The practice of Pancha Ganapati is spreading world wide, far beyond the borders of Saiva Siddhanta Church missions.
Kaladevi Ambalawan sends us these photos from her family in Malaysia in Penang
Kaladevi writes: “Jai Jai Ganesha,
I am from Penang, Malaysia. The man in the last photo (in white t-shirt) is my father. His name is Ambalawan Suppiah. He is an Iraivan Temple Builder and subscribes to Hinduism Today. He has a lot of books from Satguru.”
“We have been celebrating Pancha Ganapati Festival for the past five years. Few days before the start of the festival, my mother makes sure the house is dusted, cleaned and moped. On the 20th of December, we prepare His shrine in the living area. On the first day (21st December), the picture of Lord Ganesha is brought to the shrine and decorated with flowers. A sweet offering (Kesari) is offered and we do our first pooja. After the morning pooja, I read the family sadhana for the day. In the evening we do another pooja. We read the Sri Ganesa Upanisad and the Maha Ganesa Pancharatna Stotram as in the “Loving Ganesa” book. We repeat this for the next 4 days (Until the 24th of December).”
On the 25th of December, we have our first pooja with the offering of Kesari, the second pooja we offer a bowl of mixed nuts and rock sugar, the third offering is mixed vegetable rice, and the fourth pooja we offer fruits. For the final pooja, we invite our relatives who bring offerings to Lord Ganesha (Vadai, Modagam, sweet rice, green peas cake, flowers, sugar cane and coconut water). After the pooja, we sing a few songs in praise of Lord Ganesha and chant the “Aum Sri Ganesa Namaha” 108 times. Then we observe a few mins of silent After that, my father will explain to us about the Yamas and the Niyamas. He will ask us to reflect on the past year and apologies to the Lord for any wrong doings and pray for His guidance and blessings. Prasadam is given to all and food is served.”
I hope to continue this tradition even when I start working. In my family we always look forward to December and the Pancha Ganapti Festival. This festival has brought our family very close together. Our heart felt thanks to Gurudeva for coming up with this festival.
"Temples with multiple deities can be confusing, especially for today's Hindu youth. For clarity, we need to bring forward a more precise understanding of the different Hindu denominations and how the different Gods are viewed from within each denomination. For spiritual advancement it is best to focus on one deity and get to the vibration that deity. When we hear teachings from various Hindus, it is important to understand and identify which denomination they are speaking from. This will avert confusion when that teaching gets contradicted in a different context where someone is talking about the same subject but from a different philosophical background."
Bodhinatha reviews the main characteristic of Saivite philosophy and practice with an indepth focus on the four stages of religions evolution, chariya, kriya, yoga and jnana. He highlights how this shows that Saiva Siddhanta is unique and quite from the modern practice of Hinduism as Vedanta