Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi comes at Shukla (Paksha- पक्ष), Chaturthi (Tithi- तिथि) in the Bhadrapad(भाद्रपद) month of the Hindu calendar. Lord Ganesha was born on this day. Thus, it is celebrated all over the world by the disciples of Lord Ganesha with great pomp and joy.
Son of the “Lord of Lords – Shiva” and the “Reincarnation of Adishakti – Parvati”, Ganesha is depicted as an ‘elephant-headed’ god in our Hindu mythology. Ganesha who has been referred in Rigveda as Ganpati, literally means “Guardian of the multitudes”, the one who is a born leader, fierce warrior and a source of wisdom for all.
Lord Ganpati has been considered as the one who removes obstacles (विघ्नहर्ता), therefore it is a ritual to worship Lord Ganesha before any other god or goddess. When people initiate something new, they remember Ganpati first as the lord will bless them and help them with good fortune.
You can find the perfect depiction of Ganpati in the following shloka:
वक्रतुण्ड महाकाय सूर्यकोटि समप्रभ।
निर्विघ्नं कुरु मे देव सर्वकार्येषु सर्वदा॥
घुमावदार सूंड वाले, विशाल शरीर काय, करोड़ सूर्य के समान महान प्रतिभाशाली।
मेरे प्रभु, हमेशा मेरे सारे कार्य बिना विघ्न के पूरे करने की कृपा करें |
It means, “The one who has devious trunk, a gigantic body, charismatic as crores of suns;
My lord, please let there be no hinderances on our path to Karma.”
What is the importance of Ganesha Chaturthi?
There has been an unconditional division within the Indian society based on caste, religion and wealth since modernization took over. First mention of this festival comes at the end of the 19th century, almost 50 years before East India Company left BharatVarsh for good and India had started to become free from British rule.
East India Company had been imposing tough rules to avoid social & religious gatherings in cities and towns of India.
Here comes the mention of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, whose contributions in uniting the people of India are unparallel. The idea of equality was to host religious gatherings and oppose the senseless Britisher’s law. He took responsibility to unite Hindu communities and began to organize birthday celebrations of Lord Ganesha on the Shukla Paksha, Chaturthi Tithi in Bhadra month of Hindu calendar as per told in Hindu mythology.
The gatherings have started to become successful. As a result, Britishers had to revoke their law and they allowed people to worship their lord the way they wanted.
Since then, this occasion is celebrated by Indians living all over the world as one of the most important festivals in Indian culture. People welcome their lord in their homes on this auspicious day with great joy and celebrate with music & dance. They worship their lord for some days (1 day, 3 days, 5 days, 7 days, 11 days) and then immerse them in the holy water with a very colorful & musical procession.
Here are some more things which we must learn from Lord Ganesha:
· As per Hindu mythology, the greatest ever Indian literature “Mahabharata” was written by none other than our Lord Ganesha. It is believed that Maharishi Ved Vyas had narrated the great epic to Lord Ganesha.
· Lord Ganesha is the ultimate source of wisdom & knowledge. We must admire his intellect and dedicate ourselves to the discovery of true intellect.
· Lord Ganesha has always been considered as the most respected and venerable among all gods. But according to himself, he finds his parents the most sacred and respectable above all.