven
- Buddhinath : The God of wisdom
- Buddhipriya : One who bestows of knowledge and intellect
- Buddhividhata : The God of knowledge
- Devadeva : The lord of lords
- Devantakanashakarin : Destroyer of evils and demons
- Uddanda : The nemesis of evils and vices
- Umaputra : The son of Goddess Uma
- Vakratunda : One with a curved trunk
- Varaganapati : Bestower of boons
- Varaprada : One who grants wishes
- Dharmik : One who is righteous and charitable
- Dhoomravarna : One whose skin is smoke-hued
- Durja : The invincible
- Dvaimatura : One who has two mothers
- Ekaakshara : One who is of a single syllable
- Ekadanta : Single-tusked
- Gadadhara : One whose weapon is the mace
- Gajakarna : One who has elephantine-ears
- Gajavaktra : One who has an elephantine mouth
- Ganadhakshya : The lord of lords
- Ganadhyakshina : Leader of all celestial bodies
- Kripalu : Merciful lord
- Krishapingaksha : One who has yellowish-brown eyes
- Kshamakaram : The abode of forgiveness
- Kshipra : One who is easy to appease
- Lambakarna : One who has large ears
- Lambodara : One who has a big belly
- Mangalamurti : The all auspicious Lord
- Manomay : The winner of hearts
- Mrityuanjaya : The conqueror of death
- Mundakarama : The abode of happiness
- Muktidaya : Bestower of eternal bliss
- Musikvahana : One who rides a mouse
- Nadapratithishta : One who appreciates music
- Namasthetu : Destroyer of evils and sins
- Nandana : Lord Shiva’s son
- Nideeshwaram : Bestower of wealth
- Omkara : One who has the form of ‘Om’
- Pitambara : One who has yellowish skin
- Pramoda : Lord of all abodes
- Prathameshwara : First among all Gods
- Purush : The omnipotent personality
- Rakta : One who is blood-hued
- Rudrapriya : One who is the beloved of Shiva
- Sarvadevatman : One who accepts all celestial offerings
- Sarvasiddhanta : Bestower of skills and knowledge
- Sarvatman : Protector of the universe
- Shambhavi : Son of Parvati
- Shashivarnam : One who has a moon-like complexion
- Shoorpakarna : One who is large-eared
- Ganapati : The lord of lords
- Gaurisuta : The son of Gauri
- Gunina : The lord of virtues
- Shuban : The all auspicious Lord
- Shubhagunakanan : One who is The Master of All Virtues
- Shweta : One who is as pure as the white
- Siddhidhata : Bestower of accomplishments and successes
- Siddhipriya : Giver of wishes and boons
- Ekadrishta : Single-focused
- Eshanputra : The son of Shiva
- Siddhivinayaka : Bestower of success
- Skandapurvaja : Elder of Skanda or Kartikya
- Sumukha : One who has an auspicious face
- Sureshwaram : The lord of lords
- Swaroop : Lover of beauty
- Tarun : One who is ageless
- Varadavinayaka : Bestower of success
- Veeraganapati : The vigorous lord
- Vidyavaridhi : The God of wisdom
- Mahabala : One who is enormously strong
- Mahaganapati : The Supreme Lord
- Maheshwaram : Lord of the universe
- Vighnahara : Remover of obstacles
- Vignaharta : Destroyer of all obstacles
- Vighnaraja : Lord of all obstacles
- Vighnarajendra : Lord of all obstacles
- Vighnavinashanaya : Destroyer of all obstacles
- Vigneshwara : Lord of all obstacles
- Vikat : One who is huge
- Vinayaka : The Supreme Lord
- Vishwamukha : Master of the universe
- Vishwaraja : King of the world
- Avighna : The remover of obstacles
- Avaneesh : Master of the universe
- Yagnakaya : One who accepts sacrificial offerings
- Yashaskaram : The bestower of fame and fortune
- Devavrata : One who accepts all penances
- Devendrashika : The protector of all gods
- Yashvasin : The beloved and ever popular lord
- Yogadhipa : The lord of meditation