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In Hindu dharma, there are many different names for God like Ishwara, Bhagwaan.

Bhagwaan is worshipped in many


Forms as like Siva, Vishnu, Ambaal, Ganesha. Puja is a mode of communication with Bhagwaan through prayerful
worship. Each Deity has some unique and special blessings but they all are the Many Forms of One Bhagwaan.
During Ganesha puja, we invite and invoke the presence of Ganesha in an image like a picture, clay or idol or
drawing. Ganesha is worshipped with actual materials like clean water, fresh flowers, sandal paste etc. In internal or
maanasa puja, Ganesha is invoked in our heart and worshipped mentally. Whichever way the puja is done, the
bhaava or emotional attitude of love and devotion Ganesha is the key.
The purpose of puja is to pray to Ganesha to fulfill our dhaarmic (fair ) desires and ultimately give us True
Knowledge to realize Bhagwaan.
We start with namaskaarams to Sri Ganesha who is remover of all obstacles.
Ganesha
Mooshika vaahana modhaka hastha Chaamara karna vilambitha suthra
Vaamana rupa maheswara puthra Vigna vinaayaka paadha namaste
He who: has the mouse as the vahana (vehicle), always keeps Modhakam (a traditional sweet), has ears that resemble
a hand-held fan, wears a chain-like ornament around his waist, is of short stature, is the son of Lord Shiva, O! Lord
Vinayaka who is all the above, the remover of all obstacles, we worship your Divine Feet.
Sarasaswati (Goddess of knowledge and learning)
Saraswathi Namasthubhyam, Varadey Kaamarupinee!
Vidhyaarambham Karishyaami, Siddhir bhavathu mey sadaa !
O! Goddess, Saraswathi! My humble prostrations (Pranaams) to you. You are the fulfiller of all my wishes. I start
my studies with the request that you always bless me so that I can study well.
Hayagriva signifies jnana (knowledge) - spiritual knowledge and aananda (Bliss)
Jnaanananda Mayam Devam Nirmala Spatika Kruthim
Aadharam Sarva Vidyaanaam Hayagrivam Upaasmahe
My humble prostrations (Pranaams) to Hayagriva, the form of Vishnu with a head of the Horse, the one who saved Vedas
from asuras, the lord who is the personification of Jnana (knowledge) and Happiness (Ananda), who is very pure, and
who is the basis of all learning.
Dakshinaamurthy:
Gurave sarva lokaanaam bhishaje bhava roginaam
Nidhaye sarva vidhyaanaam Sri Dakshinaa murthaye nama:
We bow to Sri Dakshinaamurthy who is the Ocean of all studies, medicine to the disease of this cycle of birth and
death, Guru to all worlds. Let Him brighten our intelligence and give us the true knowledge.

Ganesha Shodasha (16) NaamaavaLi


Om sumukaaya nama:
Om ekadantaaya nama:
Om kapilaaya nama:
Om gajakarnakaaya nama:
Om lambodaraaya nama:
Om vikataaya nama:

Om vignaraajaaya nama:
Om gaNaadhipaaya nama:
Om dhUmraketave nama:
Om ganaadhyakshaaya nama:
Om baalachandraaya nama:
Om gajaananaaya nama:

We start with Praana prathishta - Invoking the


Deity in the Image or in our heart. We start the
puja to the Deity who has gone live in the
image with these 16 steps of adoration.
1. Aavahana Welcoming the deity. Bhagwaan is beyond
shape and form. But we request him to occupy or fill the
form in front of us for puja and meditation
2. Aasanam Offering seat. Once someone comes to
our place, we offer them a place to sit. We offer a seat to
the Bhagwaan. This seat is not a physical one but our own
heart filled withlove and devotion to Bhagwaan. After
we invite someone to our place, we request them to make
themselves comfortable and offer them water to freshen
up. The next three steps correspond to this.
3. Paadyam Washing the feet. We walk with our legs. So
offering Bhagwaan water to wash the feet represents the
removal of sins committed due to our actions.
4. Arghyam Washing the hands. We perform various
tasks with our hands. So offering Bhagwaan water to
wash the hand represents the re- moval of sins
committed due to our actions.
5. Achamanam Offering water to drink (to wash
mouth). We speak with our mouth. So offering
Bhagwaan water to wash the mouth represents the
removal of sins committed due to our words.
6. Snaanam Bathing. We offer Bhagwaan water to
bathe. Bathing removes all dirt. Offering Bhagwaan water
to bathe represents the removal of all our impure thoughts
and giving us a mind full of devotion.
7. Vastram Offering clothes.
After bathing,
we offer Bhagwaan clothes. The clothing protects
us. These offerings of clothes signify the divine
protection that Bhagwaan gives us.
8. Yagnyopaveetam Offering sacred thread. We
offer
Bhagwaan
the
Sacred
Thread. This
signifies the omniscience of the Lord.
9. Aabharanam Offering ornaments.
Once we
offer clothes, we then offer ornaments. The

Om vakratundaaya nama:
Om shurpakarNaaya nama:
Om herambaaya nama:
Om skanda-purvajaaya nama:

ornaments are used for decoration which is just


external. The offering of ornaments signifies our
surrender of our ego to Bhagwaan.
10. Gandham Offering Sandalwood paste. After
decoration, we offer perfume/sandal wood paste to
the Lord. Just like how the sandal wood is fragrant
and acts as a coolant, our mind has to be fragrant
with good thoughts always.
11. Pushpam Offering flowers and doing puja. After
offering the fragrant paste, we then offer Bhagwaan
flowers and chant the holy names of the Lord. Offering of
flowers signify the purity of our mind.
12. Dhoopam Offering perfumed Incense. We then
offer Lord incense. Incense has fragrance but not a shape. It
vanishes without a trace. Similarly offeing incense to Lord
signifies that the world we see is perishable and our
prayers to give us the knowledge.
13. Deepam Offering a lighted lamp. A lamp removes the darkness. Similarly offering Bhagwaan the
deepam signifies the removal of darkness or ignorance and
the illumination or knowledge. A pure mind comes
fromcomplete surrender to Bhagwaan
14. Naivedyam - Offering food. We should offer any- one
who comes to our home water to drink and food to eat.
Offering food to Bhagwaan signifies that everything that we
have in our universe, all belongs to him and we offer it back
to him. We offer our thanks to the Lord for providing us
various things from food to clothes etc.
15. Taamboolam Offering betel leaves with caustic and
betel nut. The taamboolam helps in digestion of the food. It
acts as a mouth freshener too. We offer Bhagwaan this to
signify that even if there are any shortcomings in our services
to Him, we offer him the taamboolam with devotion which
overcomes all these shortcomings.
16. Namaskaram Salutations of the deity. Bhagwaan,
who is omnipresent, has taken the form that we
wanted Him to take. So we prostrate before him. This
represents unconditional surrender to the Holy feet of
the Lord. We pray to Him to give us what we seek and
what is right and ask him to forgive all our mistakes
and bless us.