For Hindu’s it is with the start of any celebration/function that Lord Ganesh is invoked. Typical invocation of Lord Ganesh is as follows for those of you unfamiliar with who/what Lord Ganesh is and yearly in India festivals are held in celebration of this particular Gods birthday, being the God of Knowledge.
Lord Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees. Ganesh is the elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati, who is widely worshipped as the supreme god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune, and this day marks his birthday.
The festival is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, starting on the fourth day of the waxing moon period. Typically the day falls sometime between August 20 and September 15. The festival lasts for 10 days.
The worship of the deity involves getting a corner ready to receive the god. Ganesha is invited with a special phrase and with material and verbal offerings, and the puja begins. It involves the panchamrut (five nectars), which includes milk, curd, ghee, honey and jaggery, with which the god’s icon is bathed, cleansing in between with water.
Ganesha is then given a red garment and the sacred thread – saying it is silver. He is then smeared with red sandal paste and offered red or yellow flowers. A lamp is lit, bells chime and food is offered in six symbolic mouthfuls – not to the god’s body, but to his five panchapranas or ‘vital breaths’ and the one beyond – the absolute.
Ganesha is offered special leaves and flowers, 21 of each and white durva grass. The murti is formally installed on the first day and given life in the presence of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, and the Vedas. Touching the murti with blades of durva grass, he is brought to life step by step and made to go through 15 of the 16 rites of passage that each Hindu goes through in his lifetime. (The sixteenth one, which is for death, is omitted.)
The Ganesha mantra is chanted, followed by a Ganesha prayer. Ganesha is called by his 108 good names. The last puja done, the family or congregation gathers around and rice grains are placed on the head of the murti, which is moved, symbolically unseating him.
Now on to the pooja photos for which this special celebration for the Goyal/Goel’s took place.