Symbolic Immersion

The origins of Ganesh Chaturthi started with the agrarian community bringing home a mould of soil from the river bank, worshipping it and then immersing it back to the river after the ritual. This ritual was to pay respect to earth and also to signify the cycle of creation and dissolution, acknowledging the fact that all things come from nature and go seamlessly back to it.

However as years passed, the mould of soil became the idol of Ganesha; the ritual remained but the message behind it was lost.

Instead of looking at immersion from a ritualistic point of view, we need to understand the thought behind it. Today knowing the harmful chemicals in the idols as well as colors, we need to make practical adjustments in the immersion practices.

We must opt for symbolic immersion,

  1. Instead of the actual Ganesh idol we could immerse a betel nut and pack away the idol for use the next year.
  2. Another way of immersion could be sprinkling a few drops of water on the idol and then wiping it off and keeping the idol for another year’s use.
  3. In case of metal idols we can immerse the idol in a tub or a bucket at home.

This way we do not lose touch with our culture and tradition but also preserve the environment.