Significance of the Puja
The performance of the GanapatiPuja is essential at the commencement of every important undertaking.
A traditional Hindu marriage cannot take off without performing a GaneshPujaby the bride’s parents. Through this Puja, unwanted obstacles and inauspicious elements are disposed off before tyingthe lifetime knot.
Who is Ganapati?
He is the Lord of Ganas or NamaRupaPrapancha,i.e. the world of names and forms; hence GanapatiPuja has to do with the mind. Even devas, as they have minds, have to worship him.
“What a man thinks, that he becomes,” is the verdict of the Srutis. Hence to secure the necessary equipoise of mind, GanapatiPuja is enjoined. Ganapatiis also calledVighneswara – the Lord of Obstacles. It is necessary to propitiate the Lord of Obstacles, as a large party gathers for the celebration of marriage, and as there may be a thousand and one obstacles.
The Hindus have faith in the old adage that there may be many a slip between the cup and the lip. Hence in the ceremonies preceding the marriage day the following are performed
In the beginning the most auspicious God Ganesha is worshipped and his symbol is installed in the nuptialcanopy erected according to the rules laid down in the scriptures. The sacrificial altar for the VaivahikaHoma is also built under the canopy. Then the father of the bride with his wife, in the first half of the day, having bathed, put on auspicious robes.
Next, having seated himself, he sips water and restrains his breaths. After this he prays to the place and time, and makes up his mind (Samkalpa) to perform Svastivachana. Mandapa-pratistha, Matru-Pujana, VasordharaPujana, Ayusyajapa and Nandi-sraddha as anancillary to marriage.
The Samkalpa is a psychological act, the determination to direct and control one’s energies in such ways as will secure the attainment of object in view.