Shri Ganesh Chaturthi – Clarification of Doubts

Implied meaning of saying ‘Ganapati Bappa
Morya pudhchya varshi lavkar ya’ (O Ganesha, come soon next year!)

Question : Every year Ganapati comes once during Ganesh Chaturthi then why do we say come early next year ?

Answer : We do not realise how fast time flies when we are in happiness. On the contrary when in grief we feel that time is going slow hence when you say ‘come early next year’ it implies that ‘please keep us in happiness all the year through’.

– Dr. Vasant Balaji Athavale, Mumbai (June 2011)


What substances does Ganapati like?

Except on Chaturthi, Holy Basil is prohibited in the worship of Ganapati. Red flowers, Mandar (Coral) leaves, hibiscus, red lotuses, durva (Sacred grass) and shami (Mesquite) leaves are the favourites of Ganapati.


Donation of Idol or immersion of Idol ?

‘Donation of Idol’ is unscientific, ‘immersion of Idol’ is most appropriate


It is mentioned in the scriptures that immersion of Shri Ganapati Idol should necessarily be done in flowing water or a reservoir. However, some people view the immersion of the Idol as an act that causes water pollution, famine etc. As a remedy on this problem, some anti-Hindu or heretic organisations make a ridiculous appeal to donate Idols instead of immersing them. Besides being unscientific, the donation of Idols is an insult to Shri Ganapati. The following are the reasons why donating the Idol is unscientific.

1. Immersing an Idol (that is consecrated) on Shri Ganesh Chaturthi in the Bhadrapad month is a religious ritual as per the scriptures.

2. To donate a Deity or to accept the Deity’s donation is a grave insult to Deities, for humans do not have the ability to give or accept Deities in donation.

3.An Idol is not a toy or a showpiece that can be discarded or donated after use as per one’s whims and fancies.

It has been observed that the workers collect idols and thrown them in stone quarries. This is how they dispose of the objects of our faith. Why should we allow such an insult of Dharma ?

Every year, Sanatan Sanstha organises and conducts a campaign to create awareness on this issue. Do not donate Idols; and for protection of Dharma, participate in these campaigns organised by Sanatan !


How to immerse an Idol in adverse circumstances ?

Certain regions do not have reservoirs with enough water for immersion. At some other places, all the sources of water are polluted, making them unsuitable for immersion of the Idol. Likewise, because of a famine or a calamity in some place, Idol immersion may not be possible.

Such a situation can be tackled in the following two ways.

1.Instead of consecrating an Idol, place a betel nut and worship it symbolically as Shri Ganapati. The betel nut can be immersed in a small well or a stream.

2. Buy a new metal Idol of Shri Ganapati for the Chaturthi festival and worship it after consecration: Though a Shri Ganapati Idol is always present in daily worship, the reason for bringing a new Idol is as follows – The Shri Ganapatitattva waves descend onto the earth in a larger proportion on Shri Ganesh Chaturthi. If they are invoked in our daily worship, the Idol will get charged with tremendous amount of energy. It will become difficult to honour such an Idol possessing tremendous amount of energy with meticulous ritualistic worship throughout the year; for it means strictly following the restrictions of Karmakanda. Hence, a new metal Idol should be bought. Such an Idol need not be actually immersed in water. At the time of immersion, keep some akshata on the palm of the Idol and move the Idol a little with the right hand. With this, the Principle in the Idol also gets immersed. Such an Idol need not be worshipped daily. Next year, this Idol may again be consecrated and worshipped.


What to do in case of damage to the Idol ?

If an organ of the Idol gets damaged before its consecration or after showering it with akshata to remove the divinity from it before immersion, then there is no need to worry. If an organ is damaged before its consecration, the Idol should be replaced with another; whereas, if it is damaged after the divinity is lost, the Idol should be immersed as usual. If the Idol is damaged after consecration, it should be immersed after showering akshata on it. If this happens on the day of Shri Ganesh Chaturthi, worship a new Idol. However, if it happens on the second or third day of Shri Ganesh Chaturthi, there is no need to do so. If the Idol is damaged completely, with the advice of the family priest, perform the ‘Adbhutdarshanshanti’ as per convenience. If a lit lamp falls, the grinding stone breaks, flowering of acress plant takes place, Idol gets damaged etc., then they are indicative of an ill-omen. Hence, the above remedy should be undertaken with faith.

Reference : Sanatan’s Holy Text ‘Shri Ganapati’


After Uttarpuja should the sattvik Ganesh Idol obtained from Sanatan,
be kept at home or immersed ?

After Uttarpuja a Ganesh Idol worshipped ritualistically should be immersed rather than being kept at home
‘Some seekers are purchasing sattvik Ganesh Idol from Sanatan for ritualistic worship. After its Uttarpuja is performed the question asked is whether it can be kept at home to derive benefit. As per Scriptures it is appropriate to immerse the Idol after its Uttarpuja is performed and this should be complied with.’ – Mrs. Anjali Gadgil, Sanatan Sanstha, Ramnathi, Goa (Shravan Amavasya Bhadrapad Shukla 1, Kaliyug Varsha 5113 (29.8.2011))

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