Ganesh Manasa Puja

During this manasa puja, you may envision yourself standing or sitting while you perform the worship.

Read by Ami Bansal

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Darshan of Shri Ganesh

Place your hands over your heart in namaste.
Invoke the benevolent presence
of Lord Ganesh.
shrī ganeshāya namah

Envision Lord Ganesh seated
on his simhāsana, his “throne.”
In honor of Ganesh Utsava,
you will be offering pūjā to him.

This worship that you will be doing
is called mānasa pūjā, “mental worship.”

In the Indian tradition,
mental worship is considered to be as powerful,
if not more powerful,
than worship done outwardly.

All of this worship
will be happening in your mind.

Once again, visualize Lord Ganesh seated
on his golden simhāsana.
He is pure white in color.
His head is that of a most noble elephant,
and his trunk is curving gracefully
towards his left.

On his head is a celestial crown
studded with jewels representing the virtues.
He has warm, brown, almond-shaped eyes
that are always radiating compassion.

Lord Ganesh is known as Ekadanta,
“he who has one tusk,”
as he used his other tusk
to write the Mahābhārata.

His ears are large and wide
like winnowing baskets,
so that he may listen
to the prayers of his devotees.

He has four arms.
In one hand, he holds a mace.
In another, he holds a delicate white gardenia.
In the third hand he holds a goad and an axe.

And his fourth hand is raised,
the palm facing out in abhaya mudrā,
the gesture of fearlessness.

Lord Ganesh’s belly is big and round,
as it contains the whole universe.
It is also a symbol of happiness.
Laughter comes from the belly.

The mouse is his vāhana, his “vehicle,”
and it represents the mind of a seeker.
The mouse is at the feet of Lord Ganesh,
just as a seeker’s mind
is at the feet of the Guru.

Now, you will be making offerings
to Lord Ganesh.
With each offering you make,
you will recite a different mantra
invoking Lord Ganesh.

First, offer Lord Ganesh some water
and thick cubes of jaggery,
golden-brown cane sugar.
om mahāganapataye namah

Offer Lord Ganesh a panchāmrit abhishek,
a royal bath with the five nectars
of milk, yogurt, ghee, honey, and jaggery.

First, offer the milk.
om gaṁ ganapataye namah

Offer the yogurt.
om gaṁ ganapataye namah

Offer the ghee.
om gaṁ ganapataye namah

Offer the honey.
om gaṁ ganapataye namah

Offer the jaggery.
om gaṁ ganapataye namah

Your mind becomes centered when you do mānasa pūjā.
Your whole being is ushered into the present moment.
All parts of you—your mind, your heart, your body—
are alive, active, engaged.
Your entire self has the good fortune
to enjoy Lord Ganesh’s divine presence,
which you have invoked by offering pūjā.

Now that you have completed the offering of panchāmrita,
pour a pitcher of clean, warm water
over Lord Ganesh.

Once his mūrti is clean,
take a fresh, soft white towel
and gently wipe it dry.

om gajānanāya namah

om gajānanāya namah
om gajānanāya namah
om gajānanāya namah
om gajānanāya namah
om gajānanāya namah
om gajānanāya namah
om gajānanāya namah
om gajānanāya namah
om gajānanāya namah
om gajānanāya namah

At this time, you are ready to offer
a resplendent shawl of red silk
to Lord Ganesh.
The shawl is the color of a ruby,
glistening in the sunlight.
om vighneshvarāya namah

Anoint Lord Ganesh’s forehead
with fragrant and cooling sandalwood paste.
Apply kumkum that is vermillion in color and
which represents auspiciousness.
Anoint Lord Ganesh’s feet with the same offerings:
sandalwood paste and kumkum.

And now offer the Lord akshata, uncooked rice,
which represents nourishment and prosperity.
Akshata, in the Sanskrit language,
means “that which is never destroyed.”
om gajavadanāya namah

Place a garland of the loveliest jasmine flowers
around Lord Ganesh’s elephantine neck.
You may also offer gardenias and red hibiscus
at his lotus feet.
om gaurīsutāya namah

And now, wave lit incense before Lord Ganesh
three times.
om vakratundāya namah

Soon, you will be offering āratī to Lord Ganesh.
You have the āratī  lamp ready.
It is shining with three beautiful yellow-orange flames.
Pick this lamp up in your right hand.
With your left hand, pick up a golden bell.
As you ring the bell
and hear its silvery chime filling the air,
wave the āratī  flames to Lord Ganesh.

jayadeva, jayadeva, jaya mangala mūrti
jayadeva, jayadeva, jaya mangala mūrti
jayadeva, jayadeva, jaya mangala mūrti

Now, offer pranām to Lord Ganesh.

Take a moment to look at your set-up
of all the pūjā offerings.
You still have a few more offerings to make.

You see modakas, sweet dumplings filled with coconut and jaggery.
There is also panchakhādya, a delicious mixture
of dried dates, coconut, poppy seeds, raisins, and sugar.
You see guavas, apples, grapes, mangoes, papayas, and bananas.
Hold the intention that everyone’s hunger in the world
will be satisfied as you offer these sweets and fruits
to Lord Ganesh.
om modaka-priyāya namah

Next, you see a coconut.
As you offer this coconut to Lord Ganesh,
make the intention that the fruits of your pūjā
will be as sweet as the tender cream of the coconut.
om vināyakāya namah

Now it is time to offer dakshinā.
When you offer dakshinā, make the intention
that everyone in the world will experience
the grace of Lord Ganesh in abundance.
om mangala-mūrtaye namah

If you have taken your seat,
you may now stand to
perform pradakshina to Lord Ganesh.
Walk around him in a clockwise direction three times,
and in your mind and heart
repeat the Ganesh gayatri mantra:
om eka-dantāya vidmahe
vakratundāya dhīmahi
tan no dantī prachodayāt

When you have completed your pradakshina
and are once again standing or sitting before Lord Ganesh,
you may offer pranām.
nitānta-kānta-danta-kānti, manta-kānta-kātmajam
acintya rūpa-manta-hīna, mantarāya krintanam
hridantare nirantaram, vasantameva yoginām
tameka-dantameva tam, vicintayāmi santatam