Ganesh Chaturthi is also known as Ganapathi Chaturthi. Ganapathi Chaturthi is the Hindu festival that reveres god Ganesha. Lord Ganesh was the son of Shiva and Parvati. Lord Ganesh is the remover of all obstacles and he is the first worshiper of any puja. Ganesh Chaturthi puja commonly celebrated on Shukla Chaturthi in the Bhadrapada month, 4th day of the bright half of the moon. It normally falls on August or September months. This festival ends on the Anant Chaturdashi. Festival is celebrated on Saturday, 22nd August 2020.
The History behind Ganesh Chaturthi
According to ancient scriptures, Once there lived a demon king Gajasura. He had the form of an elephant so he was named as Gajasura. The demon performed great penance for Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva was pleased with the penance of Gajasura. Lord came to him and offered a godsend, That evil prayed to lord Shiva as soon as he saw him and then prayed that, ‘hey god I would ask you to stay in my stomach’ as a godsend. Lord Shiva known his love towards the followers agreed and stayed in the abdomen of the Gajasura.
In the meantime, Lord Shiva’s wife Parvathi, who is in Kailasa was getting worried, about her husband as she was not seen him for many days. She was searched in many places and finally, she found he was residing in the stomach of the asura Gajasura. She was very worried about her husband and how to get her husband back, she prayed to her brother Lord Vishnu. Vishnu came to Parvathi who narrated the entire story of her husband and requested Vishnu to aid in getting her husband back. Vishnu solaced Parvati and swear that he would get back her husband.
Lord Vishnu hatched a plan along with other gods like Indra, Brahma of getting lord Shiva back. They decorated Nandi as Gangireddu as a part of plan and gods were impersonated as musical instrument players where all the gods hold up various musical appliances. With everything ready, all of them reached the capital city of the evil Gajasura.
By entering the city, they started to exhibit making bull move to their music and it was splendid and started having more crowd. The bull play fame reached to Demon Gajasura and he ordered to present them to his court. In the court all gods made bull play beautifully by which demon king was very impressed and asked the players to go ahead and ask for anything, he would surely give them. Listing to that Lord Vishnu said that the Gangireddu was none other than Nandi the divine vehicle of Lord Shiva, they were here for Shiva.
By listing that demon found that the one who spoke was none other than Lord Vishnu (famous for killing demon). By knowing that he had no other path out but he again prayed to Lord Shiva to stand on his word and asked for another boon stating that 'His death was renowned and so he prayed to Shiva that he made his head to be prayed in all the lokas and that Shiva should wear his skin as clothes.' For which Lord Shiva agreed. Vishnu asked Nandi to perforate the stomach of Gajasura, Nandi was done it and Shiva was come out from the stomach of Gajasura. Vishnu then suggested Shiva that boons were to be given on discretion and asked him to consider before giving boons to demons. Then all the gods and mounted Nandi left to Kailasa.
Birth of Ganesha
Knowing the came back of Lord Shiva, Parvathi feels happy and relieved. She performs an abhyanga bath. While performing the bath, she arranges a boy with the flour and imprint life into it. The child is born and she asked him to be a guard at the front of the door as long as she is bathing and told him not to let anyone enter the house.
The boy is now standing at the front door of the house. Shiva comes home and he tries to get into the house, where the child has stopped him. Shiva feels angry and in a fit of rage kills the boy by cutting off his head and entered the house. Now Parvathi is ready to receive lord shiva with affection. In the middle of talking the discussion comes up on the boy who was guarding the door. Shiva tells to Parvathi that he had killed him upon which Parvathi narrates the entire story of the birth of the child and becomes sad.
Shiva feels repents on what he had done and the only way that he can bring the child to life is by attaching a new head. He sends all the soldiers under his order to go and fetch of the person who is sleeping with his head positioned in the North direction.Then all the soldiers went in all the places and finally come back with the head of Gajasura stating that Gajasura was the only one sleeping with his kept in the North direction. By using Gajasura's head, attached to the boy, then brings back his life. And he is named as Gajanana (Ganesha). He was given a rat as the divine vehicle by the name of Anindyudu. After few years Lord Shiva and Parvathi had another son by the name of Karthikeya. He became the commander of the army of gods later. Lord Karthikeya is also known as Kumaraswamy, Subramanya, etc.
Commander of Vighnas
The word Vighna means obstacles that would come for any work. Before you start work you will get a lot of problems and finally, you will not be able to complete the work. Obstacles will never allow you to complete the work as expected by you. One day all the gods, Sages went to Kailasam to meet Shiva and pray him. He came and they ask him to appoint someone as a head or leader to the Vighnas.Lord Shiva’s younger son Subramanya comes forward and asks his father to give the post to him as Vinayak is short and fat. But Ganesh also wants the post of the head to the vighnas. So Shiva puts a test to them. That is to go around all the worlds and to bath in all the holy rivers present in those worlds and come back. Whoever comes first will be appointed as the head or leader of the vighnas.
Lord Shiva’s younger son Subramanya comes forward and asks his father to give the post to him as Vinayak is short and fat. But Ganesh also wants the post of the head to the vighnas. So Shiva puts a test to them. That is to go around all the worlds and to bath in all the holy rivers present in those worlds and come back. Whoever comes first will be appointed as the head or leader of the vighnas.
Listing to that quickly Karthikeya sits on his vehicle peacock and flies for finishing the test. On the other hand, Ganesh feels sad and approaches his father and prays him saying, ‘you know that I am fat, short and can’t move as fast as Karthikeya. So I request you to suggest me how can I finish the competition. Lord Shiva answers to Ganesh's request that is ‘if you chant Narayana Mantra and do pradakshina round to parents, it is equal to do bathing in all sacred rivers’. Later shiva teaches the mantra to Ganesh and he chants the Narayana mantra does the pradakshina to his parents. Because of the effect of the Narayana mantra and pradakshina, Karthikeya always sees his brother Ganesh complete the bath and leave as he tries to enter for a bath in any of the sacred rivers.
Karthikeya comes back to Kailasa and tells his father to excuse him for his incomprehension in recognizing his elder brother's capacity and requests his father to place Ganesh as the head of the Vighnas. So Ganesh is named as the head of the Vighnas and hence he called the Vighneswar. Vighneswar means the lord of Vighnas. This ceremony was done on Bhadrapadha Sudha chaviti and from that day onwards it is celebrated as Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayaka chaviti. All the people, gods, sages, etc of all worlds perform a ritual and offered Ganesha with a lot of various food items like Coconuts, Bananas, Laddu, kudumulu, etc and Ganesh ate most of them.
Ganesh Chaturthi Puja Vidhi
Firstly choose the Vrat timings corresponding to the day of occurrence in every year where Yamaganda or Rahukala has to be omitted. Choose Subh Muhurat or Ganapathi puja Muhurat to perform Ganesh Chaturthi puja. Early morning after taking bath, wear new clothes to perform a ritual or Ganapathi puja. Choose the clay idol or metal idol(gold, silver, copper) or turmeric Ganesha or Ganesha made from the Pancha Gavya combination. Prepare the home clean and tidy as required for puja. Arrange a small stage(Mandap) or keep ideally in the corner of the puja room or at the center where the idol is visible. During Ganesha puja 21 different types of flowers and leaves are auspicious.
After preparation of Mandap 16 common steps for the worship of God Ganesha.
Aavaahana: Inviting the deity into the altar.
Asana: Giving a seat to the deity
Paadya: Washing the deity’s feet with pure water.
Arghya: to rinse hands and mouth.
Aachamana: Offering the deity water to drink.
Snaana: Bathing the deity with various auspicious items.
Vasthra: Dressing the deity in clean clothes.
Yagnopaveetha: the deity wears a clean sacred thread.
Gandha: put fresh sandalwood paste on the deity.
Pushpa or Flowers: Offering fresh flowers while chanting the deity’s names.
Dhoop: Spreading fragrance smoke throughout the altar.
Deepa or Diya: offering a lamp to illuminate the surrounding decorated deity.
Naivedya: offering food for the deity.
Taambula: Offering betel nut and leaves.
Pradakshina & Namaskara: roaming the altar and bidding farewell to the deity.
In Ganesh, puja Aarthi is done to get the blessings of Lord Ganesha. As a conclusion of puja, we perform Aarthi which in turn referred to as gratitude and respect offered to the deity. While performing Aarthi everyone first gets together. Then Diya is lighted and Prasad kept in front of the lord Ganesha idol. During the Aarthi time, some people used to sing a song or slokas. After aarthi is done Modaka offered to the Lord Ganesha as a Naivedya, and then distributed to all as a Prasadam.
During the aarthi time below Slokas are used to sing by the devotees.
1. Vakratunda Mahakaya
Surya Koti Sama Prabha
Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva
Sarva Karyesu Sarvada
2. Jai Ganesh, Jai Ganesh
Jai Ganesh Deva Aarti
Jai ganesh jai ganesh jai ganesh deva
Mata jaki parvati, pita mahadeva
Eka danta dayavanta, char bhuja dhari
Mathe sindura sohe, muse ki savari
Jai ganesh jai ganesh jai ganesh deva.
Andhan ko aankh deta, kordhina ko kaya
Banjhan ko putra deta, nirdhana ko maya
Jai ganesh jai ganesh jai ganesh deva.
Paana chadhe, phoola chadhe, aur chadhe meva
Ladduan ka bhoga lage, santa karen seva
Jai ganesh jai ganesh jai ganesh deva.
Ganesh Puja Samagri
2. Banana leaf (if available or a plate) and rice for installing Lord Ganesha
4. One plate (especially a metallic plate one) and some rice (1-3 cups)
5. Puja Ghanta (bell)
6. Coconuts and bananas
7. Betel leaves and supari (betel nuts)
8. Kalasha, Haldi, Kumkum, Akshata, Flowers, Garlands
9. Panchaamrita (the combination of fruits, honey, milk, ghee, curds, sugar - all in one cup)
10. 2 small oil lamps with ghee and a cotton wick
12. 2 small cups and a spoon, preferably metallic
13. Some money for offering to Lord Ganesha
14. Sweets (specially laddus)and other items for Naivedya
These are the Ganesh puja samagri's. By using these puja items your puja is done with successfully.
1. Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha
Meaning: This mantra means bowing down to Vinayak with all our existent and accepting all his great qualities in our self-being.
Benefits: This is the basic Ganesh mantra. By chanting of it, will get free from all negative energies from the work. It gives success in all the new ventures or new businesses.
2. Aum Ekadantaya Viddhamahe Vakratundaya
Dhimahi Tanna Danti Prachodayat
Meaning: We pray to the lord Ganesh with the single-tusked elephant tooth who is omnipresent. We meditate upon and pray for the high intellect to the Lord with the curved, elephant-shaped trunk. To illuminate our minds with wisdom we bow before the one with the single-tusked elephant tooth .
Benefits: This is Ganesh Gayathri mantra. By chanting of it, this mantra encourages modesty, righteousness and high-end wisdom to the devotees.