Ganapathy (Vinayaka) Chauti Festival - 18 September 2004
It was after a gap of 3 years that Ganapathy Festival was celebrated in Mysore Ashrama. Devotees were elated that Sri Swamiji chose to be in Mysore for this important festival. On 17th, Gauri Festival was observed by offering special Archana to Vishalakshi Devi. Devotees presented BAAGINA (bamboo chaff mats containing auspicious materials like bangles, turmeric, Kumkum, mirror, comb etc.).
On 18th, in the morning at 7 AM, Sri Swamiji visited the Datta Venkateswara Shrine and performed Abhishekam to Ganapathy idol with milk and water. Ganapathy Atharva Sheersha and Ganapathy Sukta veda Mantras were chanted.
Later, Sri Swamiji performed Sri Chakra Puja in the Ashrama Universal Prayer hall. The Puja Mantapam was decorated with Arka Ganapathy idols. In the centre was the big Ganapathy idol formed in the root of Arka tree (hence Arka Ganapathy) which was offered to Sri Swamiji in Vijayawada. To the left was The small Arka Ganapathy idol from Surat. In the front was the small Arka Ganapathy idol which Sri Swamiji has from his child hood. To the left was Prashna Ganapathy, the stone Ganapathy which has be vividly described in Sri Swamiji life story. In the very front was the famous Arka Ganapathy which was carried around from house to house for aid to the construction of the then Prayer hall.
After the Pujas were over, Sri Swamiji honored Bhaskaracharya from the Kamakshi temple in Hamm town in Germany. He spoke and explained his chance meeting with Sri Swamiji in 1988 in Ratingen when he obtained Blessings for the construction of the temple. Later, Mr. Bo and Ms. Jasline, Bonsai plant experts from Singapore were honored.
Sri Swamiji spoke on the occasion and lamented that the Ganapathy worship in these days has become a fad and that people, especially young people who resort to coercion for collecting money for putting up loud and flashy Ganapathy floats and pendalls in street corners in most towns and cities in India. Sri Swamiji also deplored the gross commercialization and loudness of the events. Sri Swamiji called the devotees to observe that their worship is more internalized and the inner peace and joy is activated. Sri Swamiji called for eco-friendly Ganapathy idols to be used so that the lakes and rivers are not polluted by Ganapathy idols which are left to dissolve.
Sri Swamiji then spoke about the recent interest of Sri Swamiji in Bonsai type of gardening. Sri Swamiji asked "In which method can you claim to have an entire Navagraha Vana in your house? Sri Swamiji called on people to develop interest in Bonsai gardening and participate in the Bonsai training programme conducted by Datta Peetham in Mysore Ashrama.
Some Bonsai plants which have been recently acquired by Ashrama were displayed. They were a 40 year old Audumbara tree which measured about 8 inches and a 62 year old ficus tree (it was planted in the year of Sri Swamiji's birth - 1942).
At 11 AM, Vara Siddhi Vinayaka Vrata was performed by the entire devotee community in prayer hall. Sri Swamiji went around the prayer hall randomly speaking to devotees, touching some and patting some.
At 4 PM, Sahasra Modaka Homa commenced. At 7.30 PM, Sri Swamiji offered Maha Purnahuti to the Homa. A red silk clothe, a long dried green grass rope with Modaka embellishments were offered to the raging fire. The entire area was brimming with Ganapathy energy.
Later, Sri Swamiji sang seven Ganapathy Bhajans. Dr. L. Subramaniam accompanied on violin. His youngest son Ambi too played along. This young junior Subramaniam has all the hall marks of the Subramaniam style of playing. Sri Swamiji first spoke about Dharma and how some historians have misinterpreted the concept of secularity to mean absence of any religion. Sri Swamiji said that He was planning to write a book on Dharma - to give a clear and modern meaning to this ageless concept.
The Ganapathy Bhajans swelled in the prayer hall as Sri Swamiji's sonorous and booming voice filled every capillary of the body. It was a amazing Ganapathy experience.
In the end, Sri Swamiji played Sindhu bhairavi Raga on the synthesizer and the icing of the event was the singing of Pahi Pahi Gajanana.
After the Bhajans, the musicians were feted. Eyeing at Ambi, Sri Swamiji said - my future violinist. Sri Swamiji wished happy birthday to Krishna Joe Stick of Germany whose 60th birthday fell on this auspicious day.
Sri Swamiji then announced that he would visit Peru shortly and would visit sacred places there. Sri Swamiji called on devotees to observe fast on 28th September (full moon day) till noon and think of Sri Swamiji and mother goddess.
Thus the Ganapathy festival concluded.