26 Sep 2011-QA-3

Guruji, please explain the significance of Ganesh Visarjan.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

See divinity is all over the place, in every particle of creation. But sometime a devotee wants to play with the divine. So from the mud he makes a form. Ganesh is formless, but we would like to play with him in a form. So we make a form and invoke him telling ‘Ganapati, though you are everywhere I would like to offer my gratitude to you by offering sweets, by offering all that you offer to me; flowers, fruits. You take sun and moon around me and I take a little camphor around you. So all that you gave me, I offer back to you.’
With this intense feeling pooja is done. Thanksgiving is done expressing one’s gratitude to Ganapati. And in the end say, ‘you have come from my heart and you will get back into my heart.’ Like that, saying that, Ganapati, the idol you leave it in the ocean or in the water, from where you took it. The Visarjan is for you to understand that Ganapati is not just in the idol. He has come from your heart into the idol. The prana has come there and then the prana gets back into you after fulfilling your desires. Putting forth your desires in front of Ganapati you then say, ‘Ganapati you are back in my heart.’ Then you leave that idol in the water.