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Ganesh Chaturthi 2022: Date, Muhurat, History, Ritual, and Significance

ganpati

|| Om Gan Ganpataye Namo Namaha ||

Lord Ganesh is worshipped across India as the God of new beginnings and the remover of obstacles. He is also revered in a few other countries, such as Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Japan, Tibet, and Cambodia. The elephant-headed God is known for his intelligence, wisdom, and knowledge. He is worshipped by all as he is the bestower of knowledge, good health, and prosperity. Lord Ganesh has a special place in the homes of devotees, with prayers being offered every day.

When is Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrated?

Ganesh Chaturthi, the annual ten-or eleven-day festival, is a celebration of the birth of Lord Ganesh. During these ten days, devotees dedicate themselves to the Lord’s service and prayers. As per the Hindu calendar, it falls in the Bhadra month. According to the English calendar, the festival occurs during the months of August and September. In 2022, Ganesh Chaturthi is on the 31st of August. The celebration will last for 10 days, and the festival will end on Anant Chaturdashi, the 9th of September.
Chaturthi Tithi will begin at 3.33p.m on 30th August
Chaturthi Tithi will end at 3.32p.m on 31st August
Ganesh Pooja Muhurat: 11:24 a.m to 1:54 p.m
Anant Chaturdashi, Visarjan date is on 9th September

The Story of Lord Ganesh’s Birth

Lord Ganesh is the second child of Devi Parvati and Lord Shiva. According to popular folklore, one day while taking a bath, Devi Parvati created the figure of a child from the shavings of the ubtan that she scrubbed off her body. She then breathed life into the body and Lord Ganesh was born.
Devi Parvati then instructed Lord Ganesh to guard the entrance of the house while she took a bath. After some time, Lord Shiv returned and wanted to enter the house. Not knowing who he was, Lord Ganesh denied him entry to the house. This enraged the almighty Shiva, and in anger he severed little Ganesha’s head.
Upon learning what happened, Devi Parvati was distraught and demanded that Lord Shiva bring her child back to life.
After pacifying his wife, Lord Shiva ordered his assistants to bring back the head of the first child whose mother was sleeping with her back to him. His followers searched far and wide but were not able to find a baby who was not sleeping in the arms of his mother. They were on the verge of giving up when they came across a mother elephant who was sleeping away from her little one. They severed the baby elephant’s head and took it to Kailash Parvat to give it to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva attached this head to Lord Ganesh’s body and brought him back to life.
The other lesser-known story of Lord Ganesh’s birth is: All the Gods asked Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati to create someone who would be able to remove all obstacles from their path while creating hurdles for demons. At their request, Lord Shiva created Ganpati.

The Rituals

Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayak Chaturthi, is celebrated every year for 10–11 days. But in certain states like Maharashtra, the celebrations can be for 1.5, 3, 5, 7, 9, or 11 days.
Before bringing the Lord home, people clean their houses and decorate the doorway with a fresh toran of flowers. They create a separate space where Lord Ganesh will reside for his stay in their home. This space is decorated with flowers, lights, and other decorative items.
Lord Ganesh is then brought home during an auspicious time on Chaturthi. Usually, devotees bring him home on a choki with the idol covered with a new cloth. He is welcomed home with a tikka and then placed in the space decorated specially for him. The puja for Lord Ganesh is performed in four parts. which are as follows:
1. Pran Pratishtha: This is the first and most important ritual. The puja starts with Pran Pratishtha . This ritual is done to infuse life into the idol and invite the god to reside in the home. It is believed that when Pran Pratishtha has been done for an idol, it needs to be treated like a living being.
2. Shodashopachara Puja: This is a sixteen-step puja that involves inviting the god, offering him/her a place in the home, bathing the idol, offering clothes, janaue (sacred thread), applying kumkum, chandan, and akshat, perfume, and offering flowers and doorva. Then the dhoop and diya are lit, and the devotee with his/her family sings the aarti/bhajans. After this, bhog (food) is offered, which should include fruits, sweets, modak dry fruits, betel leaves, and charnamat or panchamrit. This vidhi ends with the devotees bowing their heads to the deity to seek blessings. This puja is to be performed daily during the ten-day period of Ganesh Chaturthi or till you have Ganpati at home.
Mantra recitation is also of great significance during these days. After completing the daily puja, devotees can recite the mantra Om Gan Ganpataye Namo Namaha 108 times.
3. Uttar Puja: This is the puja that is performed before taking the idol for Visarjan. This involves applying kum kum and chandan on the idol. Offering flowers, doorva, and bhog . After this, light a dhoop and a diya, place them in front of the idol. And recite the mantras and sing the aarti. Complete the process by bowing your head in front of the deity to gain his blessings.
Upon completion of the Uttar puja, everyone should offer akshat to the Lord, and then the head of the family or the person in charge of conducting the puja should slightly move the idol with their right hand.
Visarjan: This is the last part of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival. Visarjan is done on the last day; it is also known as Anant Chaturdashi. The idol is to be taken for visarjan after completing the Uttar puja. On reaching the visarjan spot, a last aarti is performed and blessings are seeked. The idol is then handed over for immersion in water with chants of Ganapati Bappa Morya, Pudhchya Varshi Lavkar Ya, this is a plea to Lord Ganpati, that we’re saying goodbye now, but you must come back again next year.

Significance

According to Hindu beliefs, people who worship Lord Ganpati with devotion and a clean heart are freed of their sins. They are granted health, wealth, knowledge, and happiness. Since Lord Ganpati is worshipped before starting anything new or removing obstacles from one’s path, this time is favourable for starting good habits, new projects, work, and business.
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