Society for the Confluence of Festivals in IndiaSCFI
Celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi on 25th August 2017

Ganesh Visarjan

Ganesh Visarjan is on Tuesday, 5th Sep, 2017. Ganesh Chaturthi is a very popular Hindu festival celebrated in the month of Bhadrapada (mid-August to mid-September). The essence of Ganesh Chaturthi contains the belief that Lord Ganesha visits the homes of all his devotees during Ganesh Chaturthi and blesses them with happiness and success in all their endeavours. During the ritual of Ganesh Visarjan, it is believed that the Lord takes away the sorrow, unhappiness and problems of his disciples as he departs. Lord Ganesha is considered to be the Lord of knowledge and wisdom and blesses all his devotees with spiritual knowledge and removes all obstacles from their paths to success.

Rituals Followed During Ganesh Visarjan
  • Ganesh Visarjan commences with the morning Aarti, while chanting the devotional songs of Sukharta Dukharta and Jai Ganesh Deva and bhog is distributed among the family members and neighbours thereafter.
  • This is followed by the Uttarang puja. In this puja, pushp (flowers), dhoop (incense), deep (oil lamps), gandh (fragrance) and naivedya (food) are the five items offered to Lord Ganesh.
  • Just before leaving for idol immersion, the Visarjan Aarti is repeated again and the Ganesh idol is moved about an inch.
  • This is followed by seeking pardon for all mistakes committed and blessings from the Lord.
  • Raw rice, known as akshat is then sprinkled on the deity by all members of the family.
  • The next ritual is smearing the palm of the lord with curd. According to a popular Maharashtrian belief, a guest who obtains rice and curd is sure to visit again.
  • A red piece of cloth containing jaggery, coconut pieces and five types of grains of rice is offered to the Lord as food for his journey back home.
  • The idol is taken all around the house, especially to the master bedrooms and kitchen in order to be blessed by the Lord. All along Ganpati Bappa Moriya and other Ganesh hymns are chanted.
  • As soon as the idol leaves the house, a coconut is circled around the idol’s head thrice. This is followed by breaking the coconut in front of the idol. This coconut need not be distributed as Prasad and is instead drowned in holy water along with the idol.
  • Soon after, the Ganesh idol is taken to the Visarjan spot in a procession with a lot of singing, dancing and splendour.
  • On reaching the Visarjan spot, the idol is placed facing the waves and another round of Aarti is done.
  • The person carrying out the task of Ganesh Visarjan, needs to take off all the decorative pieces and garlands from the idol. He too is sprinkled with water just before drowning the idol. The decorative items and flower garlands should not be immersed in water.
  • Finally the idol is drowned while it still faces the family members, taking with it all the sorrow and unhappiness of the family members and showering his devotees with prosperity, peace and happiness.

The Ganesh Visarjan ritual is performed strictly by the devotees of Lord Ganesh every year. With the rise of water pollution due to the submerging of Plaster of Paris idols in the water, symbolic immersion is practised nowadays as a method of adopting eco-friendly ways of immersing idols of the Lord. In this method, the idol is kept at home securely to be worshipped year after year without drowning it in water. The statue of the Lord is not literally immersed in water but only water is sprinkled on it. Visarjan of metal and porcelain idols are done this way.

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