Ganesha Chaturithi – The Birth Day Of Veghana-Harta (Obstacle-Averter) & Vegana-Karta (Obstacle-Creator For Evil Doers)
India is rightly said to be the land of festivals. It may be Janamashtmi, Ramnaumi, Shivaratri, Eid, Good Friday, Diwali, Dussehra, Prakash Diwas of Sikh Gurus, we celebrate these festivals with utmost fervor and total involvement; forgetting the worries we confront. All the communities, without any discrimination, participate in these festivals with utmost fervor and enthusiasm.
Before delving as to why we celebrate Ganesh Chatruti, it is essential that we should know the circumstances and how life was infused in a lifeless creation by Lordess Parvti.
Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayak Chaturthi is celebrated on the birthday of Lord Ganesha, which falls between 19th August to 20th September He is the most loved son of Lord Shiva and Lordess Parvati. The devotees’ firm belief is that on this day, he bestows his blessings on us with his presence and showers his bounties (shuvta) on us as he is the Lord of prosperity, unlimited wisdom, and a trouble shooter to the core.
The Ganesha’s birthday is celebrated according to the Hindu Calendar month of Bhaadrapada starting with the Shukla Chaturthi – 4th day of the waxing moon period till 14th day of waxing of moon. There is a celebration of ten days for which exhaustive preparations are made before hand. This includes; procuring of lovely idol of Lord Ganesha, preparation of eatable, especially modaks for friends and relatives, some install Ganesha Idol on this day. This festival is celebrated in almost all the parts of India. Even in foreign countries like Canada, USA, UK etc where Indians are there, this festival is celebrated with gaiety and enthusiasm.
How the Birthday of Lord Ganesha came about?
Legend has it that Lordess Parvati created Ganesha out of sandalwood paste which was applied on Her body before taking bath. She was impressed by her own creation which ignited her curiosity of breathing / infusing life into that creation. Low and behold, the creation of Maan Parvati came to life!
Subsequently, She told him to guard the entrance of the bathroom and ordered him not to allow anybody enter it while she took bath. All this transpired when Shiva had gone somewhere. When He returned back, Ganesha, standing guard, did not allow Him to enter. On asking who he was. Ganesha replied that he was Ganesha the son of Maan Parvati.
Lord Shiva sent His Ganas to teach the child first lesson in mannerism. As Ganesha was created by Shakti, he was very powerful besides being obedient to the core. Indira and his army of demigods too used their power to overpower Ganesha but in vain.
Now it was the turn of Narda with Saptarishis came for persuading the child for allowing Lord Shiva but it was also a futile exercise. All this infuriated Lord Shiva still further. Out of anger, He severed the head of Ganesha. When Maan Parvati came out after Her bath, she found the severed head from the body of her creation. This scene enraged her immensely. Observing her state, Lord Shiva promised to bring back to life their son. For this purpose, the demigods went in search of the person facing north. They could not find any humans. They could find only bring the elephant’s head which was fixed on the headless body. Ganesha came back to life instantly through the supernatural powers of Lord Shiva.
Modhak (dumpling made out of grinded rice, mixed with sugar, jugglery, fruits etc) is the choicest eatable of Lord Ganesha.
WHY GANESH CHATURATHI IS CELEBRATED?
Previously, only Hindus used to participate in the festivities but presently there is a community participation in this festival. There is enactment of concerts; discourses based on intellectual/spirituality related topics, skits, folk dances etc. Dahi Handi competition is another interesting and much awaited by the participants. Here prizes are also given. People of all castes, religions and colour participate in these festivities and this becomes a fertile ground for national integration and engenders understanding between different communities. All these activities have twofold benefit. Firstly, it enhances unity in diversity and secondly it ensures completive fervor between people.
As Lord Ganesh is embodiment of good tidings, people start their new businesses on this auspicious day so as to have His blessings for the success.
From the above, it is evident that this auspicious day of Ganesh Chatruthi is celebrated for ensuring cohesion / unity between all the communities, encourage non-discriminatory ideas/ideals besides getting opportunity to celebrate the auspicious occasion imbibing spiritual onward march and finally to get Lord Ganesh’s bounties of unlimited intelligence and wisdom.