As per the science, the Divinity generated in the idol consecrated on the day of Sri Ganesh Chaturthi lasts only for a day. That is why the idol should be immersed in water that very day or the next day, after performing ritualistic worship.
Before immersing Sri Ganesh idol the concluding ritualistic worship (uttarpuja) is performed. After performing this ritualistic worship, the idol is shifted slightly from its place. Uttarpuja means bidding farewell to Sri Ganeshji with due reverence.
A) When taking the Sri Ganesh idol for immersion, one should also offer curd, puffed rice, coconut, sweet delicacy (Modak) etc. as provisions for the journey.
B) As far as possible all the members of the family should go for the immersion of the Sri Ganesh idol.
C) When taking the Sri Ganesh idol for immersion, the back of the idol should face the person carrying the idol.
D) One should go to an ocean, a river, reservoir of water or a well for immersing the idol.
E) Arati should be offered to Sri Ganeshji.
F) After the arati, the idol should be immersed in flowing water together with the provisions.
Spritual experience in context to the provisions during the immersion of the idol of Sri Ganeshji
While going for the immersion of the Sri Ganesh idol, the rickshaw not starting, then realising about forgetting the provisions for the journey at home and the rickshaw starting immediately after bringing the provisions: In 2007, at 5 p.m. we left the house for going for the immersion of the Sri Ganesh idol in a rickshaw. But the rickshaw would not start. We made all efforts to start it, but it would not budge. It was then that my sister realised that we had forgotten to bring along the provisions for the journey made for Sri Ganeshji. She asked her husband to get the provisions. The rickshaw started immediately upon bringing them and we were able to go for the immersion of the idol. Sri Ganeshji Himself took care that our seva does not remain incomplete. The moment I realised this I expressed gratitude. – Mrs. Gouri Afle, Panvel, Maharashtra
Through the above spiritual experience, one can realise the importance of the provisions for the journey offered to Sri Ganeshji. The importance of performing the observances peculiar to the Family tradition (Kulachar) as per the science is evident here.
Spiritual experience of immersing the idol of Sri Ganeshji with spiritual emotion
Perceiving bliss (Anand) on the faces of the people participating in the procession for immersion of the Sri Ganesh idol while doing collective chanting, hailing the idol and uttering slogans: This year we decided to have an ideal procession while taking the Sri Ganesh idol for immersion. Accordingly we were proceeding with the procession collectively chanting the Name of Sri Ganeshji on the way. Sometimes we would also hail the Name of Sri Ganeshji or utter slogans. At the time bliss was perceived on the faces of the people participating in the procession. Due to chanting, the idols of Gouri and Sri Ganeshji were immersed in water amidst an atmosphere filled with spiritual emotion. Thereafter, we enquired with the elderly people of the village about the procession. They said that an ideal procession should be like this only. – Mrs. Namrata Divekar, Maharashta
The decision of Mrs. Namrata to conduct an ideal procession and conforming to the same is inspiring for everyone.
Nowadays many organisations make appeals to donate the idols of Sri Ganeshji putting forth reasons like water pollution, drought etc. These organisations take the idols as donation and later throw them in the stone mines. Is it appropriate to throw the idol of the Deity worshipped so ardently in such a way?
The various reasons why ‘donating the idol’ is unscientific:
A) The immersion of Sri Ganesh idol consecrated on Sri Ganesh Chaturthi in the month of Bhadrapad is an observance or ritual prescribed by the Scriptures.
B) Man does not have the capacity to give or take the Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent Deities as a donation. Therefore giving and taking the idols of Deities as donation amounts to denigration of the Deities.
C) The idol of Sri Ganeshji is not a toy or a piece of decoration which can be donated to another after usage.
Hence, one should not denigrate the seats of our reverence with our own hands and educate others too. This simple act will contribute to the mission of Dharma.
Due to the ritualistic worship, the idol of Sri Ganeshji is charged with the Ganesh Principle. By immersing the idol in flowing water the Ganesh Principle in the idol also flows and spreads far and wide. With the evaporation of the water charged with the Ganesh Principle, the entire environment also becomes sattvik. In some places, the reservoirs do not have enough water for immersion of the Ganesh idol. At other places the source of water is not appropriate.
A) Symbolic worship of a betel nut
In emergency situations, instead of an idol, use a betel nut and worship it in the form of a symbol of Sri Ganeshji. Immerse the betel nut in a small well or a spring.
B) Bringing a new metal idol and worshipping it
Where there is paucity of water, consecrate a new metal idol for Ganesh Chaturthi. There is no need to immerse such idol in flowing water. At the time of immersion, place a few unbroken rice grains on the hand of Ganapati and move the idol slightly from the place. Thereafter keep the idol at some sacred place in the house. Next year the same idol can be consecrated and worshipped.
The reason underlying why the metal idol need not be immersed in flowing water: By consecrating a new metal idol and worshipping it, the Ganesh Principle infuses in the idol. For immersion purpose when the idol is shaken slightly, this Principle is expelled. It is not necessary to worship such idol daily. Next year the idol can be re-consecrated and worshipped.
2.2 Proportion of active components in the idol
of Sri Ganeshji at the time of immersion in flowing water
By immersing Sri Ganesh idol, a person gets Absolute Earth Principle, Absolute Water Principle and Absolute Air Principle. By the ritualistic immersion of the idol, the Chaitanya and the vibrations of Ganesh Principle are emitted in higher proportion.
Spiritual benefits from the various sevas from the creation of the idol to its immersion in flowing water as mentioned by H.H. Parulekar Maharaj ji, a Saint from Sindhudurga district, Maharashtra :
|1. Creation of idol|
|A. Bringing clay and kneading it||10|
|B. Giving shape to the clay||25|
|C. Painting the idol||5|
|D. Showing the eyes of the idol open||15|
|2. Bringing the idol home and taking it to the place of immersion||11|
|3. Ritualistic worship, devotional songs and arati||8|
|4. Preparing food and offering Holy sacrament||21|
|5. Lighting of incense and a lamp and keeping the lamp burning uninterrupted||5|
A) By sculpting an idol with the bhav of seva, the benefit obtained by the idol-maker is maximum, that is, 55%.
B) In comparison with the ritualistic worship, devotional songs and arati, the body and mind is fully surrendered at God’s Holy feet in making the idol, cooking food for offering as a Holy sacrament (naivedya) and actually offering the Holy sacrament. One gets more benefit from this.
C) One gets more benefits when the actions like bringing the idol home and immersing it in flowing water are performed by oneself considering them as seva.
Remedy after breakage of an idol
The Scriptures have laid down some remedies. They depend on when the breakage of the idol takes place.
A) If the idol is broken before its consecration, a new idol should be brought and worshipped.
B) If the idol is broken after the concluding worship after showering it with akshat, it should be immersed in flowing water in the regular way.
C) If the idol is broken after consecration, akshat should be showered on the idol and it should be immersed in flowing water.
D) If this happens on the day of Sri Ganesh Chaturthi, another idol should be worshipped.
E) If this happens on the second or third day, there is no need for a new idol.
F) If the idol is completely damaged, one should perform the ‘Adbhut darshan shanti’, a ritual for peace in the family, as per the advice of the family priest and one’s convenience.