August 23, 2009

Ganesh Puja

It is infrequent to uplift a previous days' feeling of reluctance easily. Usually, thoughts linger and create an essence of doubt in a man's mind till the mind wavers and makes life tough for itself and the body.

However, almost suddenly, as if on cue, I was a part of one of the most memorable Ganesh Pujas, over the past many years. I was called upon by my staff to be a part of the puja proceedings this morning. Surprisingly, I was made the main devotee of the god and all pujas were done by me. Avoiding these pujas, not out of any other feeling other than letting someone take the honours, this was the first time that I sat through the entire puja... with the intent staff making sure that I lead the pujas.

And an amazing feeling it was. Honouring the god with a sequence of offerings ranging from milk, curd, coconuts, twigs of wild mango, ghee, rice, cashewnut and a sundry assortment of other items, interspersed with continuing puja all the while enlivened me. After the puja, the god and gowriamma were brought by us and installed in the main puja room.

Ganesha, the elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati, is worshipped as the supreme god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. e is Ajam (unborn), he is Niraakaar (formless) and he is Nirvikalpa (attributeless). Ganeshji symbolises the consciousness which is omnipresent. Ganeshji is the lord of all the good qualities in us. So when we worship him, all the good qualities will blossom in us. He is also the lord of knowledge and wisdom.

It was with a delicate and subtle touch that the men decorated the god. Careful as if not to offend him, it was mesmerizing to say the least and the fact that I was standing and watching it all happen in front of me after years, years perhaps since leaving home and not being a regular of these pujas made me change my outlook today. An otherwise depressing day has just become a pleasant one, thanks to the devotion shown to the gods by our men here and men from all religions who were standing patiently till the obeisance got over.