Ganesh Chaturthi

Posted by on Aug 28, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh :  “Gan” stands for troops and “eish” stads for lord/leader.  Ganesh actually means “leader of all”. One can also see this as the lord of all the groups of atoms & energies.

Lord Shiva is the ultimate god & hence his son represents a person who has attained spirituality & enlightenment.

Significance of origin of Ganesh

We all know the story of origin of Ganesh. When Parvati was celebrating with Shiva, she got the dirt on her. When she removed the dirt from her body, Ganesh was born. Then she went on to bathe, to removed left out dirt, and asked Ganesh to guard the entrance of the cave. When Shiva returned, he refused to allow Shiva to enter the cave, thus enraging Shiva. It resulted in Shiva chopping off his head, which was then revived by putting an elephant’s head instead (Parvati when asked Shiva to revive his son, Shiva instructed his disciples to go and find head of someone who was pointing north, and only this Elephant’s head was found).

 How Parvati got dirt on her body? Why omnipresent Shiva could not recognize his own son? Shiva is known for peace, why did he then get enraged? Why elephant’s head was placed?

Parvati, symbol of energy, got overexcited due to the celebration (“rajasik tatva” enhanced) which led to dirt on her body. Dirt signifies ignorance, whereas Shiva signifies knowledge. Ganesh hinders Shiva’s entrance signifying ignorance obstructs entrance of knowledge. Knowledge then overcomes ignorance signified by Shiva chucking off Ganesh’s head.

And now why elephant’s head?

Elephants travel & live in groups. Scientists have proved that they share emotions just like humans. Elephants are known for their wisdom & effortlessness. They don’t walk in obstacles, instead just remove the hindrance in their path effortlessly and move ahead.

As stated in Mudgal purana, Ganesh’s elephantine head and human body have a specific significance.

Ganesh’s head is symbol of soul whereas his body is symbol of earthly things. Also the amalgamation of his body (head of animal & body of human) specifies the unity between human kingdom and animal kingdom.

This form unites humanity & rest of the world. This is the true meaning of devotion – uniting individuals.

Significance of each part of Ganesh

Big head denotes wisdom (enlightenment) which is gained by listening to lots of spiritual knowledge. For listening to different ideas & opinions (Vedas) to gain the knowledge one needs to have big ears. Also one should speak less & listen more to gain wisdom, which is signified by small mouth. Elephant small eyes are said to have deception (things appear to be much bigger than they normally are).One should always see others as higher than themselves i.e. surrendering pride & rendering humility.

The elephant’s trunk can displace a tree and can also displace a needle. One should be able to face the ups & downs of the nature as represented by trunk. Once the knowledge is gained the person develops an intellect whereas he can differentiate between right & wrong, can have a clear thinking, away from prejudice & preconceived notions, thus leading to trunk (which signifies OM).

The four arms indicate lord is omnipresent. Left side indicates emotion & right indicates reason. An axe in upper left & lotus in upper right signify to attain spiritualism one should cut off worldly attachments & win over emotions. Lotus sustains its be05auty in marsh land similarly a person should retain his integrity in this world. Lower right hand in blessing mode denotes one should always give endlessly & a tray of sweets near denotes the wealth & prosperity which one gets after enlightenment.

One of the main characteristics of the people who have attained the knowledge is that to reach to this position they have to sacrifice a lot. This is denoted by the broken tusk. The two tusks refer to the intellectual (right tusk) & emotional (left tusk) part of human, where intellectual should always be higher than emotion is also represented by broken tusk. The big belly specifies that the human body should be capable of digesting all the positivity & negativities of life.

A mouse signifies ego which is capable of the nibbling all the good in person. A mouse sitting near the feet signifies that a learned person conquers his ego. A mouse gazing at sweets but not consuming them signifies that controlled ego can live in the world without being effected by worldly temptations. Right foot dangling over left foot (right part signifying intellect & left signifying emotion) denotes that one should always utilize intellect to overcome emotions.

 Process of worship 

On Ganesh Chaturthi, the idol of Ganesh made of clay is brought in the home with outburst of joy & excitement. We establish the positivity in our hearts. We offer him lots of love & devotion, mound the idol above the ground, and pray to it to bestow us with his true qualities of wisdom & wealth & take away all the negativities.

Everyday prayer is done with offerings of turmeric, sandalwood, kumkum, durva (grass) & modak (steamed sweet made of jaggery, rice & coconut). Turmeric, sandalwood & kumkum have medicinal effects on our body (turmeric being an antiseptic & sandalwood & kumkum being coolants). Grass is known to strengthen ones memory. Modak being steamed is good for health.

This everyday process of prayer is specific to each person. It is defined as “darshan” (knowing innerself) and not the “pradarshan” (display of our egos). That is why it is the effort which one puts is given importance then the way the prayers are offered.

Visarjan of the Idol

On the day of the Ananth chaturdashi, the idol established, is given back to the nature i.e. immersed in the river. It is the way of giving back the love to the nature (in the form of love we give to the idol). Idea behind the process is that which comes from nature should be returned to the nature.

Special Custom associated with moon

There is custom of not looking the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi. Legend from Mudgal Purana states that once when Ganesh had too much sweet from his worshippers, in order to digest it, he decided to go for a ride. While he was travelling on his vehicle Mushak, due to overweight Mushak lost balance & Ganesh fell down. Watching this Chandra (moon) started laughing. Thus Ganesh got angry and cursed moon that from now onwards whoever sees you will lose his glory. Moon, realizing his mistake, apologized. At which Ganesh said, that this practice would be prevalent only during Ganesh Chaturthi.

Legend of the festival – Ganesh Chaturthi

This festival is celebrated throughout India to promote nationalism & integration amongst people. It holds its roots long back during Chatrapati Shivaji’s time. But it lost its essence in mid, and was revived again by Lokmanya Tilak to reinvigorate the spirit of equality in people. The festival was made public; the establishment of the statue in the public ground was taken as a forum to give speeches to inspire people against western rule. Also the public celebration was taken as the base for uniting groups of Brahmins & Non-Brahmins, lower & upper class, as all of them celebrated & prayed under the same Pandal.

 Have you ever recited Ganesh Chalisa?

जय गणपति सदगुणसदन, कविवर बदन कृपाल। विघ्न हरण मंगल करण, जय जय गिरिजालाल॥
जय जय जय गणपति गणराजू।मंगल भरण करण शुभ काजू ॥
जै गजबदन सदन सुखदाता। विश्व विनायक बुद्घि विधाता॥
वक्र तुण्ड शुचि शुण्ड सुहावन। तिलक त्रिपुण्ड भाल मन भावन॥
राजत मणि मुक्तन उर माला। स्वर्ण मुकुट शिर नयन विशाला॥
पुस्तक पाणि कुठार त्रिशूलं । मोदक भोग सुगन्धित फूलं ॥
सुन्दर पीताम्बर तन साजित । चरण पादुका मुनि मन राजित ॥
धनि शिवसुवन षडानन भ्राता । गौरी ललन विश्वविख्याता ॥
ऋद्घिसिद्घि तव चंवर सुधारे । मूषक वाहन सोहत द्घारे ॥
कहौ जन्म शुभकथा तुम्हारी । अति शुचि पावन मंगलकारी ॥
एक समय गिरिराज कुमारी । पुत्र हेतु तप कीन्हो भारी ॥
भयो यज्ञ जब पूर्ण अनूपा । तब पहुंच्यो तुम धरि द्घिज रुपा ॥
अतिथि जानि कै गौरि सुखारी । बहुविधि सेवा करी तुम्हारी ॥
अति प्रसन्न है तुम वर दीन्हा । मातु पुत्र हित जो तप कीन्हा ॥
मिलहि पुत्र तुहि, बुद्घि विशाला । बिना गर्भ धारण, यहि काला ॥
गणनायक, गुण ज्ञान निधाना । पूजित प्रथम, रुप भगवाना ॥
अस कहि अन्तर्धान रुप है । पलना पर बालक स्वरुप है ॥
बनि शिशु, रुदन जबहिं तुम ठाना। लखि मुख सुख नहिं गौरि समाना ॥
सकल मगन, सुखमंगल गावहिं । नभ ते सुरन, सुमन वर्षावहिं ॥
शम्भु, उमा, बहु दान लुटावहिं । सुर मुनिजन, सुत देखन आवहिं ॥
लखि अति आनन्द मंगल साजा । देखन भी आये शनि राजा ॥
निज अवगुण गुनि शनि मन माहीं । बालक, देखन चाहत नाहीं ॥
गिरिजा कछु मन भेद बढ़ायो । उत्सव मोर, न शनि तुहि भायो ॥
कहन लगे शनि, मन सकुचाई । का करिहौ, शिशु मोहि दिखाई ॥
नहिं विश्वास, उमा उर भयऊ । शनि सों बालक देखन कहाऊ ॥
पडतहिं, शनि दृग कोण प्रकाशा । बोलक सिर उड़ि गयो अकाशा ॥
गिरिजा गिरीं विकल है धरणी । सो दुख दशा गयो नहीं वरणी ॥
हाहाकार मच्यो कैलाशा । शनि कीन्हो लखि सुत को नाशा ॥
तुरत गरुड़ चढ़ि विष्णु सिधायो । काटि चक्र सो गज शिर लाये ॥
बालक के धड़ ऊपर धारयो । प्राण, मन्त्र पढ़ि शंकर डारयो ॥
नाम गणेश शम्भु तब कीन्हे । प्रथम पूज्य बुद्घि निधि, वन दीन्हे ॥
बुद्घ परीक्षा जब शिव कीन्हा । पृथ्वी कर प्रदक्षिणा लीन्हा ॥
चले षडानन, भरमि भुलाई। रचे बैठ तुम बुद्घि उपाई ॥
चरण मातुपितु के धर लीन्हें । तिनके सात प्रदक्षिण कीन्हें ॥
तुम्हरी महिमा बुद्घि बड़ाई । शेष सहसमुख सके न गाई ॥
मैं मतिहीन मलीन दुखारी । करहुं कौन विधि विनय तुम्हारी ॥
भजत रामसुन्दर प्रभुदासा । जग प्रयाग, ककरा, दर्वासा ॥
अब प्रभु दया दीन पर कीजै । अपनी भक्ति शक्ति कछु दीजै ॥
श्री गणेश यह चालीसा, पाठ करै कर ध्यान। नित नव मंगल गृह बसै, लहे जगत सन्मान॥
सम्बन्ध अपने सहस्त्र दश, ऋषि पंचमी दिनेश। पूरण चालीसा भयो, मंगल मूर्ति गणेश ॥

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