First, bring home a clay idol of Lord Ganesha. Remember not to purchase a very expensive idol as you will be immersing the idol as per the norm, just ten days later. The immersion ceremony is done with great fanfare and is known as visarjan. You can even, if you like, create one yourself, using wet clay. However, if you offer prayers to an already existing Ganesha idol in your home, you need not immerse it in water. Choose an auspicious hour Pratahakal, Madhyanakal or Sayanakal to perform the pooja. Madhyanakal is the most preferred time.
Before the pooja begins, it is customary to light a lamp and observe a silent prayer. The first Step is Avahana or invoking of Lord Ganesha. Secondly place lord Ganesha on a seat of value, offer an abhisheka of scented water to Lord Ganesha, take a sip of the abhisheka jal, and give Ganesha a snan. Next step is washing Ganesha with water to wash off the thick panchamrit, give Ganesha a bath with dahi or yoghurt.
Next give Ganesha a Dhrit snan, give Ganesha a bath in honey. Give Ganesha a sugar abhisheka, next step is giving Ganesha scented bath, the final step of his bath, which includes a thoroughly cleansing bath and dress up Ganesha in fresh clothes and put a single janeyu on Lord Ganesha. Now he is ready.
With the accompaniment of gandha in the form of agarbathi, akshata in the form of unbroken rice, pushpa in the form of fresh flowers, naivedhya in the form of freshly cooked prasad, thambula arpan in the form of paan leaves and betal nut, along with coconut, a beautiful aarti concludes the Ganesha pooja.
What does the Nei thenga (Ghee filled Coconut) and the Nei Abhishekam Signifies? The concept of Nei Thenga has a very higher spiritual meaning. The coconut carried to the shrine is considered as the representation of Human body, which has to be kept clean internally and externally. As part of external cleaning it has to be cleaned thoroughly and the fiber and all small particles around should be rubbed off and should be kept clean and smooth. It symbolizes the purity of devotee’s body.
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