The very first event of a Hindu wedding is the Ganesha Puja (Prayer to Lord Ganesha) to ask blessings for a smooth wedding without any obstacles. If you happen to attend an Indian marriage function then you’ll learn that traditional Indian weddings are incomplete without offering prayers to Lord Ganesha, the Elephant God of the Hindus. In all marriages, Ganesha Puja signals the start of the rest of the wedding rituals.
Let’s have a detailed look at the Ganesha Puja Indian Wedding tradition and learn why it is performed
Ganesha Puja is either held as a standalone puja a day before the marriage with only a close family in attendance or on the day of the wedding right before the marriage ceremony starts at the mandap. The puja (prayer) is offered for good luck as Lord Ganesha is believed to be the destroyer of Badhas or obstacles and evils.
After the groom and his baraat arrive at the wedding venue, he makes his way to the mandap to take his seat. Before the marriage ceremony begins, the pandit or priest invokes and honors this deity - known for his elephant head and the human body and the one who owns several powers - with a puja or worship ritual known as Ganesha Puja as a precursor to the nuptials about to be held. Ganesha is considered the patron of arts and sciences as well as the god of wisdom, intellect, and beginnings.
The Ganesha Puja usually involves both the bride and groom’s family along with the groom, who is seated at the mandap except for the bride who has not made her entry yet to the wedding mandap or taken her place. She is usually not present for this puja. Once the bride arrives at the mandap it is when the actual wedding ceremony starts. Family and close friends also gather around the venue to witness the puja.
It is a typically Indian tradition to offer praise and ask for blessings from Lord Ganesha (the remover of obstacles) before auspicious occasions. For the same reason, he is known as Vighna Vinashak. Moreover, Ganesha is the one God who is prayed before all others in any Hindu religious rites and ceremonies. Hence, in a Hindu wedding Ganesha Puja is performed for good luck to be bestowed onto the couple and their families, so that whatever obstacles that may arise during the ceremony will be destroyed. The puja ceremony prepares the to-be wedded couple for the matrimonial.
According to Hindu beliefs, worshipping Lord Ganesha before marriage brings prosperity to a married couple’s life. It leads to a prosperous life full of wisdom and positivity.
Now that you already know Lord Ganesha is the Hindu God of prime importance, a lot of things planning goes into the preparation and decoration of a Ganesha Puja. Some of the most important things that you’ll spot in a Ganesha Puja are as follows: