Ganesh Pooja (lord Ganesha / Elephant God)

Ganesh Pooja means worshipping Lord Ganesh. As a matter of practice every Indian ritual begins with Ganesh Poojan.

This is an interesting story that goes in to making Ganesha Numero uno among all the Hindu Gods and Goddesses. He is supposed be the lord of Intellect. It so happened once in the court of Lord Indra (lord of Heaven) a question was raised by a fellow god, “Which god deserves Agrapuja (meaning which is the god that should be worshipped first?) After thinking a bit Lord Brahma said, “The one who wins in the Bhoo-Pradakshina (a race that involves covering the distance of earth three times) would be honored the respect of Agrapuja.

So everyone headed to Bhoo-Pradakshina. But Ganesha was reluctant and did not participate in the race. Ganesha's mother observed this and was disappointed. She demanded an explanation from Ganesha to which he said “I have a big tummy and also I am overweight to participate in a race. To add to my discomfort my vehicle is a rat. In such a condition how can I participate? And even if I do so I cannot win the race. To avoid the embarrassment, I am not participating.”

Ganesha's mother was convinced but she was too clever. She immediately dragged the word Rama (in Sanskrit) with the help of Rangoli and asked him to do Pradakshina (three rounds around the word Rama) around it and went to lord Brahma.

Pleased by his intellect in solving the problem of Bhoo-Pradakshina while all the other gods were busy with their Pradakshina, Ganesha was already back, Lord Brahma gave him the title of ‘Vighnaharta' and honored the right of Agrapuja. When all the other Gods came back they were astonished as well as upset. There was a solution available but they could not think of it. The name “Rama” letters is far more than Bhoo-Pradakshina. Thus, Ganesh Pooja marks the beginning of every ritual.