Ganesha Procession for immersion

Today, Saturday, on the third day to the grand Ganesh Chaturthi festival, scores of Ganeshas were taken out in a procession to the Sanctum Sanctorum in Sai Kulwant Hall before retreating for the immersion ceremony, marking the culmination of the grant religious extravaganza that gripped Prasanthi Nilayam for the past three days.

The procession that started from various Prasanthi locations, mainly from the hostels of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning and Schools arrived at the venue, Sai Kulwant Hall at 1610 hrs. By the entry of the last entrant, it was time for Vedam to begin. Shortly after Veda chanting began, the processionists moved forward, towards the Sanctum Sanctorum, going for a circumambulation of the Mandir.

The fleet of Ganeshas were arrayed, all in varied fanciful shapes and decor, colourfully adorned, ready to salute the Lord, Beloved Bhagawan in the Sanctum Sanctorum. The fleet that stretched from the Yajur Mandiram end to the East Prasanthi end, further projecting towards the south from both the ends, contained twenty-five Ganeshas representating hostels mainly, and various other sister institutions of Prasanthi.

After the circumambulation, that took fifteen minutes, the students from the Higher Secondary School presented a ceremonial dance, invoking Ganesha to come back next year.

Soon it was time for the Ganeshas to retreat. As one after one each batch brought its respective Ganesha to the Sanctum Sanctorum, the Chief Priest offered Mangala Arathi to each individual Ganesha before The Lord retreated towards the immersion ghat. The whole procession concluded at 1715 hrs. Throughout the session, Sai Kulwant Hall was resounding in loud chanting and bhajans as the colourful pageantry of Ganesha ruled the roost for the entire session.

This is the occasion when Prasanthi showcases Ganeshas in varied theme, displaying colourful innovative ideas with the enthusiastic devoted bunch of students putting their best to impress upon The Over Lord of Prasanthi. This year too, like previous years, the procession had all the variety of craftsmanship, representing greater spiritual truths of yore to modern innovative ideas. Some of them were the Phoenix Bird Ganesha, Garuda Vahana Ganesha, Helicopter Ganesha, Swan Ganesha by the tiny tots from the Primary School, Garden Ganesha by the tiny tots of Smt. Easwaramma English Medium School, Butterfly Ganesha etc…The whole programme was compered by the students detailing structures and their, inner significance.

Bhajans continued for the next 45 minutes and Mangala Arathi was offered at 1800 hrs. Prasadam was distributed to the entire assemblage.

Earlier the hostel set of Ganeshas, that formed the crux of the contingent, were taken out half-an-hour in advance. Enthusiastic batches of students in colourful attire, chanting in loud with devotional exuberance assisted by musical paraphernalia led the procession.