Symbolism of Ganesh Sthapana(establishment) & Visarjan (immersion)
Category : Religious
Significance of Ganesh Chaturthi
Ganesha is believed to be Vighnaharta (Trouble and Obstacle destroyer) for his devotees. Thus, this festival is celebrated as the time when Lord Ganesha takes out all the problems from the lives of people. People bring an idol of Ganesha to their home and this idol symbolises the real Lord Ganesha. People serve Ganesha in the form of idol for ten days and then this idol is immersed in water. It is believed that Lord Ganesha takes away all the troubles and obstacles with him to the water and making the life of the devotees problem free.
The Ganesh Festival or Vinayak Chaturthi as it is popularly known brings people of all religion, caste and creed together, The 10 days of Vinayak Chaturthi is marked by various cultural events, brotherhood, getting together for artis, poojas, numerous religious functions and the general atmosphere is marked by grand festivities.
How to Keep Ganesh Idols for Ganesh Chaturthi
Ten days before the day of Ganesh Chathurthi, people install Ganesh idols in specially made structures and start the pooja. On the first day, the priest installs the Ganesh idol in the temporary structure, called ‘Pandal’. The priest performs special poojas to fill the idol with life. This is called ‘Avahana’. The ritual is accompanied by chanting of sacred mantras and bhajans.
Once the ‘Aavahana’ is complete, you can perform aarti and light diyas around the idol. During the prayers, offer 21 blades of Dhruva grass, 21 modakas, 21 red flowers, and a red tilak using sandalwood. The number 21 represents five organs of perception, five organs of action, five pranas, five elements, and the mind. Keep a coconut and a small bowl of grains alongside the idol.
Some people can keep Ganesha for 1 day, 5 days, 7 days or 11 days at home and then immersed in a river or sea. Singers, dancers, and large number of people accompany the farewell procession of Lord Ganesh idol.
Why is Ganesha idol immersed in water after Ganesh Chaturthi festival?
Vinayaka Chaturthi or Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations end with the immersion or Visarjan of clay Ganapati idol in water. Hindus worship Brahman or the Supreme Soul present in all animate and inanimate. But for majority of the people it is not possible to worship this formlessness. They need a form to pray to, to seek help, to cry and to take blessings. Ganesha is ‘OM’ the primordial sound or the first ‘Vaak.’ Nirguna Para Brahman takes the form of Ganesha.
Clay and water is mixed to give form to the formlessness. Each person brings Ganesha in clay idol form into the home. This is the Supreme Being arriving at home. After the celebrations, it is time to accept the eternal cosmic law that which took form has to become formless again. It is a never ending cycle (Chakra).
The formlessness giving way to form and then moving again towards formlessness. Each year Ganesha arrives to teach us that forms change but the Supreme Truth remains the same. Body perishes but Brahman residing in it remains constant. This body becomes energy for another but the source of energy is the same. Bliss is achieved when we realize this.
The act also symbolizes the concept of Moksha, or liberation, in Hinduism. Osho says – ‘Absolute unclinging. That is what is meant by Moksha – freedom – no clinging, not even to gods.’ Thus we create Ganesha out of clay, worship it and later it is submerged (Visarjan).
So what do you think about having Ganesha idols at home? Do you have one in your home? Do you follow all the customs and traditions in worshiping Lord Ganesha? Share your views with us in the comments.
Author- Rakesh Ghodke