“Vakratunda Mahaakaaya Suryakotee Sama Prabha,
Nirvighnam kuru mey Deva, Sarva kaaryeshu Sarvadaa”
Lord Ganesh, the elephant headed God, the son of Shiva and Parvati, invoked at every beginning and every start.
He is the god of Prosperity, Fortune and Wisdom and today is his day. He rides on his vehicle, a mouse, and is well known for fulfilling the wishes and desires of his devotees. Ganesh Chaturthi or Ganeshotsava aka ‘Vinayak Chaturthi’, is a great Ganesha festival. It is the spiritual and joyful journey of 10 days, which is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha in the Bhaadrapada month of Hindu Calendar.
This festival of Ganpati Bappa got major exposure by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaja, the great Maratha ruler, who promoted this festival in order to promote culture and nationalism. Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, played a major role in its revival too; he promoted and encouraged Ganesh Chaturthi in order to spread the message of freedom struggle and to defy the Britishers who had banned public assemblies. In addition to celebration across the whole country, it is marked as a full day celebration in the calendars of houses even outside India. The grandest festivity can be witnessed in the western state of Maharashtra where this ‘utsav’ lasts for 10 days, ending on the day of ‘Ananta Chaturdashi’.
This huge festival starts with the Pranpratishtha (installation) of beautifully designed and decorated idols of Ganesha, made of Plaster of Paris or clay, with chanting of mantras. The idols may vary in size, suitable for both, houses and community Pandals. The pandals are specially decorated for this festival. And for the next 10 days, there is a joyful sequence of Ganesh Vandana, Aarti and Puja, done both in morning and evening. The most popular sweet dish during this festival includes the modak (A dumpling prepared from rice or wheat flour stuffed with fresh or dry-grated coconut, jaggery, dry fruits and other condiments).These Modaks or Modakam are either steam-cooked or fried. Another popular sweet dish includes Karanji which is quite similar to the modak in taste but it has a semicircular shape.
Photo Courtesy : Chakali.blogspot.in
On the 11th day, the Ganesh Murti is taken to a river, lake, sea or pond for submersion, amongst a huge crowd of merry people, singing, dancing and chanting all together; “Ganpati Bappa Morya, Agle Baras Tu Jaldi Aaa”. This event of utmost enthusiasm, merry making and bidding farewell to the Lord is called Visarjan, which is a symbol of Ganesh Ji taking all the sins,pain and mistakes of his devotees with him.
Stay connected for regular updates of Ganesh Chaturthi in udaipur.
A Symbol Of Wisdom and A Bringer of Good Luck who remains with us everyday in all parts of our existence, whether it’s an occasion, merriment, Good or Bad. He is ourTrue Almighty Guardian. Everyone of us lovesone of the most admired LORD GANESH also known as Avneesh (Lord of the whole world ), Gajanana (Elephant-Faced lord ), Ganpati (Lord of all Gods), Lambodar (The huge bellied lord), Shubhan(All auspicious lord ) , Siddhidata (Bestowed of success and accomplishments ), Vignaharta (Demolisher of obstacles), Vinayaka (Lord of all) and many more with a total of 108 names. Devotees of Ganesh are known as ‘Ganapatyas’, and the festival to celebrate and glorify him is called Ganesh Chaturthi.
Story behind the birth of Lord Ganesh:
Goddess PARVATI wanted Lord SHIVA to father a child. But Lord SHIVA refused it. An exasperated PARVATI created a child of her own. The child was called GANESH. PARVATI asked her son to guard the entrance to her bath and not let anyone in. GANESH obeyed, blocking even SHIVA’s entry, not knowing he was his mother’s consort. An otherwise detached SHIVA lost his cool, raised his trident and beheaded and stubborn lad. PARVATI was inconsolable in her grief and threatened to transform from gouri, the life-giving goddess, to kali, the life making goddess, if her son was not resurrected. SHIVA therefore ordered his followers, the ganas, to fetch him the head of the first living being they encountered. They brought back the head of an elephant, which SHIVA placed on the severed neck of PARVATI’s son and restored him to life. By giving him life, SHIVA became the boy’s Father. He Acknowledge his fatherhood by naming the lad Ganpati, Lord of Ganas.
Vinayaka stirs emotions of jealousy in SHIVA, and provokes him into violence. The action leads to reaction a series of events which culminates in the beheading of the child. PARVATI’s fury at the death of her child forces SHIVA to act. When he resurrects her creation and appoints him leader of his followers, he consciously becomes father and thus part of the material world. The resurrected Ganpati with a body created by the goddess and ahead given by God represents the transformation of SHIVA the hermit into SHIVA the householder.
So GANESH is the scholar son of SHIVA. Ganesh is born from PARVATI’s body. Ganesh is associated with feminine symbols like water, elephant, serpents and banana plant. Ganpati is rasa. Through this son of Shakti as PARVATI is known for, the grace of god (SHIVA) and goddess (PARVATI) reaches humanity. GANESH is full of wealth and wisdom. GANESH is scribe of Rishis.
The choice of an elephant’s head for GANESHA is interesting. In Hindu Symbolism, The elephant is the symbol of material abundance. Indra, King of the gods, rides an elephant. Elephants flank LAKSHMI (The goddess of Wealth and Prosperity). SHIVA, who rejects material pleasures, is described as Gajantaka- he who flays the elephant and uses its thick skin as his upper garment. By using the elephant’s head to resurrect the child of his consort, SHIVA in effect demonstrates his participation in the world of rasa. He uses the power of tapa to bring to life the child he killed.
GANPATI’s head represents tapa; his body represents Rasa. He reconciles God and Goddess. He becomes the doorway through which SHIVA enters World.
GANESHA has an elephant’s head, a corpulent body and a serpent tied round his stomach. Elephant pot belly and serpent are material symbols. That the upper part of his body is created by SHIVA and the lower part by Shakti makes him a luminal deity who brings together God and Goddess, Soul and substance, spiritual bliss and material delights. GANESHA is the lord of thresholds, sitting between yoga and bhoga, discipline and indulgence, monastic orders and fertility rites, Vedic speculation and Tantrik rituals. In some scriptures, Riddhi and Siddhi, Wealth and Wisdom, are his wives. Subha and Labha auspiciousness and profit are his sons. Santoshi, Satisfaction is his daughter. His rat represents the unmanageable, stubborn problems of like that he keeps at bay. GANESHA is thus the god of the present, sitting between the past and the future, removing all obstacles, ensuring the realization of every dream.
GANESH is the First lord according to Tantra. Tantra seeks the truth through the goddess. GANESH is lord of First Chakra. Since the participation of SHIVA is necessary to create GANESH, the first flower of Tantra blooms only after the first contact with SHIVA, the realization that life is not just the outer ever-changing world perceived by that senses; there is more, within, unchanging and still, beyond the reach of the senses.
The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with impressive processions, lots of sweets and huge idols of Lord Ganesh in our Udaipur City. The Preparations for Ganesh Utsav starts many days before the Ganesh Chaturthi clay idols of Ganesh in varying sizes are made and sold. These idols are purchased and brought up home by the city people on the day before Ganesh Chaturthi, which is also the day of Hartalik (when women keep fast and invoke the blessings of goddess Parvati, who is Ganesh’s mother). There are numerous other GANESH festivals that are celebrated in the Temple premises but one of them which is most prominent is the Ganesh Chaturthi celebration. It is celebrated during the month of Magh known as Maghi Ganesh Utsav (the birth month of Ganesh). Ganesh Chaturthi falls on the fourth day of the Hindu month of Bhadrapada (around August-September) so for this year 2010 it is on 11 September. The festival as always will be celebrated in the major temple Bohra Ganesh Ji including various Ganesh temples of the Udaipur City. All the Arrangements and Preparations are over and hence Festival will be celebrated today in the city premises as always there will be a Fair at Bohra Ganesh Ji temple together with many sorts of custom and entertaining proceedings. Ganesh Chaturthi is glowingly celebrated in all the parts of city with full liveliness and sacredness.
ANANT CHATURTHI (a.k.a Anant Chaturdashi) is the last day of the “Ganesh festival”. On the day of Anant Chaturdashi, the idols of Lord GANESH installed at home and various “Mandaps” (a.k.a display places) are taken to the nearby Lakes of the City like Pichola or to the ghats like Gangaur Ghat in great procession with slogans like: “Agle Baras tu Jaldi aa”(Come Soon Next Year) etc. On this day, people travel to the water front with the idols, big or small, dancing and singing in large procession. The 10 day long festival comes to an end after the immersion ceremony is over.
One should always recite the most prominent mantras dedicated to GANESH (as follows):
“Vakratunda Mahaakaaya Suryakotee Sama Prabha,
Nirvighnam kuru mey Deva, Sarva kaaryeshu Sarvadaa”
Which contains the names of Lord GANESHA with its Meanings:
Ø Vakratunda curved trunk
Ø Mahakaaya large bodied
Ø Surya kotee million suns
Ø Sama Prabha with the brilliance of
Ø Nirvighnam free of obstacles
Ø Kuru Make
Ø Mey My
Ø Deva Lord
Ø Sarva Kaaryeshu in all work
Ø Sarvada always.
May Lord GANESH of Large body, curved trunk, with the brilliance of a million suns, make all our work free of obstacles always..
Have a great weekend through enchanting celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi with loads of Sweets and Blessings of Lord Ganesh.
Ganpati Bappa Morya !!!
Author’s Note: Here I shared a note on mystery behind the birth of Lord GANESHA, and his powers. Hope you all will like this. I shared this with you, by my little knowledge of reading Vedic Grantham and other sources. I tried my level best to share the acknowledged information in an appropriate manner but still in case someone finds any imprecision please do share.