Special Prayers start early on Ganesha Chaturthi

Special Prayers start early on Ganesha on Chaturthi

Pillayar Temple, Papakura, Auckland from September 1 to 12, 2019

Venkat Raman
Auckland, August 25, 2019

Lord Ganesha, the Main Deity with full ‘Alangaram’ (Decoration) on Chaturthi Day

Day-long prayers, three Grand Abhishekams, Special Prayers for the Lord, Bhajans and Processions are among the activities planned as a part of Ganesha Chaturthi at the Ganesha (Pillayar) Temple located at 4 Dent Place, Papakura in South Auckland.
Remover of All Obstacles
For more than 17 years, this Temple has been the venue for Religious Festivals, Upanayanams, Weddings, Engagement Ceremonies, Debut Performances of Dancers and Musicians, Inaugural of Film Productions and many other activities.

A view of the Interior of the Ganesha Temple in Papakura, Auckland (Image from Temple Website)

The belief that ‘Pillayar’ is ‘The Remover of All Obstacles,’ and the confidence that Chief Priest Parameswaran (Chandru) executes the religious procedures sincerely have contributed to the increasing popularity of this Temple.

Ganesha (Pillayar) Chaturthi 2019

Chief Priest Parameswaran Chandru on Chaturthi Day in 2007 (INL Picture by Narendra Bedekar)

It is now time for thousands of devotees to pay obeisance to their Lord on his Birthday, celebrated the world over ‘Ganesha Chaturthi’ or ‘Pillayar Chaturthi.’
“Festivities will commence on September 1 and conclude with ‘Anantha Chathurdasi’ on September 12, 2019. The Temple will be open all day from 430 am to 10 pm on Monday, September 2, 2019 (One Day Only),” Chandru said.
General Notes:
Daily Special Pooja, Abhishekam and Tiruveethi Ula (Procession)  daily from September 2 to September 12, 2019. 
First Pooja at 530 am and the Concluding Pooja at 730 pm daily.
Anna Dhanam every evening. Sponsorship of $201 available.
Programme subject to change: Please look for updates at the Temple website (www. www.aucklandsriganeshtemple.com; Facebook: Papakura Ganesh Temple and Auckland Ganesh Temple
Contact: Parameswaran (Chandru) on (09) 2989858 or 021-0458168 Vasudev Sharma on (09) 2995310 or 021-02386612
Detailed Programme:
Sunday, September 1, 2019
Vinayaka Chaturthi and Installation of 32 Wooden Ganesha Idols; 1030 am: Vigneswara Pooja, Puniyaha Vahachanam; Procession of 32 Wooden Ganesha Idols around the Temple; 11 am: Installation of the Murthis on the Temple Wall; 1145 am: Nithya  Pooja and Anna Dhanam. 
Monday September 2, 2019
Morning Events: Highlights: Asta Draviya Sahitha Moola Mantra Homam, Vishesha Ganapathi Homam 
530 am: Asta Draviya Sahitha Moola Mantra Homam, Vishesha Ganapathi Homam, Vigneswara Pooja, Puniyaha Vachanam; 545 am: Sthapana Kumba Pooja; 550 am:  Draviya Homam; 610 am: Draviya Abhishekam; 715 am: Morning Special Arathi for Chaturthi; 745 am: Prasadam Distribution and Breakfast
Note: All Poojas are common on Chaturthi Day. Devotees keen on participating in the Morning Homam should register at the Temple with $101 fee.
8 am to 10 am: Chaturthi Archana $11; 10 am: Vigneswara Pooja, Swasthi Punniyaham
1015 am: 108 Kalasha Pooja; 11 am:  Draviya Homam; 1130 am: Rudra Abhishekam to Utsava Moorthi at Vasantham Mandapam; 12 pm: Uchikala Pooja (Arati) Maha Deeparathanai; 1215 pm to 2 pm: Chaturthi Sangalpam Archana  $11; Rudra Abhishekam    (Sponsorship $101)
Evening Events: Highlights: 108 Ashtothara Kalasabishekam And Adarvashirsha Homam
5 pm: Vigneswara Pooja, Swasthi Punniyaham; 530 pm: Ashtothara Kalasa Pooja; 545 pm: Moolamanthira Homam and Adarvashirsha Homam, Draviya Homam; 550 pm: Poorna Ahuthi; 6 pm: Shodasa Draviya Abhishekam; 630 pm: 108 Kalasabishekam, Neeranjanam; 645 pm: Ganesha Divya Namavali (Bhajans); 715 pm: Mahadeepaarathanai for Moola Sthanam; 730 pm: Vasantha Mandapa Deeparathanai; 8 pm: Tiruveethi Ula (Procession); Prasadam Distribution and Dinner.
If you wish to include your  name for 108 Kalasam, please register with the Temple Priest or Trustees at $101.

The Observance
Ganesh Chaturthi occurs on the fourth day of the bright fortnight of Bhadrapada (Mid-August to Mid-September) and is observed by devoted Hindus all over the world from two to 11 days. Maharashtrians, like their Hindu compatriots worldwide, induct their children into learning with ‘Om Sri Ganeshaya Namaha.’
Ganesha Chaturthi, the great Ganesha Festival, is also known as ‘Vinayak Chaturthi’ or ‘Pillayar Chaturthi.’
Clay and Colour Deities
A life-like clay model of Lord Ganesha is made two to three months prior to the day of Ganesh Chaturthi. The size of this idol may vary from 3/4th of an inch to over 25 feet.

Idols of Lord Ganesha and other Deities being transported to Kanipakam Ganesha Temple in Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh (Special Story follows). Picture taken on iPhone from moving car on the way to Kanipakam on August 10, 2019

On the day of the Festival, the Idol is placed on raised platforms in homes or in elaborately decorated outdoor tents for people to view and pay their homage. The Priest, usually clad in red silk dhoti and shawl, then invokes life into the idol amidst the chanting of mantras. This ritual is called ‘Pranapratishhtha’. After this the ‘Shhodashopachara’ (16 ways of paying Tribute) follows. Coconut, jaggery, 21 ‘Modakas’ (rice flour preparation), 21 ‘durva’ (trefoil) blades and red flowers are offered. The idol is anointed with red unguent or sandal paste (Rakta Chandan). Throughout the ceremony, Vedic hymns from the Rig Veda and Ganapati Atharva Shirsha Upanishad, and Ganesha stotra from the Narada Purana are chanted.

Street Procession
For 10 days, from Bhadrapad Shudh Chaturthi to the Ananta Chaturdashi, Ganesha is worshipped. On the 11th day, the image is taken through the streets in a procession accompanied with dancing, singing, to be immersed in a river or the sea symbolizing a ritual see-off of the Lord in his journey towards his abode in Kailash while taking away with him the misfortunes of all man. All join in this final procession shouting “Ganapathi Bappa Morya, Purchya Varshi Laukariya” (O father Ganesha, come again early next year). After the final offering of coconuts, flowers and camphor is made, people carry the idol to the river to immerse it.
The whole community comes to worship Ganesha in beautifully done tents. These also serve as the venue for free medical checkup, blood donation camps, charity for the poor, dramatic performances, films, devotional songs, etc. during the days of the Festival.

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