How to Pray to Lord Ganesha? : Learn the rituals
There are different prayers to Lord Ganesha for different festivals and each has a specific ritual that must be followed closely. In order to be able to do that, one needs a better understanding of the rituals. As a devotee it is expected that one must have the ability to be partake in these rituals in the correct manner.
The Lord Ganesha rituals start with using different auspicious items. For most Lord Ganesha prayers tulsi leaves are always used. Tulsi is a herb believed to be very auspicious. The priest performs many different kinds of worshiping acts to please the Lord Ganesha. The rituals contain a lot of mantras to be chanted, followed by 16 steps of Lord Ganesha worshiping. These 16 steps are the most important rituals of Lord Ganesha prayers. You have to know them and understand them well first.
The 16 steps start with calling Lord Ganesha to come to earth and join the holy ritual with his devotees. The feet of Lord Ganesha are then washed with water, filled with rose petals and then dried with soft towels. The lord is then offered cold water, with specially scented ingredients that is prepared following the rules of Ganesha pooja. The participants, including the priest, then drink the water from their palms to purify their soul. The next step is the most important one for the ritual. The lord is then bathed with specially prepared water. The water is purified with holy ghee, sugar, honey and many more things.
The lord is then offered special clothes. These can be of different types, depending on the beliefs of the devotees, but a bright orange coloured dhoti is common. The holy janoi is wrapped around Lord Ganesha’s shoulders, scented holy items are rubbed on his body and colourful, sweet scented flowers are offered to Lord Ganesha. Then the scented incense sticks are lit up to fill the entire place with an auspicious smell. Mud lamps filled with ghee are lit up and fruits and sweets are offered to the Ganesha idol. Paan, made with different ingredients, is then dripped in rose water and offered to Lord Ganesha. The Lord Ganesha prayer rituals end with the devotees presenting a coin to the priest.
The devotees then gather around the statue of Lord Ganesha and repeat the prayers the priest chants. These prayers are to be chanted together. After the prayers to Lord Ganesha are complete, the devotees eat the left over fruits and sweets of Lord Ganesha, which is known as prasad.