Ganesh Chaturthi


Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi (Vināyaka Chaturthī) or Vinayaka Chavithi (Vināyaka Chavithī) is a Hindu festival celebrating the birth of Ganesha. It falls in the months of August or September of the Gregorian calendar. The festival is marked with the installation of Ganesha clay idols privately in homes, or publicly on elaborate pandals (temporary stages). Observations include chanting of Vedic hymns and Hindu texts such as, prayers and vrata (fasting). Offerings and prasadam from the daily prayers, that is distributed from the pandal to the community, include sweets such as modaka as it is believed to be a favorite of Lord Ganesh.

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The God of all things

As GANESH CHATURTHI comes up, let us look into the many fascinating stories surrounding the Elephant-Headed God.
GANESH is among the Gods we know the most stories of —– and yet, the one we understand so little about.  GANESHA has so much to teach us.  What is the significance of Ganesha’s Symbol?  Why is an elephant head placed on Ganesha shoulders?  This is because only a rich, fertile eco-system can sustain an elephant.  So, the elephant’s head is a symbol of prosperity.  GaneshaGanesha’s rather rotund body represents not only affluence, but also repose —- in other words, success without too much work.  The rat that Ganesha rides symbolises the pestilence of problems in our lives that he keeps in check.  It is also a symbol of fertility.  The MODAK’S shape is like that of a money purse and its contents represent the sweetness of material pleasures.  At the same time, the triangular form (upward facing) is a symbol of spirituality.
Why is Ganesh’s name chanted before beginning any new endeavours ?  Before the Gods began churning the ocean of milk for AMRIT, they forgot to propitiate Ganesha. To teach them a lesson, Ganesha caused the serpent king Vasuki (which they were using as the churning rope) to vomit out venom.  Choking on the poison, the Gods called out to Ganesha to remove this obstacle to their success.  Pleased, Ganesha asked his father Shiva to drink the poison, thus clearing the air and enabling the Gods to restart churning till the AMRIT emerged.  Ever since, Ganesha’s blessing is always sought before any new task.
In his book 99 Thoughts On Ganesha, Pattanaik explains how our ancestors’ ideas of the “perfect life” are reflected in Ganesha’s unique physiology: “Our ancestors concluded that there are two ways to live life —– as a hermit who steps back and contemplates on the nature of the world and as a householder, who stays in the world and experiences it fearlessly.  They visualised the hermit as SHIVA……. and the householder as SHAKTI.  Shiva does not want to be a father and deal with the trials and tribulations of a worldly life.  Shakti wants to be a mother and engage with all things worldly, and she cannot do so without Shiva’s support.  From this tension between the hermit and the householder, is born GANESHA —– his animal head representing material joys and his human body representing spiritual bliss”.
For Ganesha’s “broken tusk”  too, there are several explanations.  The “tusks” of an elephant symbolises power and aggression.  The “broken tusk” implies that the elephant has been tamed.  The most popular story  about the purpose of the broken tusk is that Ganesha used it as a replacement for his quill while writing down the Mahabharata for Sage Vyas.
——————–  Rohini Nair.

Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi celebration

GANESHA is the Swami of RIDDI & SIDDHI.  RIDDHI is the force responsible for prosperity and abundance  —– all material riches and luxury pertaining to the five senses.  SIDDHI refers to spiritual powers, including extra-sensory perception (ESP), clairvoyance, premonition and thought manifestation.

Ganesha was born of the ‘dirt’ of ADI SHAKTI, as she bathed, indicating that all the RIDDHI & SIDDHI in creation is nothing but a speck of dirt of the phenomenal force of the Mother.. Ganesha is the Deity closest to the physical creation, the Swam of Riddhi and Siddhi, which are nothing but MAYA (unreality).  They are temporary and so are bound to leave.  Most people spend their lives chasing these, forgetting their temporary nature and oblivious to what lies beyond.

Ganesh Chaturthi immersion

Ganesha manifested at a time when impurities started creeping in to society.  In due course, as worldly desires took precedence over spiritual pursuits,mantras and sadhanas were prescribed to invoke the different aspects of Ganesha, to fulfil desires in the realm of the physical, the grossest layer of creation.

UCHCHHISHTA GANAPATI is invoked through specific mantras as a giver of boons, as protector and to develop master over the five senses.  HERAMBA is the five-headed form of Ganapati, golden in colour and riding a lion.  This ten-armed Deity is invoked for acquiring fearlessness and to overcome one’s enemies.  The MAHA GANAPATI form corresponds to wealth and pleasures, as He is the bestower of bliss.  The red-golden BALA GANAPATI is called upon for good health and a bright future.  HARIDRA GANAPATI with his turmeric complexion and yellow vestments is the harbinger of prosperity and protection.

Ganesh Chaturthi

The white-coloured SHWETARK GANAPATI is said to reside in the root of a rare variety of the MADAR plant, bearing white flowers instead of the common purple flowers.  SHWETARK GANAPATI brings vitality, vigour and strength when kept in the bedroom, intelligence and concentration when kept in the study, spiritual powers in the puja room, bringing luck and prosperity, freeing the house from negative influences.

Shwetark GanapatiThese potent sadhanas are given according to individual requirements and capacity by the SIDDHA guru, without charging you a fee.  When the Guru gives the mantra, blessings follow but then it is imperative to balance out that KARMA, since every action has an equal and opposite reaction and every pleasure has pain attached to it.
The Guru guides the practitioner on which mantra is to be practised, for how long, the correct pronunciation and the different practices to complement the sadhana.  One of the safest mantras for manifesting the SHAKTI of GANESHA is GAMA GANPATAYE NAMAH but this too can be channelized by the Guru for desired effects.

Ganesh Chaturthi

The success of the sadhana is indicated by the manifestation of the Deity in the YAJNA AGNI.  SADHAKAS or seekers who have been seriously practising the various mantra siddhis, have been known to have had physical manifestations of the Gods.  GANESH CHATURTHI is the auspicious night of SIDDHI mantra and mantra DIKSHA under the guidance of a Guru.  HAPPY GANESH CHATURTHI !!!!!

 ——————— Yogi Ashwini.