It is believed that those who observe the fast on Ganesh Chaturthi are blessed with wisdom, knowledge and peace. Moreover, it is said that Ganapati takes all their misfortunes along with him.
Ganesh Chaturthi Fast
Worshipped foremost among all the Gods, Lord Ganesha is known as the god of wisdom, knowledge and peace. Also known as Vighnaharta, Ganesha is believed to take all the hardships with him while going. Worshipping him accomplishes every desire of a devotee. It is alleged that Sri Ganesha was fond of the date Chaturthi (fourth), and that is the reason the fast on Ganesh Chaturthi is practiced on this date. It's also said that the moon on the Chaturthi is not considered good. The person observing the fast on this festival shouldn't at all see this inauspicious moon till the fast is in effect. One, who has kept the fast, should worship the moon without looking at it on this day.
Observation Of Fast On Ganesh Chaturthi
Observers of this fast should take bath early in the morning along with completion of their daily chores. Resolution is then taken before observing the fast by taking water and grass in hand and chanting the mantra "Mam Sarvakarmsiddhaye Siddhivinayak Pujanmaham Karishye". Idol of Lord Ganesha made up of gold, copper or mud is worshipped. A pot is taken and is filled with water, and after tying the mouth of the pot with a clean cloth, the idol of Ganapati is placed over it. Then, to worship the idol a 16-fold procedure is followed: Aavaahana, Aasana, Paadya, Arghya, Aachamana, Madhuparka, Snaana, Vastra, Gandha, Pushpa, Dhoopa, Deepa, Naivedya, Taamblooa, Aarati, and Mantrapushpa.
- Aavaahana means 'to invite'.
- Aasana means offering our guest the seat. This is called as Aasana Samarpana.
- Paadya is to wash the feet of the idol of Lord Ganesha.
- Arghya means to wash off the hands.
- Aachamana is about taking three gulps of water to smoothen the speech faculty.
- Madhuparka means offering to the idol of Lord Ganesha something to drink.
- Snaana means bathing the idol with milk, curd or ghee.
- Vastra or Upaveeta is about offering new clothes to the idol of Lord Ganesha.
- Gandha is application of sandalwood paste on the forehead as per tradition.
- Pushpa means to offer flowers to the Lord Ganesha.
- Dhoopa means fragrant smoke by burning of herbs, considered good for health.
- Deepa means light. It's about acknowledging Lord Ganesha in the form of light.
- Naivedya is a practice of offering different varieties of dishes to Lord Ganesha.
- Taamblooa is the chewing of betel leaf with other herbs, considered to be good for health.
- Aarati means showing a big flame of camphor lit diya to Lord Ganesha.
- Mantrapushpa is about chanting the mantras and going round (pradakshina) to imply that deity is present in every direction.
After this 16-step puja, Aarti is sung.
- Jay Ganesh, Jay Ganesh, Jay Ganesh Deva;
Mata Jaki Parvati, Pita Mahadeva.
Ladduvan Ke bhog lage, Sant kare seva…
Although Hindu communities are not that enthusiastic about fasting on Ganesh Chaturthi, South Indian communities have a belief that fasting on this day will remove problems from married life, will help in early marriage and obstacles in career are also removed. The fast of Ganesh Chaturthi ends after offering prayers to Lord Ganesh the next morning in a temple or at home.