Colaba Ganapati @ Millburn NJ

Friday Ratri Puja and Visarjan Puja
Bhatmaam has arrived and drinking hot Kaapi!

Friday Danapaar Puja
Live streaming of Friday afternoon puja


pics of Colaba Ganapati @ Millburn by Arun Shanbhag

Thursday Ratri Puja


Thursday morning Ganesh Chaturthi Puja
Here is the live stream of the Colaba Ganapati puja from Millburn, NJ.
Ganapati Bapa Morya!

Other Ganapati Posts:

Pālki at the Rāmnāthi Devasthān

photos of Ramnath and Kamakshi in Palki at Ramnathi Devasthan by Arun Shanbhag
Hindus believe that all things animate and in-animate (manifest or unmanifest) are part of the universal divine consciousness. We generally refer to this divine consciousness as “That”, because any attribute you give it is limiting (see Sant Tulsidas’ beautiful verse describing “That” divine consciousness; also this post on Dwija). In common parlance, we refer to “That” as Paramātmā or eternal soul (1). It thus follows that all humans are part of this eternal soul or Paramātmā. The corollary then is that Paramātmā too includes human qualities, strengths and frailties, and expresses human emotions. Purān and itihās (history) are filled with their anthropomorphed lore. In our temples, we adore our divine just like we would our valued guests. In the common Hindu puja, we pamper our divine guest with 16 services (shodasho upchār) like if she was a valued friend, like cleaning her feet, helping her brush, bathe, providing new clothes, jewelry, sumptuous feasts, etc.

Completing this anthropomorphization our temple bound deities like to go out on the town and have fun. Wouldn’t you if you were couped up in a tiny garbha-griha? Thus in many communities, devotees take their temple deities out for a ride in a specially designed pālki (palanquin) (2).

Every Monday evening at the Rāmnāthi Devasthān, Rāmnāth Dev sits in a pālki and is carried around the grounds. It’s a festive occasion with a small band playing and devotees chanting bhajans. Following tradition, the pālki has designated stops where aarti is performed and verses of the Mangalāshtak are chanted. Pālki is followed by a sumptuous prasād (yaay).

On special occasions, Rāmnāth Dev is accompanied by Kāmākshi Devi on his jaunt around the temple grounds. These pictures are from the recent Mahā Shivrātri when Rāmnāth and Kāmākshi went around the temple in their respective pālki (3) . While Rāmnāth sits in his simple pālki, Kāmākshi, verily the Goddess of Desire and Sensuality, tours in style, high on an elephant pālki. How cool is she?


Notes:
1. The word God doesn’t exist in Hindu vocabulary and is a Western construct.
2. In Mumbai you commonly see Muslims take their sacred deity out on the town; recently in Kumta, I noticed the local christians in a procession with their deity in a pālki.
3. Plural of pālki remains pālki and not the anglicized pālkis.

MahāShivrātri at Rāmnāthi

Photos of MahaShivaratri Festival at Ramnathi Goa by Arun Shanbhag
Ramnath Dev being taken out on a Phalki

|| Om Namah Shivay ||
Wishing you all an auspicious Maha Shivratri


More on the Ramnathi Devasthan Goa:


Enjoy these pictures from the Maha Shivratri Utsav at Ramnathi Devasthan, Goa

Thanksgiving In Boston

pictures of M & Meera at the Seaport Hotel Boston Thanksgiving Brunch by Arun Shanbhag
This year we chose to spend a quiet Thanksgiving enjoying a sumptuous and beautiful brunch at the Seaport Hotel in Boston. We started with the breakfast menu of warm croissants and smoked salmon, then crazed on argula salad and gigantic shrimp cocktail; delicious clam chowder, home made mashed potatoes, the bestest dry roasted brussel sprouts and salmon grilled in olive oil, lemon and capers (wow!). We did not venture near the traditional meats. Continue reading “Thanksgiving In Boston”

Meera says: Shubh Deepavali – Happy Diwali

pic of Meera celebrating Diwali Deepawali in Boston by Arun Shanbhag(more Meera pics below)


On this joyous festival of Diwali,
Let divine grace light your hearts and
enlighten you minds.

Wishing you and all your loved ones
Shantih! Shantih! Shantih!

Happy Diwali!
Meera, M & A


Continue reading “Meera says: Shubh Deepavali – Happy Diwali”

Ram Navami – battle against terror continues

Frieze of Shri Ram killing Ravana at the Khetapai Narayana Temple in Bhatkal by Arun Shanbhag

Wishing All
A Wonderful Rām Navamī
Bliss in Śri Rām’s Grace

M&m and A


The frieze above is from the outer wall of Khetapai Narayan Temple in Bhatkal, which I recently visited. This tiny stone temple was built ca 1546 when Konkani traders escaped Portuguese persecution in Goa and settled in Bhatkal. The Bhatkal port had become the primary port for trade by the Vijayanagar empire with its capital in Hampi. Continue reading “Ram Navami – battle against terror continues”

Thankful for All

Pics of an older woman cooking on the sidewalk in Mumbai by Arun Shanbhag

Hoping you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Meera and M are doing superbly well and healthy. Our lives have been enriched in so many ways: great family and friends, satisfying careers and fulfilling “dharma”. We are thankful for all this and more! ~ Arun

This post by Preena reminded me of this older woman cooking on the sidewalk in South Mumbai. It was a simple, charred metal can she used to boil a little bit of rice. That was all she had for dinner. Continue reading “Thankful for All”

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. Continue reading “Meera at Seva Mandal Ganapati: Worth her weight in … bananas”

Krishna Janmashtami – Shri Krishna Muth Udupi

Murti of Udupi Shri Krishna with Alankar during Paryaya

Greetings for Krishna Janmashtami!

The Shri Krishna Muth in Udupi, Karnataka was founded by Sant Madhvāchārya, a Vaishnava Saint (1238-1317) who also propounded the Dvaita philosophy of Vedanta.
Continue reading “Krishna Janmashtami – Shri Krishna Muth Udupi”

Hanuman Mandir Picket Rd Mumbai

Hanuman Jayanti Maruti at the Picket Rd Hanuman Temple pics by Arun Shanbhag



Shree guru charan saroj raj, nija manu mukuru sudhari |
Baranau raghubar bimal jasu, jo dayak phal chaari ||

With the mirror of the mind, cleansed by the dust of the lotus feet of my Guru;
(listen) to the unblemished glory of Hanuman, exalted one of the Raghu dynasty, who can bestow the four fruits (dharma, artha, kaama and moksha)

Wishing you all a wonderful Hanuman Jayanti!

Continue reading “Hanuman Mandir Picket Rd Mumbai”

Makar Sankranti – To Brighter Days

Makar Sankranti 2012 Greetings drawn by Chitra Ulhas Nayak pics by Arun Shanbhag

Praise be to Surya, the Sun God
As he starts his Northerly trek

Grace us with Warmth and Light

Happy Sankranti to All!

Continue reading “Makar Sankranti – To Brighter Days”

Dussehra: Glory to Durga Devi 2011

Durga Devi preparation, Mumbai 2011 by Arun Shanbhag

Shristhī-sthīthī-laya kārinī
Cause of this creation, sustenance & dissolution

Wishing you all a Wonderful Dassara.
M&M & A

Continue reading “Dussehra: Glory to Durga Devi 2011”

Wedding Rangoli

Rangoli - Shubh Vivah (Congratulations for an auspicious wedding) by Arun Shanbhag
Shubh Vivah = Congratulations for an auspicious Wedding!
Saw this hand draw Rangoli outside a wedding hall in Pali, near Pune; approx. 6-7 ft across. The white is usually rice powder, which the birds and ants are expected to eat away. Spectacular, no?

Ganapati Visarjan: Wadala & Lalbaug cha Raja

GSB Muth Wadala Ganapati 2011 Amol Kamat
During the 11 days of Ganapati, the murthy is brought into our homes and the divine spirit invited to reside and bless us all. During these days, we treat Ganapati as a valued guest and shower him with the best of flowers, fruits and delicious foods. Friends and relatives visit in awe at the divine presence. At festivals end, we bid farewell and the material form is immersed into a water body so as not to soil it. Bidding farewell to our divine visitor is called visarjan. In villages, Ganapati is dunked in the home or community well, or nearby lake or river. In Mumbai, the murthys are carried with pomp and celebration, with much dancing to one of many beaches and immersed in the waters.
Continue reading “Ganapati Visarjan: Wadala & Lalbaug cha Raja”

Ganapati at the GSB Muth, Wadala

Ganapati at GSB Wadala by Arun Shanbhag

The GSB Wadala Muth Ganapati holds some of my fondest memories of sarvajanik (public) Ganapati. At 8 ft, it is not the largest of the Ganapatis, but certainly one of the most artistically excuted and ‘constant.’ Even though the artisans craft a new murthy from clay each year, this murthy has not changed one bit over the last three decades. The size is limited by the doorway to the hall where this Ganapati sits. The GSB Seva Mandal Ganapati contrarily, is built on and sits on a trolley which is covered under a huge outdoor tent. On visarjan day, the stage is dismantled and the trolley with the Ganapati is pulled out. The Wadala Ganapati is wheeled/carried out of the hall, placed on a trailer and taken to Shivaji Park for immersion.
Continue reading “Ganapati at the GSB Muth, Wadala”

Ganapati at GSB Seva Mandal

pictures of GSB Seva Mandal Ganapati 2011 2012 by Arun Shanbhag

The GSB Seva Mandal is one of the largest Sarvajanik (public) Ganapati celebrations in Mumbai. The murthy is 14 ft tall and all pujas ( devotional services) are performed in Sanskrit following traditions prescribed in ancient scriptures. See pics from our 2009 visit here.
Continue reading “Ganapati at GSB Seva Mandal”

Diwali: Madurai Meenakshi Temple

photos of Lighting Oil Lamps at the Meenakshi Temple Madurai by Arun Shanbhag
Lighting Oil Lamps at the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai

On this joyous Diwali,
Wishing you and all your loved ones
God’s amazing grace.

Coz, with it comes
Peace, Good Health and Success!

Happy Diwali
Meera, M & A


Continue reading “Diwali: Madurai Meenakshi Temple”

Video: Best of Mumbai Ganapati Street Dancing


Ganapati is a fabulous time for our extended family. At the end of five days of festivities, Ganapati Bappa is taken in a procession to Chowpatty for consigning to the waters. Behind the truck bearing the Ganapati, nephews, nieces, uncles, aunts, meera, friends and family, all walk or dance along. Enjoy the unique ishtyle of Mumbai street dancing!

See blog post on Meera’s Tolay-Bhaar, where Meera gets weighed in bananas, at the GSB Seva Mandal.


See my different Ganapati posts


Ganapati and Gauri Puja

Aarti of Ganapati Mumbai Arun Shanbhag

Na tatra suryo bhaati na chandra tarakam
nema vidhyuto bhanti kutoyamagnihi |
tameva bhantam anubhati sarvam
tasya bhasa sarvam idam vibhati ||

Sun cannot illumine him, nor the moon, nor the stars
Lightning cannot, much less this little flame I wave |
Verily, when he shines everything is illuminated
By his light alone all of us shine ||

~ Kathopanishad II v 15


Continue reading “Ganapati and Gauri Puja”

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