Principles and the Practice of Ganesh Pooja


Sri Ganesh Sthuthi
Srikãntho Mathulo Yasya Jananee Sarva Mangalã |
Janakaha Sankaro' Devaha Tam Vande' Kunjarãnanam ||
He for whom Lord Vishnu is the Uncle, Whose mother is the Universal
auspicious one, Parvathi, Whose father is Lord Mahaa Deva, to Him
the Omkaara Faced One, Sri Ganesha, I am doing the salutations.
Sri Ganesh worship is one of the oldest forms of practice in Hinduism, mentioned in the Vedas and Agamas. The Supreme Reality, manifests Himself ["Itself"] in the various forms of Avathara, without ceasing to be Himself. Ganesha is a manifestation of the Supreme Reality, for the protection of the pious and destruction of the evil in the forms of many "Asuras." He represents the Pranava Manthra "OM" and is called "Pranava Swaroopa." He is also called "Jyeshta Rajan" and Brahmanaspathi." He is said to have started the languages, the written scripts and has written the Mahabharatha for Sri Veda Vyasa with His tusk. According to the Upanishads and Puranas, He is said to have had several manifestations, some even before the Trinity of Gods, Siva, Vishnu, and Brahma, at the early time of the creation of the Universe. Some of these manifestations are described as Ganesha, the Son of Sri Parvathi and Sri Siva. Some of them are depicted with two consorts, Siddhi and Bhuddhi. Here, as Sri Ganesha is said to represent the Jñana or wisdom, Siddhi is Kriya Sakthi or the actions or deeds and Buddhi is the Iccha Sakthi or knowledge.

Sri Ganesh is worshipped from the Vedic period. He is prayed especially before the beginning of all actions including any new rituals and prayer services according to Veda and Agama, to remove the obstacles and protect the devotees in the performance of all their activities. There are several days in the month according to the Phase of the moon or star position which are important for each of the Deity we worship. The Fourth day after New Moon every month [Sukla paksham] - Chathurthi is very important for Sri Ganesha. The fourth day after the Full moon day [Krishna paksham] is called Sankatahara Chathurthi day and is auspicious for special pooja and Havan [Homam] for Sri Ganesha. The Sukla Chathurthi day of the month Bhadrapada [Aavani] is celebrated as Sri Ganesha Chathurthi day, an annual festival of one to ten days, to mark the day of one of the manifestations of Sri Ganesha. Sri Ganesha accepts prayers with offerings of all types of flowers, leaves, grass and all fruits and foods. However, He is not offered Thulasi for prayer at any time except on Ganesha Chathurthi day. Modhakam is sweet of special importance for this Pooja.

By: Dr. Bala N. Aiyer, M.D.

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