Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most celebrated festivals in India. Indians, especially the people of Maharashtra, celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm and zeal. There are pandals all over the country, and devotees pray to Lord Ganesha to visit their homes and shower their blessings. Sweets, especially Modak, are offered to God, and devotees worship the idol with puja, tilak and offerings.
Also known as Ganeshotsav, this festival is celebrated across the country with great grandeur. Considered one of the most auspicious festivals of the Hindu religion, Ganesh Chaturthi is widely celebrated in Maharashtra, Telangana, Goa, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka and other parts of the country. Given that the deity is known to take away obstacles and is the giver of wealth and wisdom, many people believe it to be a marker of new beginnings and opportunities.
According to the beliefs, Lord Ganesha was born during Shukla Paksha of Bhadrapada month. The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi ends after ten days on Ganesh Visarjan, also called Anant Chaturdashi. On the first day, a clay idol of Lord Ganesha is placed in beautifully decorated ‘pandal’ at homes, temples or localities. The statue is also decorated with flowers, garlands and lights. Pujas are performed, and bhajans are chanted. Families come together and celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm; they sing prayers and dance to the beats of drums, all of which add to the festive mood.
A vast number of devotees visit Lord Ganesha’s temples. On the last day, rituals are performed where the idol of Lord Ganesha is offered farewell with dhol and drum beatings on the streets, and people show their devotion, love and the overwhelming feeling of saying goodbye to the Lord in the form of dancing and singing. This is followed by Ganpati Visarjan, a ceremony wherein the statue is immersed in water (river/ pond or sea). While carrying the sculpture to the sea and submersing it, people generally chant in the Marathi language ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya, Pudcheya Varshi Lav Karya’, which means Oh Lord Ganpati, we pray and request you to come again next year with lots of blessings, prosperity and love.
Lord Ganesha is depicted as having an elephant head with a human body. He is also represented with four hands. He carries a noose (Pasha) and a goad (Ankush) in his upper hands and holds Abhay Mudra and a bowl full of Modaks in his lower hands. The mount of Lord Ganesha is a mouse. He is the personification of wisdom and embodies three virtues: Buddhi, Siddhi, and Riddhi, also known as wisdom, spirituality and prosperity. Gajanana, Vighnaraja, Vinayaka, Vighnaharta are few of the 108 names Lord Ganesha is known by.
Replete with divinity, celebrations and splendour, this festival cuts across all religions, castes and creeds. This sacred festival propagates co-existence and harmony as it bridges the gap between people.
Evergreen Publications wishes you and your family a very Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!
Ganpati Bappa Morya!