Monday, 27 August 2012

Choosing Ganesha Idol

A few points to ponder while you buy Ganesha Idol:
Anything which is in consonance with the scriptures proves to be ideal and beneficial. According to this rule, if the idol of Shrī Ganēsh is sculpted as per the science behind the idol then the pure spiritual particles of Shrī Ganēsh get attracted towards the idol to a greater extent and those worshipping it are benefited.
Unfortunately today, idols are worshipped in various forms and shapes based on one's liking and imagination without taking into account the science behind the idol. During the festival of Ganesh Chaturthī, the Shrī Ganēsh idol is worshipped on a large scale both, individually and in a collective manner.
1. Idol from china clay or mud:
If you have a custom of bringing new idols for Ganesh Chathruthi every year, it should be made of clay or mud not plaster of paris, wood or any other metal.
There are references in the Purāns (mythological texts) that Ganapati was created from grime. Hence it is appropriate to use a Shrī Ganēsh idol made of mud for ritualistic worship. The pure spiritual particles (pavitraks) of Ganapati get attracted to a greater extent towards an idol made of mud than to that made of plaster of Paris.
The following points shall illustrate how it is improper as well as harmful to make idols from plaster of Paris or from substances other than china clay
  • Plaster of Paris does not dissolve easily in water and hence the idol floats on water after immersion. Sometimes in cities, the remains of idols which have not dissolved in water for a long period are collected and a bulldozer is run over them to convert them into mud. This amounts to extreme denigration of the Deity. The Deity should be offered the same reverence when immersing it as when it is invoked. Since the idol is not immersed properly, in a way it amounts to dishonouring the Deity. It is beneficial if a hole is kept at a specific point on the rear side of the plaster of Paris idol so that during immersion it gets properly immersed in water within minimal time and dissolves completely.
  • Mixing of the plaster of Paris in water pollutes the river, sea, lake, etc. and can have an adverse effect on the health of living beings.
  • Nowadays a wrong trend has set in whereby idols are even made from coconuts, bananas, betulnut, silver, coins, etc. Some of these objects do not dissolve in water after immersion of the idol. The remains of such idols are used for other purposes or as toys by children.
2. Sculpting an idol is superior to using a mould
The Shrī Ganēsh idols are made using a mould so that they can be made available for sale faster, merely keeping a commercial angle. However as far as possible, a readymade mould should not be used.  Besides, sculpting the idol generates more spiritual emotion (bhāv) in the sculptor and such an idol is more sāttvik (Sattva predominant).
3. Idols should not be huge
According to the scriptures, the height of the Shrī Ganēsh idol should be limited. The idol should have a maximum height of 1.5 metres because an idol larger than that makes it difficult to perform ritualistic worship.
The custom of keeping a small idol for ritualistic worship and a huge idol for exhibition is absolutely incorrect. Idols of deities cannot be objects of exhibition.
When making huge idols, iron rods, bamboos, etc. are required to be inserted within them for support. It is improper to use such objects in the idols. Besides, if these idols surface above the water source after immersion, some people even break them and sell the iron rods and wooden plates found within.
4.Form of the idol should be according to the science behind the idol
The form of the idol should be such that devotion (bhakti) and spiritual emotion (bhāv) towards the Deity should be awakened instantly on seeing it. The Shrī Ganēsh idol should be made according to the science behind the idol. The trunk of the idol should be curved towards the left. Importance of the idol with a left-sided trunk is elucidated in other article.
5.Idol should be a seated one, not standing
If a guest pays a visit, we offer him a seat and not keep him standing. During Ganesh Chaturthī, we invoke God Ganapati, that is invite Him. One should offer Him a seat and proper hospitality. Harbouring the spiritual emotion (bhāv) that God Ganapati has actually come to visit us. Besides due to the entire weight of the idol resting on the feet, the idol may even break if it is kept in the standing position for ten consecutive days. Hence one should make an idol which is seated on a wooden seat (pat). Idol should be placed on a mount of rice on a plate and after the Immersing the Idol, the same rice to be mixed with the house stock of rice.
6.Colour of the idol
An idol made with natural colour looks more appealing and imparts more Bliss

1 comment:

  1. Dear Anitha
    Lovely article I dint know so much about it Thanks for sharing
    I wpould like to include a linkback for this article in my blog...

    Thank You

    Thank you