Ganesha Jayanti
Ganesha Jayanti is observed as the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha. As per the Hindu calendar, it is observed on Shukla Chaturthi during Magha lunar month and currently coincides with January and February months in Gregorian calendar. It is a popular festival particularly in the Indian state of Maharashtra and is also celebrated in Goa held during the Shukla Paksha Chaturthi day (fourth day of the bright fortnight) in the month of Magha, which corresponds to the Gregorian calendar month of January/February.

Legend has it
The legend of Ganesha’s birth is as follows. Once when Lord Shiva was away fighting for the Gods, the lady of the house, Goddess Parvathi was alone at home. On one occasion, she needed someone to gaurd the house when she was going for a bath. Unable to think of an alternative, she used her powers to create a son, Ganesh. She instructed Ganesh to keep strict vigil on the entrance to the house and not to allow anyone into the house.
There is another legend to it. The legend narrated by Nandi to the Sanatkumara sages was that once God Krishna was charged with stealing as he saw the moon on Magha Shukla Chaturthi – which was prohibited. He observed fast on this day and got rid of the accusation of stealing.

Common Ritual
On the festival day, an image of Ganesha, in symbolic conical form is made out of turmeric or vermillion powder or some times of cow dung and worshipped. It is later immersed in water on the fourth day after the festival. A special preparation made of til (sesame seeds) is offered to Ganesha and then distributed to the devotees as prasad for eating. A fast is observed during worship during the day time followed by feasting in the night as a part of the rituals.
In addition to fasting on this day, before observing the puja rites for Ganesha (also known as “Vinayaka”), devotees take bath with water mixed with sesame seeds, after smearing a paste made out of Til (sesame) on their body. The fast observed on this day is stated to enhance the name and fame of the individual.

maghi-ganpati-ganesh-jayanti

Puja Vidhi
• On the morning of Ganesh Jayanti, apply the paste made of sesame seeds and water and have bath.
• Create a conical Lord Ganesha idol, from the turmeric powder or cow dung.
• Worship the idol with the mantras of Shodashopachara Puja.
• You can observe the Ganesh Jayanti fast, only having a simple one time meal, made of sesame seeds.
• Prepare a special meal, made of Til or sesame seeds and offer it to Lord Ganesha as prasad.
• Distribute the blessed Prasad among the devotees for eating.
• On the fourth day of festival, immerse the idol into water.
Aarti
There is no Aarti for Ganesha Jayanti.
Recipe
Ingredients
For The Dough
2 cups rice flour (chawal ka atta)

For The Filling
1 1/4 Cups grated jaggery (gur)
2 Cups freshly grated coconut
1 Tbsp poppy seeds (khus-khus)
1/2 Tsp cardamom (elaichi) powder
1 Tsp ghee for kneading and greasing

Method:
Boil 1¾ cups of water in a deep non-stick pan.
Place the rice flour in a deep bowl and add the boiled water gradually. Mix well using a spoon in the beginning and then knead into a soft and smooth dough.
Cover with a lid and keep aside for 10 minutes.
For the filling
Heat a deep non-stick pan, add the jaggery and cook on a slow flame for 1 to 2 minutes, till the jaggery melts, while stirring continuously.
Add the coconut, poppy seeds and cardamom powder, mix well and cook on a slow flame for 4 to 5 minutes or till all the moisture evaporates and the mixture thickens. Keep aside to cool slightly.
Divide the filling into 21 equal portions and keep aside.
Knead the dough once again using ½ tsp of ghee and keep aside.
Grease a modak mould using very little ghee and close it.
Take a portion of the dough, press it into the cavity of the modak mould till it is evenly lined on all the sides.
Fill the dough cavity with a portion of the filling.
Take a smaller portion of the dough and spread it evenly at the base of the modak mould so as to seal the filling.
Demould the modak from the modak mould.
Repeat the above steps to make the remaining 20 modaks.
Place a steamer plate in a steamer and place a banana leaf on it.
Moisten all the modaks with little water using your fingertips.
Place 10 modaks on the banana leaf and steam on a medium flame for 10 minutes.
Make 11 more modaks in 1 more batch and serve.
• On the morning of Ganesh Jayanti, apply the paste made of sesame seeds and water and have bath.
• Create a conical Lord Ganesha idol, from the turmeric powder or cow dung.
• Worship the idol with the mantras of Shodashopachara Puja.
• You can observe the Ganesh Jayanti fast, only having a simple one time meal, made of sesame seeds.
• Prepare a special meal, made of Til or sesame seeds and offer it to Lord Ganesha as prasad.
• Distribute the blessed Prasad among the devotees for eating.
• On the fourth day of festival, immerse the idol into water.
Aarti
There is no Aarti for Ganesha Jayanti.
Recipe
Ingredients
For The Dough
2 cups rice flour (chawal ka atta)

For The Filling
1 1/4 Cups grated jaggery (gur)
2 Cups freshly grated coconut
1 Tbsp poppy seeds (khus-khus)
1/2 Tsp cardamom (elaichi) powder
1 Tsp ghee for kneading and greasing

Method:
Boil 1¾ cups of water in a deep non-stick pan.
Place the rice flour in a deep bowl and add the boiled water gradually. Mix well using a spoon in the beginning and then knead into a soft and smooth dough.
Cover with a lid and keep aside for 10 minutes.
For the filling
Heat a deep non-stick pan, add the jaggery and cook on a slow flame for 1 to 2 minutes, till the jaggery melts, while stirring continuously.
Add the coconut, poppy seeds and cardamom powder, mix well and cook on a slow flame for 4 to 5 minutes or till all the moisture evaporates and the mixture thickens. Keep aside to cool slightly.
Divide the filling into 21 equal portions and keep aside.
Knead the dough once again using ½ tsp of ghee and keep aside.
Grease a modak mould using very little ghee and close it.
Take a portion of the dough, press it into the cavity of the modak mould till it is evenly lined on all the sides.
Fill the dough cavity with a portion of the filling.
Take a smaller portion of the dough and spread it evenly at the base of the modak mould so as to seal the filling.
Demould the modak from the modak mould.
Repeat the above steps to make the remaining 20 modaks.
Place a steamer plate in a steamer and place a banana leaf on it.
Moisten all the modaks with little water using your fingertips.
Place 10 modaks on the banana leaf and steam on a medium flame for 10 minutes.
Make 11 more modaks in 1 more batch and serve.

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