‘Ganpati Bappa Morya’ these words seem to be echoing for 10 long days in every hindu household in India welcoming Lord Ganesha to the earth to bestow his blessings on his devotees. Ganesh also called the ‘Vignharta’ (which means someone who eliminates troubles and problems) is the God of Wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. The festival is observed in the month of Bhaadrapada, according to the Hindu calendar, starting on the shukla chaturthi. The festival is celebrated in a grand and elaborate way publicly across India. There are skillfully and beautifully crafted idols of Lord Ganesh that are brought in homes and mandaps as well and the traditional puja, aarti, the prasad of Modak (Lord Ganesh’s favourite sweet) and dancing and singing are all part of the festivity for 10 days till Anant Chaturdashi. On the 11th day there is a huge procession on the streets in which people come to see off Lord Ganesh in his journey to his abode in Kailash. The idol is immersed in the river or sea and people believe that Ganesha takes away all their misfortunes and requests Him to come early next year to oblige them with His love and blessings.
According to the Hindu scriptures the story of Ganesh festival is that once while Lord Shiva was out on war, Goddess Parvati created Ganesh to guard the house while she took her bath. In the meantime Lord Shiva returned and Ganesha not knowing him stopped him from entering, enraged by this Lord Shiva cut off Ganesha’s head. When Goddess Parvati saw Ganesh decapitated she in rage threatened to destroy the three worlds. Lord Shiva sends his hosts to find a child cut his head and bring it to him. The first living thing that they found was a child elephant and immediately brought the head before Shiva which was placed on Ganesh’s body and he was brought back to life. Then Lord Shiva declared that Ganesh would be worshipped before any other God. So as the legend goes every year we celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi and worship him before starting any new work.
Long ago Ganesh Chathurthi pooja was a private family celebration but today the whole of India unites to celebrate the festival and welcomes God forgetting the cast, color and other differences. The festival truly brings out the Indian spirit of brotherhood. Ganesg temples are elaborately decorated with garlands, chanting of hymns, bhog and food and lots more. People send each other Ganesh Chaturthi greetings praying that God brings wellness and prosperity to their homes too. This Ganesh Chaturthi pooja send an e card and Lord Ganesh’s pictures to your friends, family and acquaintances too and celebrate the festival with a lot of gusto and enthusiasm.
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