Sunday, May 20, 2012

Ganesha Pooja (Ganapathy Pooja)

Lord Ganesha, son of Shiva and Parvathi, is the Hindu God of knowledge and the remover of obstacles. He is depicted with an elephant head, human body and is said to have a large pot belly (holding the entire universe in his belly). Ganesh pooja is performed to remove obstacles and to have a prosperous life.  

Ganesha is also called Ganapati (leader of people), Buddhividhata (god of knowledge), or Vighnahara (god to remove obstacles). Being one of the most important Gods in the Hindu religion, all sacrifices and religious ceremonies and start of a new business or any activity of importance are begun with an invocation to him.

Rat is his vehicle and is usually shown at the foot of the God, but sometimes Ganesh is astride the rat. This unique combination of his elephant-like head and a quick moving rat vehicle represents tremendous wisdom, intelligence, and presence of mind.

Ganesh Pooja is performed to remove obstacles and to have a prosperous life.  By praying to Lord Ganesh the son of Shiva and Parvati, we are blessed with knowledge, material prosperity and well-being.

Pooja items: 
A small vessel of water (panchapatra with udarani), flowers for archana, sandal paste, kumkum, turmeric powder, Akshada (rice mixed with little turmeric, kumkum and a drop of melted ghee), bananas, fruits, coconut (halved), a pair of lamps, Ghee deepam, Agarbathi, Camphor, Wooden platform to sit.

Pooja set-up: To perform Ganesh Pooja, set up a small platform and drape with a yellow cloth. Use photo, ganesh idol and/or create a small cone (1/2 – 1 inch) by mixing turmeric powder (2 tsps) with water and to this we apply some sandal paste and kumkum. Light lamps (preferably with ghee) and Agarbathis. Prepare modakam or any kheer/ sweets for nivedya.

Start Pooja by praying to Lord Ganesha asking for removal of all obstacles and to obtain his blessings by chanting the following slokha:
Suklam Bharatharam Vishnum, Sasivarnam Chathurbujam
Prasanna Vadanam Dhyayeth, Sarva VignoBha Shantaye.

Om Bhuh, Om Bhuvah, Om Suvah, Om Mahah, Om Janah, Om Thapah, Om Satyam, Om Tatsavitur varenyam Bhargo Devasya Deemahi, Deeyo Yonah, Prachodayat.  

Om Aabhah, Jyoteerasah, Amrutham Brahma BhurBhuvahSuvaroam.

Sankalpa(an affirmation of your intentions for performing this pooja)
Mamopartha samastha Duridahshayathvaara Shri Parameshwara Preethyartham.
Thatheva lagnam sudeenam thatheva
Thara Balam, Chandra Balam thatheva
Vidya Balam Daiva Balam thateva
Shri Lakshmipathe (A)ngriyugam Smaraami


We offer our prayers to the Lord Ganesh, the leader of the Ganas and Pramathas, who is one-tusked and pot-bellied. Our humble salutations and bow in obeisance, to the son of Lord Shiva, who removes all obstacles and grants us our wishes (boons).

Ganaanaam Twaa Ganapathigam Havaamahe
Kavim Kaveenaa Mupamashravastavam
Jyeshta Rajam Brahmanaam Brahmanaspada
Aana Sshrunvaa nnootibhisseeda Saadanam

गणानाम् त्वा गणपतिग्‍म् हवामहे
कविम् कवीना मुपमश्रवस्तवम्
ज्येष्ठ राजं ब्रह्मणां ब्रह्मणस्पत
आन श्शृण्व न्नूतिभि स्सीद सादनम्
Now offer Flowers and Akshada (rice mixed with turmeric and a drop of ghee) to the idol while you chant the following:
Om Sumukhaya Namah
Om EkaDhanthaya Namah
Om Kabhilaya Namah
Om Gajakarnakaaya Namah
Om LamBhodharaaya Namah
Om Vikataaya Namah
Om Doomakethave Namah
Om GanaDhyakshaaya Namah
Om Balachandraaya Namah
Om Gajaananaaya Namah
Om VakraThundaaya Namah
Om Surpakarnaaya Namah
Om Herambhaaya Namah
Om Skanda Poorvajaaya Namah
Om Shri Mahaa Ganapatheye Namah.
Offer flowers by saying “Nanavidha Parimala Patrapushpaani Samarpayaami”.

Chant, Om Shri MahaGanapathaye Namah.
Kadhaleephalam Nivedayami (offer Bananas),
Paaneeyam Samarpayaami (offer a spoon of water and then pour it into a bowl or plate)
Thamboolam Samarpayaami (offer a couple of beetel leaves with Beetel nuts/Supari)

Show lighted Agarbathis to Lord Ganesha and say “ Dhoopam Akraabhayami”
Wave a lamp lighted with ghee/oil before Ganesha and say “ Deepam Darshayaami”
Light camphor and wave (offer to Ganesha), “Karpoora Neerajanam Samarpayaami”

Go around the idol three times or turn yourself around 3 times (called atma Pradakshina) while chanting the following slokha:

Chant, “MahaGanapathi prasaadam Sirasa Grahanami”.
As blessings received from Ganesha, some of the Akshada offered is placed on the head and the women can keep the flowers on their hair.

At the end of the Pooja, distribute the offerings (Nivedya) as Prasad. 

About Mahaganapathi Homan (Havan): As Ganesha controls the material realm as well as the gate to the higher spiritual realms of being, his homam is very useful to any spiritual seeker. It facilitates spiritual progress while protecting the material aspects of one's life. 

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