In a Hindu tradition called Tolay Bhaar families celebrate life events by offering their weight in fruits to the divine. These fruits are then served to devotees as prasad. At the GSB Seva Mandal Ganapati, this tradition takes on mammoth proportions where 1000’s of devotees offer everything from the more traditional coconuts, bananas or modak/appams (the sweet dollop made during Ganapati festivals), to gold or silver jewelry.
During the past year, we got a wonderful opportunity to perform Meera’s Tolay Bhaar (roughly translates to: scales are full) at the GSB Seva Mandal in Mumbai. The weighing scales are setup in front of the Ganapati murthy, giving the devotee an unimpeded darshan. Despite my concerns, Meera sat quietly and (eerily) focused in darshan, the entire time she was on the scales.
As you can see in the accompanying pics, Meera sits on the scales with a coconut in her hand, and a large tub of bananas is placed on the other pan. As she is elevated, the bhat-maam (priest) performs an aarti of Ganapati, gives Meera the grace and applies kum-kum. Meera appeared transformed by this experience.
Under the enormous tent, other devotees performed Gana-Homas (yagna).
Other Ganapati posts:
- Ganesh Chaturthi 2009: The Day Before
- Ganapati at GSB Seva Mandal 2011
- Video: Best of Mumbai Ganapati Street Dancing
- Ganapati Visarjan: Wadala and Lalbaug cha Raja
- Ganesh Chaturthi 2009
- Ganesh Chaturthi 2008
- Ganesh Chaturthi 2007
- Ganapati Bappa 2005
- Saraswati Lakshmi & Ganapati
Ganapati Flower Sellers:
- Flower Sellers at Matunga
- Dadar Flower Market during Ganapati – 2002
- Flowers Sellers at Dadar – 2009