Ganesh - the remover of all obstacles, and the one we worship before all of our poojas. The son of the mighty Shiva, and the graceful Parvati. He is known for his large ears, and tusks. Lord Ganesh is the one who allows us to go on the path without rocks, and thorns.
The day he was born, was quite a historic one. His mother, Parvati, took clay from the Earth, and sculpted a young boy. He looked just as she had imagined. He was flawless, and perfect in every way. He was so seamless, that she decided to give the boy a chance to live. Parvati breathed life into the sculpture, and thus, Ganesh was born.
However, Ganesh Chaturthi was not considered a national holiday, until 1893, when Lakamanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak shaped this holiday, as we know it today. Before this time, Ganesh Chaturthi was a private celebration. This all changed when Lakamanya Tilak praised this holiday in his newspaper, and strived to create a well – organized event. This is how the holiday became widespread.
Ganesh Chaturthi comes in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada. This holy festival lasts for ten enjoyable days. During these ten days, an idol of Lord Ganesh is worshipped, including daily pooja and aarti. Sweets are offered to this food – loving god. On the eleventh day, we take our idol, place it in the river, or lake, and watch as it floats away. We do this because Ganesh has stayed near the devotees during the ten days of Ganesh Chaturthi, and, when we place him in the water, goes back to his home, with his family.
Ganesh Chaturthi is also a time to realize how great Lord Ganesh is. Every part of his body represents a quality that we all should have, to be happy.
- His large head reminds us to think big, and not limit our imagination.
- Ganesh’s giant ears remind us to listen carefully, to everything going on around us.
- His small eyes show us that we should concentrate, and things big, and small.
- Lord Ganesh’s little mouth proves that we should say only what we need to.
- The fact that Ganesh only has one tusk shows that we should keep the good, and throw away the bad.
- His large stomach indicates that we should peacefully digest all of the good, and bad in life.
- Lord Ganesh’s mouse shows that you should keep your desires under control.
- His huge trunk displays that you should be able to get things done efficiently.
- The modak that he receives from his devotees proves that there are rewards of being a good person, and sadhana.
So, let us remind ourselves of this holiday, by performing the qualities of Ganesh, and celebrating during those ten days!