We celebrate this festival every year on the auspicious day of the fourth day of Bhadrapada màsa (the sixth month of Hindu calendar) that generally falls at the middle of August or first week of September.
This festival is celebrated for nine days and on the tenth day, the idol is immersed in rivers or tanks with due respect.
All Ganesha temples are a place of the congregation of devotees during all these days. Cultural programmes are also arranged in which music and dance programs take place during daytime or late evenings after the worships are over.
The roads are filled with idols being carried by groups of devotees in carriages for immersion on the last day of the festival with bands of music and shouting of farewell slogans to God with a request to come earlier next year to protect them from problems.
In this post, I added some photographs of our Sunday spiritual/ meditational get-togethers started by our own community/ relatives. I have joined this since some weeks, and we plan to gather each Sunday at each one’s homes in rotation. These photos were taken on 05/07/2015 day time.
It’s a kind of one step towards living better by learning to meditate and indulge in spiritual knowledge.
During these gatherings, we start with worship and prayers to God reciting Vishnu sahasra namam ( a collection of hymns or slokas in Sanskrit language chanting 1008 names of God Vishnu) and some more hymns of God’s glory. Then we recite Hanuman Chalisa a prayer to “Hanuman” in 40 four liners. We believe that recitation of all these give strength and protection from evil forces and eternal bliss during life and afterlife also.
The old man adored with a shawl on his shoulders in the last photo (sixth image) is a great spiritual man aged 90 years who translated many works of saints from Sanskrit to our own language of Telugu.
Some devotional songs in classical music genre were also sung by the little girl in the 5th image.
These moments are being shared by me only for some sharing purpose to let you know about our culture.
How to perform Daily Puja or routine worship at your Home
I will explain how to perform puja at home as per Hindu traditions in simple manner according to your available time and facilities. But you should keep it a daily practice to make it bestow peace and happiness in your life and family. You may do it shortly for 15 minutes or long and detailed puja for more than one hour according to your facility.
- Before starting worship, you will light the oil lamp or deepam according to the Hindu customs. The lamps are generally made up of brass or pancha loha metal. Keep the lamps simple and small so that smoke will not occur.
- Change the cotton vattulu (or wicks) daily morning and fill the lamp holder with oil upto 75% or like that so as to prevent from overflowing of oil. Then light it with match stick.
- You may place two lamps on both sides of God. While placing so,one deepam will be placed towards east (towards Sun) and the other one towards North (for God).
- Wicks are generally lighted by combining two wicks into one which represents the the family or man- woman bondage. This brings harmony and happiness in family.
- After lighting lamps, you will chant the hymns or sloka of “Suklambara dharam” and then make the guru stuthi or paying respect to the tree of your gurus (teachers of family tree). It starts from the guru of your old ancestors till your present guru.
- Then, you will say all your hymns and slokas in praise of your Gods known as stothram. You can read or recite as many as you can according to your time or family traditions. Puja books are available at any shop of puja material.
- If you can afford, you may worship with flowers also.
- After worship and prayers are over, you will light the incense sticks and show round your Gods.
- After incense, show the light of the lamp towards God with your right hand.
- Now, offerings of food and fruits are made to God by showing the food and fruit with your right hand towards Gods’ mouth as if feeding Him.
- Last thing is lighting camphor and reciting arati lines or songs.
- Now, your puja is over and you can take the prasadam and offer to your family members also.
- Those doing Gayatri mantra daily will first perform the Gayatri puja by standing before Sun and then start the daily puja.