When Sri Ganesh festival is approaching, various types of idols are seen in the market. However it is a matter of regret that most of the idols are made in an unscientific manner by the artists according to their own imaginations. Such idols do not bring much spiritual benefit to the worshipper. Hence, it is necessary to remember a few points while selecting an idol :
A. The idol should be made of soft clay.
B. It should be hand-made instead of from a mould.
C. The form and size of the idol should be as per the science of idols.
D. The idol should be sitting on a wooden seat.
Today in the decoration for Ganesh festival, glittering papers, thermocol, plastic and strings of electric bulbs are used. The raja-tama dominant and distressing frequencies in the atmosphere are attracted towards such objects.
From a spiritual viewpoint the Deity Principle is attracted in higher proportion towards a specific colour, fragrance, form etc. Such objects have the ability to store and emit the frequencies attracted by them. It is beneficial to use sattvik objects for attracting the Ganesh Principle. For example :
A. Festoons made from natural flowers and leaves
B. Red-coloured flowers, Durva and leaves of Shami and Madar
C. The rangoli which attracts the frequencies of Sri Ganesh Principle
D. The sattvik chant-strips of Sri Ganesh.
A. The idol of Sri Ganesh should be brought home one day in advance or in the morning of the day of Ganesh Chaturthi.
B. The other members of the family should also accompany the head of the house for bringing home the idol.
C. Necessary preparations with regard to the idol should be made before actually bringing it home.
D. While bringing the idol it is necessary for the person bringing the idol to wear a cap.
E. While bringing the idol of Sri Ganesh it is placed on a wooden seat.
F. The idol is covered with a clean silk or cotton cloth.
G. While bringing the idol in the house the face of the idol should be towards the person who carries it.
H. While bringing the idol hail Sri Ganesh on the way.
I. On reaching the door of the house, the face of the idol should be turned towards the house.
J. After this a married woman of the house should pour some water on the feet of the person carrying the idol.
K. Then she should pour some milk.
L. A lit lamp is then waved in front of the idol.
M. Thereafter one enters the house.
N. Before keeping the idol in the place of worship, some unbroken rice grains are kept on the place and the idol is then placed on it.
When the idol of Sri Ganesh is worshipped, if stotras are recited and chanting is done with spiritual emotion, we get the benefit of the Principle of Sri Ganesh.
When a Deity is invoked according to science and worshipped, the Principle of the Deity is attracted in the Deity’s idol. The idol is charged with this Deity’s Principle. This Principle of the Deity is stored in the idol and emitted in the surrounding atmosphere. As the idol is charged, the rice grains kept below the idol also get charged with the Deity’s Principle.
As the Deity’s vibrations are created in the rice kept below the idol, the vibrations of the Deity are also created in the rice stored in the house. After the concluding worship, these rice grains are mixed in the rice stored in the house. By keeping the idol of Sri Ganesh on the rice, the devotees get the benefit of Ganesh Principle throughout the year in the form of Holy sacrament (prasad).
As per the scriptures, an idol of Sri Ganesh should be made from mud on the fourth day (chaturthi) of the bright fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Bhadrapad. It should be placed on the left palm and consecrated with the Name Siddhivinayak. It should be ritualistically worshipped and immersed immediately thereafter.
Many people immerse the idol of Sri Ganesh along with Jyeshthagouri. According to one’s family tradition (kulachar), the Ganesh idol is worshipped for one and a half, five, seven or ten days. The Ganesh idol is immersed on the second, fifth, seventh or tenth day.
On the day of Sri Ganesh Chaturthi a new idol of Sri Ganesh is brought. Worship of the Sri Ganesh idol begins in the morning.
A. In the worship of the Sri Ganesh idol, first sipping of water from the palm (achaman), uttering the desh-kal and resolve (sankalp) are done.
B. Thereafter Sri Mahaganapati is invoked in a coconut or betel nut and worshipped.
C. Then the instruments of worship namely conch, bell, lamp etc. are worshipped and the idol of Sri Ganesh brought on the day of Sri Ganesh Chaturthi is consecrated (pranpratishtha).
Consecration of Sri Ganesh idol (pranpratishtha)
One’s right hand is placed over the heart of the Sri Ganesh idol and mantra is recited. Consecration of an idol is done on Sri Ganesh Chaturthi or to activate any new idol. Through consecration the idol acquires Divinity. – After consecration the Sri Ganesh idol is worshipped with sixteen substances (Shodashopachar-puja).
In Shodashopachar-pujan water is sprinkled on the idol’s feet (padya), sandalwood mixed water is sprinkled on the idol (arghya) and then it is bathed with five nectars (a mixture of milk, honey, curd, clarified butter (ghee) and sugar) (panchamrutsnan). The idol is consecrated by sprinkling with water (abhishek) with flower or sacred grass (durva).
A. Cotton cloth is offered to Sri Ganesh.
B. Sacred thread (yadnyopavit) is then offered.
C. Sandalwood paste is offered to Sri Ganesh
D. Turmeric paste is offered to Sri Ganesh
E. Vermilion (kumkum) is offered.
F. Unbroken rice (akshat) is then offered.
G. Garland of flowers is offered to Sri Ganesh as per availability
H. Flowers are offered at the feet of the idol of Sri Ganesh
I. Then unbroken rice or flowers are offered to each body part of the idol of Sri Ganesh from His head to feet accompanied by recitation of mantras.
J. Leaves of the Shami tree are offered.
K. Sacred grass (Durva) is offered to Sri Ganesh. On the day of Sri Ganesh Chaturthi the Basil plant (Tulasi) acquires the ability to attract Sri Ganesh pavitraks or the subtle most part of Divine consciousness. Hence, Tulasi is offered along with leaves of the Shami tree and Durva to Sri Ganesh on this day. Leaves of Bel, Badari (Bor), Datura (Dhotarâ), Madar etc. are offered.
L. Two lit incense sticks are waved followed by worship with a lit lamp.
M. Naivedya of Modak is offered and arati is waved. One should then pay obeisance and pray to Sri Ganesh. After this at least eight parikramas of Sri Ganesh is performed. At the end flowers are offered with mantras (Mantrapushpanjali) with spiritual emotion and obeisance paid to Sri Ganesh to conclude the ritualistic worship.
A) Supreme God Principle (Parmeshwariya-tattva), high level God’s Chaitanya and a flow of Ganesh principle is attracted in the Modak. Their spiral is generated and it keeps moving in an activated form.
B) A spiral of Nirgun principle is generated in the Modak and it keeps moving in an activated form. Particles of vital energy in the form of Chaitanya spread in the void of the Modak.
C) A flow of bliss (Anand) fills in the Modak through its tip.
1. A spiral of this Anand keeps moving in the circular void of the Modak in an activated form.
2. Flows of Anand are emitted into the environment through this spiral.
3. Particles of Chaitanya in the form of Anand spread in the environment.
The proportion of sattva-guna is more in the steamed Modak while the proportion of raja-guna is more in the fried Modak.
During the period of Sri Ganesh Chaturthi, some people recite the Sri Ganesh Atharvashirsha specific number of times.
The Sri Ganesh principle is active during the period of Sri Ganesh Chaturthi. On this day the Shiva principle is also active. To benefit completely from these active principles, one should chant ‘Om Gan Ganpataye Namaha’ maximally during this period.
Sattvik Name-strip of Deity Shri Ganapati
The prayer to be offered during the period of Sri Ganesh Chaturthi
O Sri Ganesh Deity, I am commencing the chanting of Your Name. You only get the chanting done through me with spiritual emotion, as is expected by You. Bestow upon me the capacity to absorb Your Chaitanya. Through this Chaitanya let a protective sheath be created all around me. You only give me the Energy (Shakti) for righteous conduct. I offer this prayer at Your Holy Feet.
Try to envisage the picture of Sri Ganesh while praying. Consequently the prayer occurs with concentration. The chanting will definitely occur with spiritual emotion.