Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to all of you!!
Ganapati, the elephant-faced deity also known as Ganesh (lord of all gods), Gajanan (elephant-faced lord), Lambodar (huge bellied lord), Vighnarata (demolisher of obstacles), has always inspired not only small kids but grown-ups too. The son of Parvati was given the name Ganesh by Lord Shiv. The word Ganesh is made up of gana (group) and isha (lord).
Ganesh or Ganapati is one of the most loved among Indian gods. He is the Lord of all gods and gets the honor of being worshiped first on any auspicious occasion, the biggest festival dedicated to him alone is Ganesh Chaturthi which we will be celebrating on September 5th this year. This festival falls in the month of August/September, and is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over the country.
What is Ganesh Chaturthi?
How is Ganesh Chaturthi celebrated?
In the months leading up to the festival, artisans craft highly detailed, hand-decorated models of Lord Ganesh, which are made for sale. On the day of the festival, it is placed on raised platforms in homes or in elaborately decorated outdoor tents for people to view and pay their homage.
Ganapati likes ‘modak’ and since it is his birthday so we offer him what he likes the most. The Lord is worshiped in the same manner in morning and in the evening for all 10 days. On the eleventh day, the idol is taken on a procession through the streets of the city and then immersed in water after a pooja done on the riverbank or seacoast.
Story time: How Ganapati got his elephant-head?
The most well-known story is probably the one taken from the Shiva Purana. One day Goddess Parvati was at home on Mount Kailash preparing for a bath. As she didn’t want to be disturbed, she told Nandi, her husband Shiva’s Bull, to guard the door and let no one pass. Nandi faithfully took his post, intending to carry out Parvati’s wishes. But, when Shiva came home and wanted to come inside, Nandi had to let him pass, being loyal first to Shiva. Parvati was angry at this slight, but even more than this, at the fact that she had no one as loyal to herself as Nandi was to Shiva. So, taking the turmeric paste (for bathing) from her body and breathing life into it, she created Ganesh, declaring him to be her own loyal son. Next time she set him to guard her door while she finishes her bath. After a while, Shiva came home. Even after telling him that he is the husband of Parvati, Ganesh didn’t allow him to enter inside. An angry Shiva detached the head of Ganesh after a combat between the two. When Parvati came to know this, she was so angry that she decided to destroy the entire Creation. Lord Brahma, being the Creator, pleaded that she reconsider her drastic plan. She said she would, but only if two conditions were met: one, that Ganesh be brought back to life, and two, that he be forever worshiped before all the other gods. Shiva promised that Ganesh will live again. Shiva sent Brahma out and asked him to bring back the head of the first creature he crosses that is laying with its head facing North. Brahma soon returned with the head of a strong and powerful elephant. Shiva fixed the elephant’s head on the child and brought him back to life. Breathing new life into him, he declared Ganesh to be his own son as well, and gave him the status of being foremost among the gods, and leader of all the ganas (classes of beings), Ganapati.
May lord Ganesh shower his blessings on you forever!!
Ganapati Bappa Morya…
Audio link for the story: