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Why idols of lord Ganesha is immersed in water
Posted By Sarin on Sep 29, 2012     RSS Feeds     Latest Hinduism news

ganesh cha This is the  third article in the series of article dedicated to lord Ganesha. If you haven’t gone through the previous articles, then please refer the following link:
Is lord ganesha God and worthy of worship
Why lord Ganesha have elephant head

In 1893, freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak began installing large images of Lord Ganesh publicly in an attempt to fight against the British act of preventing organized gatherings. This incident of BAL gangadhar today is celebrated as the major festival and has grown from strength to strength across whole of India and some other parts of the world.  Lord Ganesha is one of the chief deity of almost all Maharashtrians where each member of the family actively participates in rituals and traditions associated with the festival of ganesh chaturthi. This festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and splendor for one to ten days. At the end of this festival, idol of lord Ganesha is immersed into water bodies like artificial lakes, natural lakes, rivers, sea etc. So, in this article, we will explore why lord Ganesha is immersed on the last day of ganesh chaturthi.
  1)    Occasion of immersing the idols in the nearest water body (lakes, rivers, and sea) is called Visarjan(farewell). This usually occurs on the 3/ 5 /11th day of Ganesha Chaturthi, after which idols of Ganesha are ceremoniously immersed and left to dissolve. This farewell represents lord Ganeshas merging with the ocean of consciousness.
2)    It is said that after the immersion of idol, Lord Ganesha residing in the idol, who listened to the prayers and request of his devotees for ten days, returns back to his heavenly abode.  This Act of immersion is seen as a ritual send-off to lord Ganesha for his journey back to his home (sacred Kailash Mountain).
Lord Ganesha with mother parvati in kailash mountain
  3)    Water bodies represent the supreme creation of god. As per the religious belief, after death, every soul needs to be purified so that it can enter the heavenly abode. This purification happens by performing certain rituals and customs, near the sacred water bodies (Like river ganga, Yamuna etc). So, idols of lord Ganesha are immersed in water to purify them and pave a path of entering the heavenly abode.
4)    Lord Ganesha is the deity revoked for removing obstacles. So, the act of immersion represents the dissolving (Removal) of the devotees obstacles and problems into the heavenly water bodies.
5)    It is said that no one except lord Vishnu or lord shiva can bear the energy and power of lord Ganesha. So, Lord Ganesha should pass to its heavenly abode through lord Vishnu(i.e Water)  
6)    As per ancient scriptures, idols of any God made up of clay (in occasion like Ganesh chaurhti and dussera) should be immersed after performing puja and worshipping for certain period of time. But nowadays, most of the idols are made of Plaster of Paris. So, the act of immersion has no significance for such idols. Only idols made up of clay should be immersed in water. This also means that only those who celebrate Ganesh festival in eco friendly manner and those who avoid immersion of eco-harmful and eco-hazardous material in water would be free from problems & obstacles and would be blessed with better health and living environment.
Thousands of devotees in Mumbai taking part in ganesh Chaturthi celebrations to mark the end of the  Ganesh Chaturthi festival
  7)    As per Hinduism , every human beings have seven distinct minds with seven states as follows:
          1. Illusory mind - Shakti 
2. Semi voluntary mind - Vishnu 
3. Involuntary mind - Shiva 
4. Voluntary mind - Brahma 
5. Status altering mind - Shani 
6.Dreaming mind - Indra 
7. Compulsive mind - Yama 

Out of the above, Semi voluntary mind is voluntary (Manual) in the middle and Involuntary (Automatic) at both extremities. To be more precise, this state of mind is the only shock absorber of our life. Thus, this mind is the best mind to dump unwanted thoughts. 
The Trimurti forces (Hindu trinity god) are symbolically represented by the three basic elements of nature. 
1. Voluntary (Brahma) force - Air 
2. Semi voluntary (Vishnu) force - Water 
3. Involuntary (Shiva) force - Land 
This symbolism indicates the flexibility of the associated force. Involuntary force makes activities rigid, Semi voluntary force makes activities flexible and Voluntary force makes them brittle.
The best mind to dump undesirable thoughts is the Semi voluntary (Natural) mind. Since Vishnu is the preserver and this mind is associated with Vishnu (Maya), only Vishnu can get rid of these undesirable thoughts. Since Vishnu is symbolized the water, act of lord Ganesha immersion means the following: 

Lord Vishnu with consort Lakshmi in Garbhodak Ocean
The Immersion of Ganesha (Dumping of accumulated unwanted thoughts) is between Bhadrapada Chaturti and Anantha chaturdashi (the day when Vishnu as Anantha Padmanabha, would give us maximum peace). 
Ganesha is made of clay because unwanted thoughts should get assimilated with the Involuntary (Land) part of the Semi voluntary force, leaving the voluntary part clear. 
Thus,  immersion of Ganesha in water is symbolic of our dumping of unwanted thoughts into the Semi voluntary mind.

Giant statue of lord Ganesha carried on a tractor on its way to the nearby water body

Hope you had a very good ganesh Chaturthi this year
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