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Thread: where to begin?

  1. #1

    where to begin?

    I'm pretty new to all of this stuff being raised in the west. I believe in giving respect where respect is due and Siva seems to me to be the purest form of God in any religion. I try to honor him through his son. I have a Ganesha murti on a small table in my home which I light incense to a few times a week while chanting "om gam ganapataye namaha". what I would like to know is what rituals and prayers are there to better respect God and what scriptures can I read to learn them and better understand. I've read the Bagavad gita and Ramayana both are beautiful but didn't give me much insight into daily prayers or how to make offerings to God.

  2. #2

    Re: where to begin?

    I recommend Sri Ramakrishna Kathamritha, the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, this explains very much. . . 'what need for a fan when the Southern wind blows of itself?'

    Above the rest, more than anything is remembering God. Nama Smarana, remembering the name of God.

    It is correct to worship Lord Ganapati before any endeavor, and customary. Ganapati, Ganesha, Gananatha, Gajanana are all names for Ganapati.

    There is an endless amount of information on spiritual topics. . . It's truly infinite.

    As to your main question, offering food to God is one of the main activities. But the main point is the feeling of love, and devotion.

    If love is there, all other practices are secondary. But rituals are useful and important, it helps keep one steady to have a daily routine. (Of good habits).

    Most important is truthfulness, peace, kindness, and so forth.. So sending time alone is very good.

    Main thing above all is to care for every being as much as God, as sacred, and wish for the welfare of all of them.

    When we see every being, from an ant to a tree to a deva (God or angel,) as being holy and divine, a manifestation of God and love, that's when we will see God.

    Meditation is helpful and important, and it's good and possible to spend a lot of time in meditation.

    Health of the body is important, physical tapas (austerity)..

  3. #3

    Re: where to begin?

    Most of what you said seems pretty straight forward. How does one go about offering food to God? Do I leave a bowl of food before an idol like I do with incense? Is there some sort of ritual prayer I should do while performing this act? how long must the food sit there? can or should the food be eaten after? where can I find in scriptures answers to questions like these?

  4. #4

    Re: where to begin?

    There are many types of worshipping Ganesha. There are laghu pooja(short poojas), shodasa upachara pooja(worhsipping using 16 services) etc. IMethodologies are easily available in the net. Choose one type of method. Yous hould start your pooja by cleaning the place where you are going to invite someone who is superior to mortals,who is very powerful. After cleaning which is known as shuddi, You should take resolution by stating your name,location,day,time..etc and intent of worshipping Lord. This is known as pravra. After resolution,you should do dhyana(meditate) on the image of lord and invite lord's energy into the vigraha or idol or picture. In inida it is tradition to wash the feeet of elder. So wash his feet. Worship him by offering whatever you can to make him happy. Our ancestors used to praise Kings because that will make them happy and a happy king is always a blessing to the kingdom. So praise Ganesha by using flowers,leaves or grass by praising his guna(qualities),his different names(nama),karma( by remembering his stories) etc. then offer him some clothes and then sing,dance etc to entertain him. Then offer him some delicious food. Light deepa(lamps) and have darshan of lord in the light of lamps. and then pray for his mercy using different stotras and apologize for any inconvinience. You can also elaborate these services and add many services if you have time.

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