Amritapuri ashram welcomes all to the annual Ganesha Festival. Ganesha will be installed on the auspicious Vinayaka Chaturthi Day (September 2), followed by Gaja Puja at the Ashram Main Hall (September 2, 8.30am). Everyday evening Ganesha Bhajans and Arati will be performed to the murti at Kalari and finally would be immersed in the ocean on September 8, 3pm. One of the most anticipated and lively festivals in India, Sri Ganesha Chaturthi is dedicated to the beloved elephant-headed god, Ganesha. Worshipped throughout the world wherever large Indian populations are found, the fervent devotion and colorful celebrations which attend this festival reveal just how vital Ganesha is to the spiritual heartbeat of India. Traditionally held to be Ganesha’s birthday, the Chaturthi day itself falls on the 4th day of the bright fortnight of Bhadrapada* (August-September). Then it is proceded over a week of pujas, bhajans, and cultural programs. A clay idol of Ganesha is made and worshipped on all of the festival days with prayers and devotional songs. The festivities culminate with the Ganesha Visarjan, where the idol is carried in a procession to the sea, river, or other large bodies of water, to be ceremonially immersed. The symbolism of this immersion ceremony reveals that at the heart of the worship of different deities there remains the profound understanding that all forms are temporary, having both their origin and final destination in the formless Absolute.