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Lord Ganesha's Favorite Flowers: Significance and Symbolism

Lord Ganesha's Favorite Flowers: Significance and Symbolism

Flowers play a significant role in Hindu rituals and ceremonies, especially in worship. They are not just decorative items; they are believed to possess divine qualities that can attract positive energies and please the heavenly deities. Every deity in Hinduism has their preferences, especially when it comes to the flowers offered during worship. In this blog, we delve into the favorite flowers of one of the most beloved and worshipped deities, Lord Ganesha.

What is the Favourite Flower of Lord Ganesha?

Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles and harbinger of success, is revered across India and beyond. His presence in homes and temples is often marked by colorful floral offerings that symbolize devotion and purity. But what exactly are Lord Ganesha's favorite flowers, and why are they significant?

Among the plethora of flowers used in worship, one flower stands out as his favorite – the hibiscus. Also known as Japakusuma in Sanskrit, the hibiscus is a beautiful, vibrant red flower that is specially offered to Lord Ganesha in order to seek his blessings.

The hibiscus flower is not just visually appealing; it also carries a deep symbolic meaning. Its bright red petals are associated with Mars and the Moon, celestial bodies that are believed to have a strong influence on Lord Ganesha. Offering red flowers, particularly hibiscus, is believed to please Lord Ganesha and invoke his blessings for prosperity and success. The hibiscus flower is also associated with health benefits, as many people consume hibiscus powder for its medicinal properties, especially for heart health.

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Other Favorite Flowers of Lord Ganesha

In addition to hibiscus, there are several other flowers that are offered to Lord Ganesha during the pooja rites.

  1. Kunda (Downy Jasmine): Kunda is offered to promote family togetherness. It is also known as Nithya mulai and can be seen blooming all year round. You’d often find people referring to it as star jasmine, which is a prevalent landscape plant used in foundation plantings. Its pure white star-shaped blooms and lovely fragrance make it the favorite of all.
Kunda (Downy Jasmine
  1. Gokarna (Clitoria Ternatea): Gokarna is offered to Ganesha to seek blessings for early marriage. This flower is also known as the Asian pigeonwing, butterfly pea, and blue pea. Its vibrant deep blue blooms with faint golden lines make it a visually striking flower. It grows well as a vine or creeper in damp, neutral soil and is also used for food, medicine, dye, and animal feed.
Gokarna (Clitoria Ternatea)
  1. Marigold: Lord Ganesha loves the yellow saffron Marigold (Genda) flower, despite the generally offered red flowers. Offering this flower is a tradition believed to bring good health. Marigolds are durable, colorful, and easy-to-grow plants, making them a popular choice for festivals and decorations. They are also used in various pujas for their vibrant color and pleasant fragrance.
  1. Sevanthi (Chrysanthemum): Sevanthi flowers are offered to banish evil eyes and the negative effects of negative energies. These small yellow flowers bloom in late summer, fall, and early winter, coinciding with shorter days. Chrysanthemums are also used to treat various ailments like angina, high blood pressure, fever, cold, headache, dizziness, and edema.
Sevanthi (Chrysanthemum)
  1. Parijatha (Coral Jasmine): Parijatha, also known as Harsingar, is offered for the success of youngsters in life. Its blooms are known for falling to the ground after blossoming, creating a mystical sight. Parijat flowers have a distinct aroma and are considered heavenly flowers. They are also used as medicinal plant and as an attractive flower in various regions of India.
Parijatha (Coral Jasmine)
  1. Arali (Oleander): Arali flowers, despite being toxic, are commonly used in poojas for their fragrance and beautiful appearance. They are grown as evergreen shrubs and can reach heights of 18-20 feet. Oleanders bloom in clusters of single or double flowers from early summer to mid-autumn. Despite the risks, oleander seeds and leaves are used in medication production.
Arali (Oleander)

Each of these flowers holds a deep significance in Hindu mythology and is believed to possess qualities that please Lord Ganesha. Offering these flowers with devotion and sincerity is believed to attract his blessings and remove obstacles from one's life.

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The hibiscus flower holds a special place in the worship of Lord Ganesha as his favorite flower. However, other flowers like Kunda, Gokarna, Marigold, Sevanthi, Parijatha, and Arali are also offered to please him and seek his blessings. Each of these flowers carries deep symbolic meaning and is believed to possess divine qualities that can uplift the spiritual atmosphere of spiritual ceremonies. By understanding the significance of these flowers, devotees can deepen their connection with Lord Ganesha and experience the joy and blessings that come from worshipping him with devotion.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q. Which red flower is used for Ganesha?
A. Hibiscus, a beautiful bright red flower is used for Ganesha.
Q. What is Laxmi's favorite flower?
A. Lotus is Goddess Laxmi’s favorite flower. You can often find her depicted sitting on a lotus flower.
Q. Which leaf is used for Ganesha?
A. Betel (paan) and durva leaves are offered to Ganesha during different pooja rituals.
Q. Which flower is not used for Ganesh puja?
A. Offering Tulsi to Lord Ganesha is strictly prohibited during puja rites because of the shared revile between the two.
Q. Why no Tulsi for Ganesh?
A. Tulsi is not offered to Ganesha due to a mutual curse between them. Tulsi, the daughter of Dharmaraja (the God of righteousness), was once a devout follower of Narayana (Lord Vishnu). While wandering along the banks of the Ganges, she encountered the handsome Ganesha, who was deeply devoted to Lord Vishnu.
Tulsi immediately fell in love with Ganesha and wished to marry him. However, Ganesha, being a celibate (brahmachari) at that time, politely refused her proposal. This rejection deeply hurt Tulsi, leading her to curse Ganesha, saying that he would one day marry against his will.
In response, Ganesha cursed Tulsi, stating that she would marry a demon and then be transformed into a plant through the blessings of the sages or gods.

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