Why do we offer coconuts in temples?
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In this post, let us understand the reason behind one of the most common practice in Hinduism, breaking coconuts. It is a maiden ritual to begin any propitious task or a journey. People break coconuts with the intention to gain God Ganesha’s favor as this auspicious fruit-coconut is God Ganesha’s favorite food. This is one of the reasons why people break coconuts during the purchase of new vehicles, house warming function and for all auspicious events. They also break coconuts in front of the deities or temples to fulfill their vows. In the end, the priests will distribute it as Prasaada (holy gift) to the devotees. One of the reasons behind choosing coconut as a fruit for this ritual is for its purity, coconut as a fruit is in its purest form. The outer cover (hard shell) protects the white kernel and the water inside the fruit keeps it unadulterated.
A coconut is also compared to the head of a human being. The coconut is smashed to represent the breaking of ego. Every part of the coconut tree depicts selfless service –the leaves, coir, fruit, trunk etc. The marks on the coconut also symbolizes as the eyes of God Shiva, it is believed to fulfill our wishes. The tradition of conducting an “abishekha” ritual in all the temples and homes require variety of materials. The deities are offered with materials like sandal paste, holy ash, honey, milk, curd, tender coconut water etc. Every material has a particular benefits when offered to deities, including the worshipers.
For the worlds largest listing of Ganesha temples, visit Ishta Devata – Ganesh
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