Meera at Seva Mandal Ganapati: Worth her weight in … bananas

pictures of Meera on the scales at the GSB Seva Mandal  by Arun Shanbhag

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.
pictures of Meera on the scales at the GSB Seva Mandal by Arun Shanbhag

Under the enormous tent, other devotees performed Gana-Homas (yagna).
pictures of GSB Seva Mandal Ganapati 2011 2012 by Arun Shanbhag

Other Ganapati posts:

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