Saturday, September 03, 2011

Lord Ganesh Festival 2011 - Ganesh Visarjan

Yesterday at about 6:00 pm, my father performed 'Puja' and 'Aarti' to worship the Lord Ganesh idol and at 6:30 pm, he lifted the idol and we drove to Pawai Lake for immersing the idol.

My father performing the final 'Puja' and 'Aarti'
My father taking the Lord Ganesh idol out of our home
On the way, we could see a lot of idols being taken to Pawai Lake, some in cars just like us and many in open tempos with ardent devotees dancing on the road to the beats of fast devotional songs. Due to these processions, there was lot of traffic on the way.

We finally reached Pawai Lake and I parked our car with help from the traffic police who were managing the traffic very well. There was a huge crowd at the Lake with hordes of devotees performing the final 'Puja' and 'Aarti' infront of the Lord Ganesh idols.

The idol immersion venue - Pawai Lake
Devotees performing the final 'Puja' and 'Aarti'
My father also performed the 'Puja' and 'Aarti' and we handed over the idol to one of the many helpers present at the Lake who were authorised to enter the deep waters of the Lake to immerse the idols.

Our Lord Ganesh idol ready to be taken for immersion 
The helper posing with our Lord Ganesh idol before immersion
Our helper took our idol and placed it on the raft that took it along with other idols to the deep waters for immersion.

The helper placing our Lord Ganesh idol on the raft
The raft with our Lord Ganesh idol (2nd from left) going into deep waters
Finally another helper took our idol, went below the water and immersed it.

The helper going below the water to immerse our Lord Ganesh idol
As per tradition, the first helper then gave us some clay on the 'Paat' (a wooden slab meant for sitting) on which the idol was mounted.

My father (Bhau Mahadik) holding the 'Paat' with clay on it
We then drove back home. This is how we bid adieu to the almighty Ganesh - the lord of beginnings and the remover of obstacles!

गणपती बाप्पा मोरया! पुढच्या वर्षी लवकर या!
Ganapati Bappa Morya! Pudhchyaa Varshi Lavkar Yaa!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Lord Ganesh Festival 2011 - Ganesh Chaturthi

Yesterday was Ganesh Chaturthi, the first day of the Lord Ganesh (Ganapati) festival. My father, Bhau Mahadik, had taken an oath last year to bring Lord Ganesh to our home for 3 consecutive years.

We had selected and booked the Lord Ganesh idol about a month back from Mr. Vinay (+919833029313) in Thane near Ghantali Devi Temple. As our contribution towards an eco-friendly environment, we had booked an idol made out of clay which can dissolve easily when immersed in water unlike the idols made out of Plaster of Paris (PoP). The idol depicts the Titwala Ganapati which is identified by its unique sitting posture.

The Lord Ganesh idol that we had selected

At 11:00 am yesterday, we took the idol from Mr. Vinay and drove home to Ghatkopar with it. After reaching home, we established the idol under a small dome, again made out of eco-friendly thin cardboard [instead of Thermocol (Polystyrene) that's popularly used yet hazardous to the environment].

The Lord Ganesh idol after establishing it at our home

All the family members gathered and we performed 'Puja' and 'Aarti' to worship Lord Ganesh and to receive His blessings. Post the 'aarti', we were treated to a feast of yummy 'modaks' (the favourite food of Lord Ganesh) and 'nevris' prepared by my mother and a delicious meal.

Performing the 'Puja' and 'Aarti' to worship Lord Ganesh
वक्रतुण्ड महाकाय सुर्यकोटि समप्रभ
निर्विघ्नं कुरु मे देव सर्वकार्येषु सर्वदा

Vakra-Tunndda Mahaa-Kaaya Surya-Kotti Samaprabha
Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryeshu Sarvadaa

Meaning:
(O Lord Ganesha,) with Curved Trunk and Large Body, who has the Brilliance of a Million Suns,
(I pray to you O Lord to) please make all my works free of obstacles, always.

In between, we went down to our neighbouring building, Prabhasa to take 'darshan' of the Lord Ganesh idol over there. They bring the idol every year to celebrate the Lord Ganesh Festival and keep it for 10 days before immersing it. This time they had got a big, standing Lord Ganesh. The idol was pretty huge.

The standing Ganapati at Prabhasa

In the evening, we performed the 'Puja' and 'Aarti' again. We would be keeping the idol at our home for 1.5 days. So today, we will gather once again at about 5:00 pm to take the idol for immersion at Pawai Lake.

Performing the 'Puja' and 'Aarti' in the evening
 
गणपती बाप्पा मोरया! मंगल मुर्ती मोरया!
Ganapati Bappa Morya! Mangal Murti Morya!