Ganesh Chaturthi is considered to be one of the largest festivals in India. Ganesh Chaturthi is also known as Ganesh Utsav and Vinayaka Chaturthi. According to the Hindu calendar, Lord Ganesha was born on the fourth day of the duty date in the month of Bhadrapada. This year, the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated on 31 August 2022. Lord Shiva and Parvati's son Ganesha is said to be the god of wisdom, wisdom, prosperity, and good fortune. While Ganesh Chaturthi festival is celebrated all over India, but widely in Maharashtra. During the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, which is celebrated for 11 days, people keep Lord Ganesha in the house for 10 days and perform Ganesh Visarjan on the 11th day. On the Ganesh Utsav, people greet each other with the warm wishes of Ganesh Chaturthi.
Story Behind Ganesh Chaturthi
Goddess Parvati was the creator of Ganapati. In the absence of Lord Shiva, he used his sandalwood paste to make Ganesha and put it to bathe. While he was gone, Lord Shiva fought with Ganesha and did not allow him to enter as per the orders of his mother. Enraged, Lord Shiva beheaded Ganesha. When Parvati saw this scene, she took the form of Goddess Kali and threatened to destroy the world. This alarmed everyone and he requested Lord Shiva to find a remedy and pacify the wrath of Goddess Kali. Shiva then immediately ordered all his followers to find a child, whose mother carelessly went back towards her child and brought her head. The first child seen by the followers was an elephant and they ordered, cut off his head and brought it to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva immediately placed the head on Ganesha's body and brought it back to life. Mother Kali's wrath subsided and Goddess Parvati was once again overwhelmed. All God blesses Ganesha and today is the day celebrated for the same reason.
Other Interesting Story of Ganesh Chaturthi
There are many rituals and customs during this festival that people observe - a popular tradition after the first day of Ganesh Chaturthi is to avoid seeing the moon. Seeing the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi creates a mithya dosham or mithya stigma, which means a false accusation of stealing something. According to mythology, on the fourth day of the month of Bhadrapada (Chaturthi), Lord Ganesha was returning home with Mooshak, the moon god Chandra started laughing loudly and commenting on his stomach and small rat. To teach Moon a lesson, Lord Ganesha cursed him that no light would ever fall on him. Thus, the moon disappeared into the sky. Moon and other gods apologized and God bowed. However, once cursed it cannot be fully withdrawn. It can only be reduced. So Lord Ganesha reduced his curse and said that whichever day one sees the moon, on the fourth day of the Hindu month, Bhadrapada will be cursed with falsehood.
Ganesh Chaturthi Preparations
Preparation for Ganesh Chaturthi starts about a month before the festival. This festival lasts for about ten days (from Bhadrapada Shud Chaturthi to Anant Chaturdashi). On the first day, a clay idol of Lord Ganesha is installed in the houses. The houses are decorated with flowers. The temple witnesses the visit of a large number of devotees. Worship is done and bhajans are performed. Often, families gather to celebrate the festival. Locals organize and arrange pandals and install large idols of Lord Ganesha to celebrate the festival with friends and family. On the last day of ceremonies, the idol of Lord Ganesha is taken to the streets. People demonstrate their enthusiasm and joy in the form of dancing and singing on the streets with the idol. The idol is finally immersed in a river or sea. On this day, a large number of devotees express their happiness and offer their prayers.
- During this festival, people sing devotional songs, dance, fast, bed in their homes, and burst firecrackers. People start the day worshiping and donate new clothes to worship Ganesha. To perform any type of worship requires cleanliness and the prerequisite of body and mind. The idol of a Ganesha is bathed in perfumed water (abhishekam) and then covered with a new saffron cloth. It is securely placed on a pedestal and adorned with sandalwood paste and a garland of fresh flowers.
- Modak, rice or flour dumplings filled with grated jaggery, coconut, and dry fruits, is a popular food of the festival and is the main 'prasad' offered to Lord Ganesha. Considered to be the favorite dessert of God, other delicacies of this festival include Appam, Peda, Sundal, Barfi, Laddu, and Karanji.
- Lord Ganesha is worshiped with sixteen rituals. The prayers are followed by "Puranic Mantras'', which are chanted during Ganesh Chaturthi Puja. Some of the popular Ganesh Puja mantras sung by devotees on this day are 'Ganesh Shubh Laabh mantra’, 'Ganesh Gayatri Mantra', and 'Vakratunda Ganesh Mantra' among others. After this, the devotees bow before Lord Ganesha and pray for the good of all. They also apologize for any mistake and ask God to cleanse their sins.
- The Ganesh Chaturthi ritual concludes with the aarti of Lord Ganesha. Aarti is performed twice that day, once in the morning and again in the evening. On the 11th day of the festival, Ganesh Visarjan is celebrated, in which the idol is immersed in water.
Ganesh Chaturthi Pooja Vidhi
Ganesh worship begins by installing a clay statue of Lord Ganesha in your home. Various dishes are cooked for food-to-be-offered (bhoga). The idol is bathed in pure water and then decorated with flowers. Jyoti is lit and then the aarti begins. At this time various hymns, and mantras are chanted. It is believed that by chanting mantras with full devotion, the idol has vital life. It is also believed that during this period, Ganesha visits the home of his devotees and brings prosperity and good luck with them. For this reason, this day is celebrated as a very auspicious day.
Although a large number of sweets are offered to Lord Ganesha during worship, Modak is known as the favorite dessert of God and hence it is one of the main dishes made on this day. Other dishes include Karanji, Laddu, Barfi and Ped. Worshiping Ganpati Yantra will give you a lot of success in life.