Shri Ganesh Jayanti : A Spiritual celebration and Sri Ganeshji Visarjan-Ananta Chaturdashi

Shri Ganesh Jayanti : A Spiritual celebration

1. Introduction 

Shri Ganesh Jayanti, the day on which the Ganesh frequencies reached earth for the first time, i.e. the day on which Shri Ganesh was born, is the fourth day (chaturthi) of the bright fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Maagh. On this auspicious occasion, what can we do to derive maximum spiritual benefit from Shri Ganesh’s heightened presence on earth? This article is based on the divine knowledge received by a seeker (saadhikaa) doing spiritual practice under the guidance of His Holiness Dr. Athavale. It provides an idea of the types of spiritual practices (saadhanaa) that can be performed on this day and their relative importance. 

2. Basic spiritual celebration

On the auspicious occasion of Shri Ganesh Jayanti, the devotee or seeker (saadhak) should do 3 to 9 turns of a mala (108 stringed beads) while chanting Sree Ganesh’s Name (‘Om Gan Ganapataye namaha’)
In addition to this, a devotee should worship Shri Ganesh's idol or picture, ritualistically. From this one can derive the benefit of Sree Ganesh’s divine energy and divine consciousness that come to earth in higher amounts this day. Reciting Shri Ganesh Atharvashirsha (stotra, holy verses in praise of Shri Ganesh) adds to these benefits.

3. Relative importance of the types of celebration methods


Spiritual benefit 
Chanting (continual repeating /remembrance) of Shri Ganesh’s Name
Ritualistic worship and singing of hymns with lit lamp waving (aarati)
Reciting Atharvashirsha
Getting benefit from Sree Ganesh Principle (%)
10 to 15
7 to 10
Getting divine consciousness or chaitanya (%)
Getting divine energy (%)
Relative importance (%)
Spiritual emotion (bhaav)
Impact on the devotee
Awakening of the Sushumna (central) spiritual energy channel*, awakening of spiritual emotion, and chanting occurring at a higher level of speech (vaani)
Awakening of spiritual emotion, can easily absorb divine consciousness and divine energy and awakening of the Sushumna (central) and the Surya (right side) spiritual energy channels*
Gettting divine consciousness and divine energy,  removal of subtle black covering and awakening of the Surya (right side) spiritual energy channel*
Impact on different bodies of the embodied soul**
Physical body
All bodies get purified up to 15%. Vital energy body and mental body get purified up to 30%.
Mental body
Causal (intellect) body
Supra-causal (ego) body

All bodies get purified, resulting in overall increase in spiritual purity (saattvikta)
Increase in overall spiritual purity (saattvikta) of the bodies and increase in divine consciousness absorbing capacity of the bodies

 * The Kundalini is the inherent spiritual energy system in the body. It consists of 7 main centres or chakras, 3 main channels - the Sun (Surya or Right channel or Pingalaa naadi), Moon (Chandra or Left channel or Idaa naadi) and Central (Sushumnaa naadi) channels and innumerable ducts and ductules.  
** An average human being, also known as the embodied soul or Jiva

4. Best celebration of Shri Ganesh Jayanti

The devotee derives 100% spiritual benefit from the heightened Sree Ganesh Principle on earth on Sree Ganesh Jayanti day, by performing all of the above spiritual practices.

Sri Ganeshji Visarjan-Ananta Chaturdashi

1. The immersion of idol of Shri Ganeshji and its underlying spiritual science

As per the science, the Divinity generated in the idol consecrated on the day of Shri 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 Shri 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 Shri Ganeshji with due reverence.
·         When taking the Shri Ganesh idol for immersion, one should also offer curd, puffed rice, coconut, sweet delicacy (Modak) etc. as provisions for the journey.
·         As far as possible all the members of the family should go for the immersion of the Shri Ganesh idol.
·         When taking the Shri Ganesh idol for immersion, the back of the idol should face the person carrying the idol.
·         One should go to an ocean, a river, reservoir of water or a well for immersing the idol.
·         Arati should be offered to Shri Ganeshji.
·         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 Shri Ganeshji: While going for the immersion of the Shri 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 Shri 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 Shri 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. Shri Ganeshji Himself took care that our seva does not remain incomplete. The moment I realised this I expressed gratitude. - Mrs. Gouri Afale, Sanatan Ashram, Panvel, Maharashtra
Through the above spiritual experience, one can realise the importance of the provisions for the journey offered to Shri 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 Shri Ganeshji with spiritual emotion: Perceiving bliss (Anand) on the faces of the people participating in the procession for immersion of the Shri Ganesh idol while doing collective chanting, hailing the idol and uttering slogans: This year we decided to have an ideal procession while taking the Shri Ganesh idol for immersion. Accordingly we were proceeding with the procession collectively chanting the Name of Shri Ganeshji on the way. Sometimes we would also hail the Name of Shri 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 Shri 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.

1.1 Why 'donating the idol' is unscientific?

Nowadays many organisations make appeals to donate the idols of Shri 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:
·         The immersion of Shri Ganesh idol consecrated on Shri Ganesh Chaturthi in the month of Bhadrapad is an observance or ritual prescribed by the Scriptures.
·         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.
·         The idol of Shri 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.

2. Science underlying immersion of Shri Ganesh idol in flowing water

Due to the ritualistic worship, the idol of Shri 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.

2.1 Methods of ‘immersion of idols’ in emergency situations

·         1. 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 Shri Ganeshji. Immerse the betel nut in a small well or a spring.
·         2. 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 Shri Ganeshji at the time of immersion in flowing water

By immersing Shri Ganesh idol, a person gets 4% each of the Absolute Earth Principle and Absolute Water Principle and 2% of the 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:
of benefit
1. Creation of idol

    A. Bringing clay and kneading it
    B. Giving shape to the clay
    C. Painting the idol
    D. Showing the eyes of the
         idol open
2. Bringing the idol home and taking
it to the place of immersion
3. Ritualistic worship, devotional
    songs and arati
4. Preparing food and offering
    Holy sacrament
5. Lighting of incense and a lamp
    and keeping the lamp burning
·         By sculpting an idol with the bhav of seva, the benefit obtained by the idol-maker is maximum, that is, 55%.
·         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.
·         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.

3. The effects of breakage of an idol and its remedy

Events of ill-omen like a lamp being extinguished, breaking of the grinding stone, flowering of the cress tree, damage to an idol etc., are indicative of impending financial loss, serious illness or an untimely death in the family.
Remedy after breakage of an idol: The Scriptures have laid down some remedies. They depend on when the breakage of the idol takes place.
·         If the idol is broken before its consecration, a new idol should be brought and worshipped.
·         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.
·         If the idol is broken after consecration, akshat should be showered on the idol and it should be immersed in flowing water.
·         If this happens on the day of Shri Ganesh Chaturthi, another idol should be worshipped.
·         If this happens on the second or third day, there is no need for a new idol.
·         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.


Om Tat Sat

(My humble salutations to Hindu Jagruti for the collection)


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