Ganesha Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chaturthi is a most important religious festival that most widely celebrated in India. Ganesh Chaturthi festival is celebrated on the birthday of Lord Ganesha. Lord Ganesh is specifically known for his special elephant head. He is known by 108 names, in that the most widely used names are Ganesha, Ganapathy, Vinayaka, Pillaiyar and Gaja mugan (elephant face). Ganesh Chaturthi festival is celebrated in most of the states in India. Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh celebrates the festival with extreme devotion. Normally, they celebrate it for 10 days. Most of the ceremonies and functions are started after honoring him only because he is known as the god of beginnings. Even in the wedding cards, his image is placed in the top corner or top center. He is also known as Vigna Kartha (creates an obstacle to bad), Vigna Hartha (removes the obstacle to good).
Ganesha chaturthi celebrations in Mumbai
History of Ganesha birth
Before getting into this we need to have an understanding of some characters like Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvathi, Deva, Rakshasa and Gana's
Hinduism deities include Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. The three principles of the deities are Creates, protect, Transform or destroy. Brahma is known as the creator, Vishnu is known as the protector, and Shiva is known as destroyer or who is capable transforming the universe.
Parvathi is the wife of Shiva and the who created Ganesha. Parvathi is also known as Sakthi (Power of Goddess). Parvathi is the wife of Shiva and the who created Ganesha. Parvathi is also known as Sakthi (Power of Goddess).
In Hinduism Deva represents the good. Deva means divine, healthy and peaceful beings who do good for people.
Rakshasa or Asuras
Rakshasas are malignant demons. They destroy everything, they are the threat to the peaceful life.
In Hinduism, Gana means a troop and attendants of Lord Shiva. They usually live in Kailash mountain. These are the major characters in the history of Lord Ganesha birth story.
There are two different versions of stories are there about the birth of Ganesha. Out of this, the most believed story is that goddess Parvathy Devi created Ganesha by using dirt, clay and sandalwood paste. She created Ganesha to guard her while taking bath in the absence of Lord Shiva. When Shiva returned, Ganesha stopped Shiva from entering. Both were not aware of each other. Shiva got angry and cut off the head of Ganesh in the battle between them. When Goddess Parvathi came to know about the incident, she overwhelmed to Lord Shiva. Then Shiva realized the mistake that he had done. He ordered attendants (Gana’s) to bring the head of the first creature that they saw in their search.
The Gana’s returned with the elephant head that was the first creature they saw in their search. Shiva fixed the head to Ganesha's body and restored his life. All this thigs have happened during the fourth day of Bhadrapada month on Hindu's calendar. This day falls between August and September in Gregorian calendar, so this day is celebrated as Ganesha chavithi.
The other story is like Shiva and Parvathi created Ganesha based on the request of the deva to create an obstacle to the malignant demons(rakshasa).
Even though the Ganesh Chathurthi had been celebrated from ancient days, this turned into a community festival from the private family festival on 1893 by Lokmanya Tilak who is the freedom fighter and social reformer under the kingdom of Chatrapati Shivaji. The king asked to do public celebration to promote the culture and cohesiveness among the people.
Ganesha Chathurthi Celebrations
Ganesha Chaturthi is a holiday in many states such as Andhra, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Orissa, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh. Among these states, Maharashtra celebrated Ganesha chathurthi with extreme devotion, because Maharashtra is the origin of this celebrations. They celebrate it for 10 days. Almost every households in Maharashtra, place a new small idol of Ganapathi on their home.
Making of Small Ganesha idol from clay
They kept that idol for 10 days and do a proper pooja’s and rituals, on all these days. They perform pooja on every morning and evening at a good time (Shubh time [Hindi], Nalla neram[Tamil] ). Similarly, the devotees and people of the specific area jointly place a big and decorated Ganesh idol under a temporary roof for 10 days at temple premises or nearer to temple. Earlier days the idols were made by clay and Gypsum. Nowadays, due to environment problems and legal regulations idols are created by using clay alone. After the pooja, they offer a rice flour dumbling(Kozhu kattai) to Ganesha. The preparations and the way of doing the pooja get differ from place to place.
On the last day, people celebrate the festival with the extreme devotion and joy. There will be an orchestra, where the people sing Ganapathy songs, dance and play the musical instruments. On the 11th day, they take the idol through the streets and they do chorus chant and sing the GANAPATHI PAPPA MORIA” song. People splash color powder and color water on each other. The sound of their chant breaks the sky. They also play a song, musical instruments and perform a dance in front of the Ganesh ideal. At the end of the celebrations, they immerse the idol in river, ponds, lakes or some nearer water bodies.
Why We immerse Ganesha idols in water bodies?
There are lots of reason behind this process. As per the Hindu rituals, the things created in this world need to be destructed after a time period. This teaches that nothing in the world is permanent. It explains the natural life cycle.
Another reason is that as per Hindu rituals, water bodies plays the biggest role in helping people to get moksha (purification of the soul). This purification happened by performing prayers and custom rituals. People believed that the prayers performed to the idols for 10 days can purify the water. ex: Ganga river.
Another reason is that, while performing the prayers to Ganapathy idols, people use turmeric, sandal. And other natural herbs. So, while submerging the idol in water, this would purify the water and gives the holy power to the water. These herbs help the people and aquatic animals to get a healthy.
Another scientific reason is, clay has the power to absorb the water, so by submerging the idols into the water bodies, it absorbs the water and settled into the ground. This helps to preserve the freshwater before getting into the sea.
This is the last process of the Ganesha Chavithi. I hope this page is useful to you. If you have any suggestions please provide it in the comment box. You can also share your post with us.
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Happy Ganesha Chaturthi.
GANAPATHI PAPA MORYA… MANGAL MURTI MORYA…