By Sadhana 

eka-dantāya vidmahe vakra-tuṇḍāya dhīmahi

tanno dantiḥ pracodayāt

“Let us contemplate the one with a single tusk, and meditate on the one with a curved trunk.

May He awaken our consciousness and guide us on the right path.”On the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi  (also called Vinayaka Chaturthi, Vinayaka Chavithi, Pillaiyar Chaturthi, and Chavath), we at Sadhana offer our best wishes for a joyous and reflective celebration. Ganesh Chaturthi is the festival dedicated to Sri Ganesha, our Hindu god of beginnings and remover of obstacles. On this occasion, we pray to Him to remove all obstacles to justice and peace, in our own work and in the world.

Ganesha is often depicted alongside Lakshmi (goddess of prosperity) and Saraswati (goddess of knowledge). We pray to Ganesha that all people around the world, irrespective of religion, gender, caste, or nationality, are able to enjoy the blessings of artha (material comfort) along with vidya (wisdom). We pray for an end to poverty, bigotry, religious fundamentalism, and the exploitation of our Prithvi Maa (Mother Earth). We pray to Sri Vighneshwara (Lord of Obstacles) for the strength to tackle these challenges, motivated by love and compassion.

On Ganesh Chaturthi, many Hindu families perform a puja to a murti of Ganesha which is later immersed into a body of water; often a river, lake, or the ocean. We urge all Hindus who celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in this way to use an eco-friendly Ganesha murti — one that does not contain toxic paints or other chemicals that may harm the environment. Here’s an easy way you can make an eco-friendly Ganesha murti at home using clay:

Additionally, consider following these steps in Sadhana’s “Performing Eco-Friendly Pujas” guide. You can download this guide here; please share it with your family, friends, and temple community!

Eco Friendly Pujas sheet-1.jpg

Best wishes for a joyful Ganesh Chaturthi and an obstacle-free year ahead.

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti. Om Peace, Peace, Peace.

namo vrāta-pataye namo gaṇa-pataye namaḥ pramatha-pataye

namaste-astu lambodarā-yaikadantāya vighnanāśine śivasutāya varadamūrtaye namaḥ

“Salutations to the lord of all human beings, ganas and pramathas (celestial beings).

Salutations to You, Lord Ganesha, with a large belly and single tusk, You who are the remover of all obstacles, the son of Shiva, and the embodiment of generosity.”

— from the Ganapati Atharvashirsha (1500-1600 CE)

Sadhana is a progressive Hindu organization.  This piece was first published on their website