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.
Dharma is religious patterns which when followed promote the wellbeing of the individual, the family and society. Patterns so that the soul matures and gets closer to God, closer to realizing the Divinity within. Dharma is: "The orderly fulfillment of an inherent nature or destiny," working on instinctive, intellectual and intuitive natures. Destiny is fixed: Realization. Personal dharma, "your own perfect pattern in life", is different for the sannyasin and the householder.