Ganesh Visarjan at Amritapuri Ashram

3 Sep 2017, Amritapuri Ashram

After the Ganesha Chaturthi ceremony {news}, the beautiful, ornate clay idol of Ganesha was placed at the Kalari where special pujas were held every day. Every evening, devotees sang bhajans fervently to Lord Ganesha. After nine days, as per tradition, the Ganesha idol was taken to be immersed in the ocean.

Lakshmi, the ashram elephant, led the procession. The idol was carried towards the main hall, the procession singing bhajans all the way. One could see people of all ages and nationalities join the procession, each with an orange ribbon around their heads, dancing to the tune of the music and drums.

When the procession reached the darshan hall, Amma stopped darshan for a moment to greet Lakshmi as she reached the stage.

With the chants of “Ganapati Bappa Morayya,” the procession continued its way to the beach. (Moraya Gosavi was an ardent devotee of Lord Ganesha from the state of Maharashtra. This chant reminds the chanter and listener of the inseparable relations between the Lord and the devotee.)

Finally, the idol was carried to the edge of the pier where it was immersed in the ocean, to be dissolved back into formless clay. One of the most beautiful aspects of the celebration is that, despite the sheer beauty of the Ganesha idol and the love and care with which it was crafted, it is offered into the ocean with joy and celebration rather than sorrow or regret. This reminds us that every object in this world is temporary and it will perish one day. So, without clinging to them, be attached to the Creator.
This ritual is designed to remind us of the universal truth that all objects with name and form are a manifestation of the formless principle or that One Truth.