Why do we immerse idols?

Its Ganesh Chaturthi. Time for offering prayers to Lord Ganesha. And very soon there would be Ganesh Visarjan, where we immerse the same Lord Ganesha in a water body. The same is done with Godess Durga in Dussera, Godess Laxmi in Diwali.

Since this being a question relating to faiths, am sure i’ll find divers explanations to this question. Here are a few that I found on different sites (this and this)

In Hindu books it is mentioned that after the Puja is completed the idols should be immersed in water unless you worship a God in the form of an idol in a temple, there daily Pujas etc. are performed. It is called Visarjan. At the beginning of Puja the Lord is invoked by chanting mantras and if you wish to keep the idols for more number of days you have to offer special daily Pujas offer Naivediams, etc. as per the custom. this is one reason for immersing the idols in the nearest water body (all rivers, lakes and the sea which are sacred to Hindus).

Clay and water is mixed to give form to the formlessness. Each person brings Ganesha in clay idol form into the home. This is the Supreme Being arriving at home. After the celebrations, it is time to accept the eternal cosmic law that which took form has to become formless again. It is a never ending cycle (Chakra).

The formlessness giving way to form and then moving again towards formlessness. Each year Ganesha arrives to teach us that forms change but the Supreme Truth remains the same. Body perishes but Brahman residing in it remains constant.

Which explanation would I accept is immaterial, but am sure that there are people to support both of these explanations.

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