Ganesh Chaturthi

Welcoming Lord Ganesha 

History of Ganesh Chaturthi
Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi is a Hindu festival celebrating the arrival of Lord Ganesha on the earth with his mother, Goddess Parvati. This sacred festival is celebrated for 10 days every year.

Ganesh is regarded as Lord of Beginnings, Remover of Obstacles, deva of intellect, wisdom and prosperity, and that is why most Hindu’s remember him and seek his blessing before starting any important work.

It is believed that the devotees who pray to Ganesha are able to fulfil their desires and wishes. As per Hindu religious books, the Lord Ganesha was born on Shukla Chaturthi during Bhadrapada lunar month (August-September). In India, it is majorly celebrated in states including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana.

In the beginning of the celebration, idols of Ganesha are put on stages at homes or in extravagantly embellished open-air tents. The worship starts with the pranapratishtha, a custom to summon life in the idols, followed by shhodashopachara, or the 16 other ways of paying accolades.

In the midst of the reciting of Vedic hymns from the religious texts like the Ganesh Upanishad, the idols are blessed with red sandalwood paste, and yellow and red flowers.

Ganesha is additionally offered coconut, jaggery, and 21 modaks (sweet dumplings), viewed as Ganesha's preferred food. At the conclusion of the festival, the idols are carried to local rivers in huge processions accompanied by drum beats, devotional singing, and dancing. There they are immersed, a ritual symbolizing Ganesha’s homeward journey to Mount Kailash - the abode of his parents, Shiva and Parvati.

History of Ganesh Chaturthi:-

Lord Ganesh is the younger son of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiv. There are many legends behind his birth but two of them are most common and popular.

1). According to the first story, Lord Ganesha was created by Parvati out of dirt from her body to guard her in the absence of Shiva. She gave him the task of guarding her bathroom door while she took a bath.

In the meantime, Shiva returned home and Ganesha, who didn't know who Shiva was, stopped him. This angered Shiva and he severed Ganesha's head after a tiff between the two. Parvati was enraged when she came to know about this; Lord Shiva, in turn, promised to get Ganesha back to life. 

The devas were sent to search for a child's head facing north but they could only find an elephant's head. Shiva fixed the elephant's head on the child's body, and that is how Ganesha was born.

2) The other popular story is that the Devas requested Shiva and Parvati to create Ganesha so that he can be a Vighnakarta (creator of obstacles) for rakshasas (demons), thus being a Vighnaharta (averter of obstacles) and helping Devas.

Typically, the idols are produced using Plaster of Paris (POP) and are non-biodegradable in nature, therefore, the idols even after immersion keeps on floating on the water for a long period of time, thereby choking the water bodies and adversely impacting the entire aquatic ecosystem.

Aside from Plaster Of Paris, Ganesh Idols are decked up with overwhelming metal adornments, enrichments and several bloom wreaths. Thus, when the Ganesh symbols are submerged in the water bodies, this waste ends up polluting the already stressed oceans and rivers.

But Throughout the years with developing natural mindfulness, individuals have begun observing Ganesh Chaturthi in an ecologically disposed manner. Here are some tips for eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturthi celebration:

● Avoid using chemical paints containing harmful colors and dyes. Instead use natural colors such as turmeric, gheru, multani mitti, etc. for idols.

● Don’t use materials like thermocol or plastics for decoration which are not degradable and which do not dissolve in water. Instead you can use biodegradable items like plain paper or colored paper for decorations.

● Remove flowers, garlands, clothes, plastic and other decoration items before immersing the idols. Distribute food items like coconuts and fruits to the poor.

● Make a compost of all the biodegradable items including flowers, etc. Flowers can be mixed with the soil which will help the plants in your garden.

All devotees of Lord Ganesh can continue to celebrate the festival however they should keep in mind that their celebration doesn’t affect the environment adversely. 

Celebrating the Ganesh festival isn’t about how large your idol is or how highly-priced your ornament is. It isn't about a show of wealth or displaying off. Rather, about the religious sentiment, emotion and feelings in your heart. One must have a good time and revel in the festival without inflicting harm to the surroundings and environment.

Lord Ganesha
Lord Ganesha

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