Worshipping the Lord needs no excuse. All it requires is a belief in God and faith in the existence of the supreme power. It does not matter which god you worship as long as you do it with complete devotion and sincerity.
Every year sometime during the month of August or September India, with Maharashtra in particular, witnesses a massive display of this devotion to the elephant head god Lord Ganesh. This festival is known as Ganesh Chaturthi and lasts for ten days. During these ten days there is music, dance, food, sweets, paying visits, visiting Ganpati mandals and above all artis and pujas.
Sweet Recipes For Lord Ganesh
What is the significance of Ganesh Chaturthi? It definitely is a way of worshiping god and a display of ones devotion to Ganesha. But is that all?
Ganesha was created by Parvati. During this time Lord Shiva was not in Kailash. He had been away for a long time meditating in the Himalayas. When he returned to Kailash and desired to meet Parvati, he encountered Ganesha at the door who would not let Lord Shiva in as Parvati was taking a bath. Enraged at the boy Lord Shiva beheaded Ganesha only to realize that he had killed his own son. He quickly ordered his ganas to fetch the head of the first living being they saw and that happened to be an elephant.
Ganesha was given the head of an elephant and brought back to life by Lord Shiva. This was a second birth for the child Ganesha and the birth of the elephant headed god Ganesha. This day is now celebrated as Ganesh Chaturthi, the birth of the Lord Ganesha.
Ganesha is one of the most loved and admired god. He is known for his strength, wit and wisdom. He is the pratham pujya or the first of the Gods to be worshiped in any religious ceremony. Every new venture is initiated after worshiping and making an offering to Lord Ganesha. This is proof enough of how important Ganapati is, as he is also known as.
The importance of Ganesh Chaturthi can be traced back in history too when Shivaji started celebrating this festival in Pune. Shivaji was one of the most important Maratha leaders in the times of the Mughals who fought tooth and nail to save his country from Mughal rule. By celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi he aimed at bringing about awareness among his countrymen towards the rich cultural heritage they possessed. It was a way of solidifying the feeling of nationalism. Henceforth, the festival became a popular one in the Marathwada region.
Soon this festival faded away from public celebrations and remained confined within homes where individual families had their own small ceremonies. The large scale significance was lost until Gopal Krishna Gokhale decided to revive it during the British rule.
Religion always brings together people from for same community. It serves as a binding force and this was a fact Gokhale well realized. He decided to revive the lost Ganapati festival and soon his efforts brought results. The country got together for the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi and bound people of different castes and classes. During the Ganapati festivals there was just one thing to be seen and that was Ganesha and his devotees.
The significance of Ganesh Chaturthi has remained intact all these years with the magnitude of celebration increasing every year. Once again it is that time of the year to welcome Ganapati into our homes and lives. May the wishes of all come true and may peace and harmony dwell upon this earth.