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Ganesh Puja energies new financial year

Lord Ganesha is considered as God of Wisdom and Destroyer of all evil and obstacles. Hindus therefore perform Ganesh Puja to solemnise an occasion and to mark an auspicious beginning.

The Hindu Religion prescribes Ganesh Puja is imperative for all occasions, be it a Naming Ceremony of a child, Wedding of a son or daughter, beginning of a journey or celebration of a Festival. Ganesh Puja forms the first event or prayer for Diwali as well.

For the Gujarati, Marwari, Rajasthani and a few other communities in North India, Diwali also marks the beginning of a new Financial Year and hence they offer prayers to Lord Ganesha, followed by similar prayers to Goddess Lakshmi before commencing their New Year Book of Accounts.

Important Steps

Elders have advocated the following steps in the conduct of Ganesh Puja to mark the Festival of Lights.

On the day of Diwali, the place of worship in the house, be it a small room or a serene corner, should be thoroughly cleaned. Fresh clay idols of Lord Ganesh (left) and Goddess Lakshmi (right) are placed side by side. Metallic idols should be polished and should be free of rust.

The Puja platform or a part of floor near the place of worship should be decorated with Rangoli. Although cloth and plastic readymade versions are available, it is advisable to draw a fresh design on Diwali day at the place of worship. Rangolis are not only decorative pieces but also welcome signs for Deities.

A plate (thali) containing haldi (turmeric powder), kumkum (made from turmeric and saffron, this red powder is available at Hindu Temples and some retail stores), flowers, fruits (usually banana, apple and orange), coconut, betel leaves, nuts and Indian sweets (not made of egg) should be kept at hand.

The traditional lamp (size and quality would vary between homes) should be lit and the Puja can be performed either with the help of a Hindu Priest of by any member of the family with the help of printed version of Slokas (hymns). Electronic audio and video versions are also becoming popular, although recitation by those performing the Puja is stated to be the best form of worship.

Following the Vedic offering, it is usual for those with musical talent to render a few devotional songs.

Aarti time is auspicious, those performing and attending the Pooja stand up and offer their final prayers. Among the popular songs of prayer, rendered in chorus, are ‘Jai Ganesh,’ and ‘Om Jai Jadish.’

Maha Prasad, offered first to the Deities, is often served as lunch or dinner to those present at the Pooja. Hindus are taught not to waste food and hence Maha Prasad is also distributed to friends and to the poor.

Temple Poojas

It is also customary for many Hindus to visit Temples and perform Ganesh Puja through Temple Priests. The Ganesh (Pillayar Patti Vinayakar) Temple in Papakura is increasingly becoming popular for special Pujas on occasions such as Diwali. Chief Priest Parameswaran (Chandru) performs prayers, complete with Abhishekam and decoration of the main and other Deities, ‘’Navagraha Shanti’ and many other prescribed forms of worship.

The Temple is now taking bookings from devotees for Special Pujas on Diwali Day, which will be observed on Sunday, November 3, 2013.

Thiru Subramanian Temple, New Zealand Thirumurugan Temple (both located at Ellerslie). Radhakrisha Temple (Eden Terrace), Bharatiya Mandir (Balmoral) and a number of other places of worship throughout New Zealand will conduct special prayers and events on Diwali Day.

Programmes organised by a number of associations and community organisations for an essential part of Diwali celebrations in New Zealand.

Indian Newslink carries a few reports in this Special Edition, with more stories and photographs expected to be published in our November 1 & 15 issues.

Photo :

Priest Chandru at Ganesh Temple in Papakura

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