Mushikavaahana modaka hastha,
Chaamara karna vilambitha sutra,
Vaamana rupa maheshwara putra,
Vighna vinaayaka paada namasthe
"O Lord Vinayaka! the remover of all obstacles, the son of Lord Shiva, with a form which is very short, with mouse as Thy vehicle, with sweet pudding in hand, with wide ears and long hanging trunk, I prostrate at Thy lotus-like Feet!"
The festivals in Hinduism commemorate the spiritual wisdom that lie beneath the festivities that go with them. When a true aspirant dives deep into the truth of a festival, the pearls of wisdom break forth from the oyster of his own being thus leading him to enlightenment.
Ganesha Chaturthi marks the birth of Lord Ganesha. It falls on the 4th day of the bright fortnight of Bhadrapada (August-September). Special worship is performed on the day for Lord Ganesha at home as well as in the temples. Modak and other special dishes are offered to the Lord on that day. People visit the temples or offer worship to the Ganesha idol at home. The worship continues for two days or extends to ten days at the culmination of which the idol is immersed in a water body. This depicts the commencement of man's spiritual journey with a form to its culmination in formlessness.
The Birth Of Lord Ganesha
Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the major festivals of Hinduism that celebrates the birth of Lord Ganesha. As per the legend, Goddess Parvati while having her bath, created Ganesha from the mud of her body. He thus emerged pure and white and was asked to wait at the entrance of to deny trespassing. Lord Shiva was denied entry by Ganesha in reponse to His mother's command. The furious Lord cut the head of Ganesha. Lord Shiva hence to appease the anguish of Parvati, ordered His servants to fetch the head of any creature that they encountered first in this mission, sleeping with its head facing North. A head of an elephant was thus attached to the body of Ganesha, and Lord Shiva gave life to the glorious form that we one and all adore and worship. He further proclaimed that Lord Ganesha would be the first to be worshipped on all occassions. The order of Lord Shiva is still put into practise to this day.
Ganesha In Hinduism
Lord Ganesha is the eldest son of Lord Shiva and Parvathi and the brother of Karthikeya. In Tamil He is addressed as 'Mudhanmai Kadaval', 'the Lord who is the first and foremost'. Worship to Shiva or Vishnu is offered only after having offered worship Lord Ganesha. Lord Ganesha is believed to be the remover of obstacles, be it spiritual or material. Hence any worship or sacrifice commences with the prayer to Him.
Lord Ganesha represents the Om symbol of the Hinduism. The Om is uttered before the utterance of all mantras explaining the involvement of His worship at the beginning of any worship or rite.
In tune with the ordinance of Lord Shiva that Ganesha should be worshipped first, He is easily accessible to one and all. He is found in a consecrated temple as well as under a tree in remote villages of India. He also assumes a form instantly at the hands of a devotee who moulds Him with a handful of turmeric powder with water or by the last means with cow dung at a poor man's house. He gets elated with even the least object of worship like grass (usually 'Arugampul' or Bermuda grass involved in His worship). He is the Lord of wisdom.
Read more on Symbolism and Spiritual significance of Ganesha on the Next Page
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