Story-day is for cultural exploration, puraanas and parables and finding out about leading lights in spiritual philosophy.
Lord Ganesha's big annual holiday has past us this week. Guru-ji has permitted the mission to post this little video of him explaining a little of the ceremony and the basis for it. Please use headphones to listen… and a transcript is provided below. The puja ceremony interspersed in the video took place in the Jagadishwara Mandir on Sandeepany ashram.
It is such a beautiful thing that on this day we bring Lord Ganesha - such a simple thing; what a beautiful idea that YOU invite that God in your house; you see, if we all the time go on saying that God is absolute, formless, nameless and all that you know...you keep on gazing into space and then get spaced out! Why, why? Give a shape, give a form and give a name and in that way Bhagwan comes to your house. Little children will say 'my friend has come!', other people will say, 'the Lord has come to my house!'. You see some people keep that murti there for one day, two days… some for ten days. And the idea is that a guest has come to your house to stay and it is not that the Lord is all the time 'beyond, beyond, beyond'… no He is here only. When the Lord comes as guest He cannot be kept by one thing… This God is so wonderful, he can visit soooo many houses all at the same time! And He gives joy to everyone equally. We say welcome, but we say goodbye also - in the West it is 'Hi - Bye!'. Welcome and then we farewell, and that (the murti) is taken and it is immersed (in the waters). All the time what they say? "You go, but please come quickly next year… in Maraathi we say Ganapati Bappa - Moriya!... Please come quickly come soon and now you are going we are not feeling happy".
So the idea here is of Bhagwan coming to your house and you entertain him as you would any honoured guest and for that time you are distracted from all your usual occupations such as hobby and such.
Now how we make this spiritual activity also? Think how is the idol made? Earth is there, water, fire, air… all the panchamahaabhutas are there; all five elements. Then we invoke the presence of the Spirit into that form. Then all that panchamahaabhutas are returned to their base elements, but the Spirit, the essence of presence, remains with us (as we remember in our daily prayers and worship).