Ganesh Chaturthi: How to perform Ganesh Visarjan at home

Ganesh Chaturthi: How to perform Ganesh Visarjan at home
Hindu households observe Ganesh Chaturthi to celebrate the incarnation of Lord Ganesh, the eldest son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Ganesh is worshipped before one begins any auspicious work or job and pray to remove the obstacles and pave the way for growth, success, and prosperity.

Ganesh Chaturthi is a colorful and joyous festival celebrated enthusiastically by families. This year Ganesh Chaturthi began on Wednesday, 19 September 2023. Celebrations stretch over three to ten days, depending on the region and culminate with Ganesh Visarjan or the farewell to Lord Ganesh. Depending on their tradition, families perform the Visarjan on one and a half-day, three, five, seven, or eleven days.

What is Ganesh Visarjan?

For Ganesh Chaturthi puja, people get a new Ganesh idol made of perishable materials like clay, paper pulp, lime paste, or others. These idols are installed at the altar as a mark of inviting Ganesh to the household. Following the puja on Ganesh Chaturthi day, the idol is kept in the puja room/pandal for three or ten days, and finally the family bids farewell to the Lord. This is known as visarjan. As part of the Visarjan, the idol used for the puja is given a grand farewell and immersed in a water body.


The significance of Ganesh Visarjan

Every puja in Hindu tradition comprises three stages - Avahan (invitation or invocation), puja (worship), and Yathasthan (sendoff). During the invocation, the chief deity of the puja is placed on an elevated platform, and place a Kalash (sacred pot) filled with water, betel leaves, and coconut on top of it. The puja follows as per the tradition and is performed by the family. Yathasthan means giving a sendoff to the deity in a respectful manner after the prayers and thanking the Lord for his blessings. Ganesh Visarjan marks the farewell where the devotees give a sendoff to Lord Ganesh in a grand manner to commemorate the conclusion of the celebrations.

Ganesh Visarjan: Procedure for homes

Depending on the family tradition, Ganesh Visarjan is done on one and half-day or the third, fifth, seventh, ninth, or eleventh day. On the day of Ganesh Visarjan, the family gathers in front of the idol and performs the final puja with flowers, lighting diyas, incense sticks, modaks, ladoos and other eatables prepared for the day. The puja concludes with the waving of camphor flame in front of the idol.

The whole family chants prayers. The head of the family then sprinkles turmeric rice (Akshad) on the idol, finally doing a namaskar.

The eldest male member of the family touches the idol and gently moves it as a mark of starting the farewell journey.

One must offer curd and sweets to Lord Ganesha as they bid him farewell. The family bundles some rice and cereals in a red cloth to accompany him during his voyage back to his abode.

The family then chants the shlokas of Ganesh. The designated male member carries the idol and takes the idol around the house for a final round.

More members gather for the visarjan and set out to bid farewell to the Lord. Upon reaching the visarjan spot, which is usually a water body like river, lake, pond, or sea, the Ganesh idol is respectfully immersed in the water accompanied by the chanting of Ganesh names and slogans.

The devotees pray Lord Ganesh to bless their households and return for the puja next year.

This year, given the pandemic, the government has urged all people to use eco-friendly idols and perform the immersion/visarjan at home. If that is not possible at home, then idols should be immersed at nearby artificial ponds, said the government.