Why do Hindus Break Coconut in Ganesh Temples and Before Auspicious Events?



Breaking a coconut in Hindu temples – especially in temples dedicated to Lord Ganesha - and before auspicious events and new beginning is considered highly beneficial in Hinduism. The offering of a coconut is a common offering to a deity in Hindu religion and it is distributed later as ‘prasad.’
The most important reason for offering coconut is that is the purest thing that a human being can offer to a deity. The water and the white kernel inside the coconut are the only unadulterated offering that a devotee makes to the Lord. It is not polluted as it remains covered by the hard outer shell until it is offered to the God.
Lord Ganesh is the deity invoked before any auspicious event or new beginning. Coconut is one of the most favorite foods of Ganesha. This is one reason why coconut is broken during housewarming, after the purchase of new vehicle etc.
Next, the breaking of coconut symbolizes the breaking of the ego. The coconut represents the human body and before the Lord it is shattered – breaking the ‘aham’ or ego and symbolically total surrendering and merging with the Brahman – supreme soul.
Coconut is also an important aspect in Kalasha or Poorna Kumba.
Apart from this there are numerous other symbolic meaning to the coconut. Most of them revolve around its appearance like the three eyes on the coconut represent the three eyes of Lord Shiva.
Related
Why do we wear tilak on forehead?