September 13, 2010 – Immersion of Ganesha Idols

The immersion of Ganesha idols after the completion of the traditional worship is a practice that is followed everywhere. This ceremony is done after either half a day, 1 day, 3 days, 5 days and so on – generally an odd number of days. In Puttaparthi, Swami decides when it has to be done and everyone in the town follows it. The 13th of September was chosen as the D Day in 2010. A lot of efforts go into the preparations for this event. The students from the tiny tots to the Ph. D scholars engage themselves in making vehicles which would house and carry the Lord. Similar efforts are put in by the staff of various institutions as well. With that brief introduction, let us move to the proceedings of the day.

BY 5:00 p.m., the various chariots and palanquins bearing Lord Ganesha from the various institutions arrived to Sai Kulwant Hall. They were arrayed impressively throughout along the darshan path that Swami takes. The vehicles were in various forms and the best way to describe them would be to put their images!

At 6:40 p.m., there was a burst of activity with Swami’s arrival. The tiny tots from the Primary school were in orange dhotis and angavastrams and they began a procession that included a naadaswaram band and the senior boys’ Veda chanting group. Swami had a look at the card that was presented and asked the procession to begin.

The line of chariots welcomed Him and Swami moved slowly past each of them. As He did that, representatives came forward to get various items blessed and told Swami a few words about the vehicle they had made. Swami was very obliging and blessed everybody who came forward.

Dozens of Ganesha idols were sanctified by His touch and hundreds got an opportunity of some interaction with Him. More than 20 vehicles had assembled and as Swami came to the front, there were the student priests who had their own idols that they wanted Him to bless. Swami did that too and then completing His rounds, came to the stage. He permitted the procession to begin.

The opening was through the father-son duo of Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesha who moved up the stage and sought His blessings. As Swami gave them padanamaskar, the whole audience clapped in delight. There was a dance performed by the students of the higher secondary school that amplified the joy of being in the presence of Lord Ganesha. Then, the vehicles and the people associated with them came forward one by one as the commentary on the inner significance of each was spoken out. They moved to the central marble block, offered their obeisance to Swami and then moved out.

As per His guidelines the previous year, ( everyone moved out singing bhajans. And thus it was that students from Easwaramma School, Primary School, Higher Secondary School, Music College and the Institute along with the alumni and staff from the Central Trust, Hospitals, Airport and the Indoor Stadium came forward and bowed to Him before leaving the Mandir. The last group to leave was the most vociferous and they had special drums to play lively beats. Swami seemed quite amused by their efforts.

As the space in the centre cleared, the students rushed to occupy it and Swami blessed prasadam for distribution. The naadaswaram band struck some tunes on Lord Ganesha and Swami called a few students with cards to bless them and look at what they had to offer.

Soon, Swami voiced His concern over the students going near the water bodies for immersion so late in the evening. He called the wardens and told them that the actual immersion could be done the next day in the morning and not during that night. That was the final decision and once again it showed how Swami’s concern for his students is so special and unique.

At 7:50 p.m., Swami received aarthi and then blessing everyone with His right hand, Swami retired for the day.

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