Traditions are more fun when children can follow, relate, and contribute. Puja at my home follows simple steps.
Step 1. Day Before
- Make the Idol, using air dry clay, or even play-doh. Even younger kids can contribute simple parts, such as the jewellery, the mouse.
- Have them each pick and prepare a story for story time.
Step 2. Morning
- Everyone should take a bath, and wear clean clothes.
- Collect various ingredients and arrange in the puja area – water, turmeric, rice, incense sticks, piece of thread, sweets and fruits, and few coins.
- Send one kid to collect things from the garden – grass blades, leaves, and flowers.
- Have another kid can arrange the panchamitram (milk, curd, ghee, honey and sugar ) from the pantry and fridge, in spoons.
Step 3. Establish Ganesha
Make a small Ganesha with turmeric and water, and place on a leaf. Establish life with the following invocation from the vedas.
गणानां त्वा गणपतिं हवामहे कविं कवीनामुपमश्रवस्तमम् ।
ज्येष्ठराजं ब्रह्मणां ब्रह्मणस्पत आ नः शृण्वन्नूतिभिः सीद सादनम् ॥१॥
We call you, Lord and Leader of the army of heavenly, the wisest among the wise, the most famous of all, the supreme king of prayers, hear us with help; sit down in place of sacrifice. (RigVeda 2.23.1 )
Next wash the feet of the idol. Next wash the hands of the idol.
Step 4. Offerings
- Offer the idol water to drink , three times, while chanting – ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Achmaneeyam Samarpayami ’.
- Next the idol has to be bathed with milk, curd, ghee, honey, and sugar. Chant – ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Panchamrita Snanam Samarpayami’ .
- ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Payah Snanam Samarpayami‘ while offering milk.
- ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Dadhi Snanam Samarpayami‘ while offering curd.
- ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Ghrut Snanam Samarpayami‘ whileoffering ghee.
- ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Madhu Snanam Samarpayami’ whileoffering honey.
- ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Sharkara Snanam Samarpayami’ when offering sugar.
- Offer clothes, in the form of two threads, chanting- ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Vastropvastram Samarpayami’.
- Offer rice and chant – ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Akshtam Samarpayami’.
- Shower flowers and chant – ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Puspam Samarpayami’.
- Offer Durva grass chanting – ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Durvan Kuran Samarpayami’.
- Leaves offering chanting – ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Bilvapatram Samarpayami’.
- Light incense while chanting – ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Dhoopam Agrapyami’.
- Perform the aarti of the idol with a ghee lamp chanting – ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Deepam Darshyami’.
- Give sweets to the Lord, chanting – ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Naivedyam Samarpayami’.
- Offer fruit – ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Phalam Samarpayami’
- Offer coins and chant – ‘Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah Dakshinam Samarpayami’
- Now kneel before the idol while chanting – Aum Shri Ganeshya Namah I bow before you.
Step 5. Story Time
Kids take turns to tell the stories they have prepared.