Ganesh Puja is performed at the beginning of every auspicious occasion or undertaking. He is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, and is born from the union of Shiva and Shakti – the most powerful union of the cosmos. He is the one of the most ardently worshipped God who adopts a human body with an elephant face. Ganapati, Sumukha, Gajanana, Vinayaka, Lambkarna, Kapila are few of the other names he is known by.
There are so many legends around Lord Ganesha. The most fabled one is about how he got the elephant head.
Shiva was away, meditating on Mount Kailash and Parvati was left alone in Himalayas. Here she created a human form with her own skin upon her friend’s advice to have someone safeguard her. She named him Vinayaka and also breathed life into him. She instructed him to stand at the door and safeguard their home while she was inside.
When Shiva returned, Vinayaka confronted him and did not allow him to go inside. Shiva lost his cool and beheaded Vinayaka in a fit of rage. Parvati was left in despair after the incident. To console her, Shiva asked his Ganas to get the head of a first living creature with his head in north direction. The Ganas came back with the head of a baby elephant. Shiva joined the baby elephant’s head over Vinayaka's body with his divine powers and announced him the Head of the Ganas clan; hence, he came to be known as Ganesha.
To further assure Parvati, Shiva along with Lord Brahma’s consent announced that Ganesha would be ardently worshipped by one. He presented Ganesha with a boon that people will henceforth worship him before worshiping any other God or beginning any auspicious activity. Ganesha is also known for his intelligence and wisdom that removes the darkness around and provides enlightenment.
There are also specific festivals and days celebrated in honor of Lord Ganesha, when this Puja can be performed. This includes Ganesh Chathurthi, Sankashti or Ganesh Chauth, etc. Also Tuesdays are dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Offering Puja to him or observing fast on Tuesdays are believed to reap benefits of that of a rigorous Tapasya.
Anyone can perform a normal Ganesh Puja at home, which does not involve too many ritualistic steps.
The Ganesh Puja muhurat and dates can be obtained by our pandits.
Om Gam Ganpataye Namah|
I bow to the almighty Ganapati who is the first amongst all the gods, with all our devotion
Vakra-Tunndda Maha-Kaaya Surya-Kotti Samaprabha|
Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryeshu Sarvadaa||
O the one with a majestic curved trunk, a massive form who radiates the shine of the million suns, I bow to you and pray to remove the obstacles from all my undertakings always.
Om Shreem Hreem Kleem Glaum Gum Ganapataye,
Vara Varad Sarvajan Janmay Vashamanaye Swaha,
Tatpurushaye Vidmahe Vakratundaye Dhimahi Tanno Danti Prachodyat ,
Om Shantih Shantih Shantihi||
This is a Beej Mantra which is a source of everything in the world
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