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BY :  BHAAVAN GOSWAMI

Why do Indians Celebrate Ganesh Chathurthi, the colourful 10-day-festival?

Most of us indulge in bringing well-embellished idols of Lord Ganesha to our homes for 10 long days on the auspicious occasion of this much discussed festival called Ganesh Chathurthi. This particular stretch of the year possesses a colour of its own.

 

Those living in the older parts of the cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai witness a magical aura of the melodious Ganesh Vandana and Aartis offered in the public Ganpati Pandals in different colonies around.

However, even in this age of technological advancements, we youngsters have severe general knowledge issues and it is therefore quite obvious for most of you not knowing the significance behind this 10 day celebration. Not a problem, let’s help you out!

 

What is Ganesh Chaturthi?

 

Chathurthi is basically the fourth day of the waxing moon period, also called the Vinayak Chaturthi of the Bhadrapada month in the Hindu Calendar. This is the particular day when the procession starts and people are seen bringing the Ganpati idols to their homes.

The Ganpati is kept in the house for 10 days and the devotees present pious offerings including Deep (oil lamps), Gandh (fragrance), Naivedya (food), Dhoop (incense) and Pushp (flowers).

 

Modak, a special Indian sweet is considered to be the favourite of the elephant headed God which makes it a compulsory offering.

 

Basically this festival is linked to the birth of Lord Ganesha which emerges with a very interesting story.

 

Lord Ganesha is the younger son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati who was manually made by his mother with the help of the dirt she removed off her body. It is believed that Goddess Parvati then injected life in the structure and Lord Ganesha was born. Soon, she told him to guard the door till the time she was bathing.

 

At the very same time Lord Shiva, after completing his long term of meditation returned to meet his wife. On the encounter, Ganesha did his duty and stopped Lord Shiva from entering. This made Lord Shiva furious and as a result, he beheaded the innocent Ganesha with his Trishul (an indigenous weapon) . Things worsen when Shiva found that the boy he beheaded was no other than his own son.

Goddess Parvati was enraged and Shiva promised to bring back Ganesha’s life. The Devas went in search of the head that flew away but could only manage to find an elephant’s head. Thus, Lord Shiva fixed the elephant’s head with the other part of the body and hence the present form of Lord Ganesha came into existence.

 

Significance behind the 10 days Isthaapana

 

It is believed that on the day of Ganpati Isthaapna, Lord Ganesha comes down from the Mount Kailash to spend time with his devotees and bless them. As a matter of fact, it is also the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha.

While on the 11th day the idols of Lord Ganesha are immersed in water bodies, the process is however called the Ganesh Visarjan. It signifies the departure of his physical body back to the Mount Kailash.

 

It also highlights the temporary nature of this human body and the cycle of reincarnation a soul goes through.

It is so interesting to see that every festival we Indians celebrate is linked with so many historic reasons and messages.

As per the Hindu Calendar 2017, the Ganpati festival started on Friday, 25 August 2017 and will piously end on Tuesday, 05 September 2017.

Just like the devotees wait for the arrival of a new Ganpati after the Visarjan, a new world waits for your birth while the soul departs from your present body.

 

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BHAAVAN

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