At AVM, we welcomed Gajj Mukhi Shri Gajanana (the elephant headed God Ganpati) with the chanting of slogans on the beat of drums and khanjari, Ganpati Bapa Morya, Mangal Murti Morya, Ghee na Laddu Choriya, Aale re Aale Ganpati Aale… and students dancing ahead followed by Lord Ganesh on the chariot drawn by our housemasters and sports teachers till the steps of Atmiya Prayer Hall where the Idol was welcomed by the ladies staff performing Tilak vidhi and sprinkling Akshat and Flowers inviting Lord Ganesha with the slogan “RIddhi Siddhi sahit padharo Shri Gaurinandan Ganesh”.
For the next five days, Aarti and Poojan was performed as per rituals and the students made the most of this auspicious opportunity of praying to the Lord of Wisdom and Prosperity. During the five days festive period, they observed the idol of Lord Ganesha as: Big Head being referred to thinking big; Small Eyes to concentrating well; Large Ears to be a good listener; Large Stomach to peacefully digest (accept) the good and the bad in life; His vahana (vehicle He rides), mouse, (whose desires are endless), that should be controlled and driven by us rather than the desires driving us. The students learned the significance of being an Ideal son.
On the fifth day, with mixed feelings of joy and some sadness, the students and staff celebrated the farewell of Lord Ganesha to His heavenly abode with the students loudly chanting slogans. The procession started from the footsteps of the Prayer Hall, going around the Pavitra hostel, then taking a round from the dining hall to the senior school building and finally to the front of the Admin building where everyone danced around the Idol and prayed to Lord Ganesha to be with them and help fight any obstacles coming in their way. Everyone waved a final goodbye to Lord Ganesha and from there on, some teachers and housemasters accompanied the chariot towards the banks of the holy river Tapi, where the Idol was immersed in the river chanting prayers to the son of the Aadi Dev.
गणपती बाप्पा मोरया ! पुढच्या वर्षी लवकर या !
[Oh Lord Ganesh, please come back early next year]