Ganesha Chaturthi is a most important festival of Hindus. It is celebrated every year with lots of courage, devotion and joy by the people of Hindu religion. It is also popular by the name of Vinayaka Chaturthi in India. It is celebrated annually from ancient time all over the India to honour the most important deity of Hindu religion, Lord Ganesha (also known as elephant-headed, Vinayaka, remover of obstacles, God of wisdom and God of beginnings, etc). According to the Hindu calendar, it falls every year in the month of Bhaadrapada (between August and September). It starts on Shukla chaturthi (means on 4th day of waxing moon period) and ends after 10 days on the Anant Chaturdashi (means on 14th day of waxing moon period).
The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi has many rituals, customs and significance for the people of Hindu religion. People become highly eager when the date of Vinayaka Chaturthi comes closer. In modern time, people bring a clay image of the Lord Ganesha to home or to the public pandals and do worship for ten days. Then statues are immersed by the people at the end of festival to the water source (sea, river, lake, etc).
It is celebrated with big enthusiasm by the people in different states of the country like Maharastra, Telangana, Karnataka, UP including other parts of Western and Southern India. It is a 10 days long festival which ends on Anant Chaturdashi. It is also celebrated in many Terai regions of the Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Canada, United States, Guyana, Mauritius, Fiji, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago, etc.
Ganesh Chaturthi 2018
Ganesha Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chaturthi festival 2018 would be celebrated by the Hindu people living in India as well as abroad on 13 September, Thursday (date may vary). It falls every year in the Bhaadrapada month on shukla chaturthi (fourth lunar day) and ends on Anant Chaturdashi (fourteenth lunar day).
Legend of Ganesh Chaturthi Festival
Ganesha Chaturthi is a traditional and cultural festival of the Hindus. It is celebrated to worship, honour and respect the Lord Ganesha. God Ganesha is the lovely son of the Goddess Parvati and God Shiva. The legend of Ganesha Chaturthi festival is Lord Ganesh. In the ancient time, once Lord Shiva had gone for his Samadhi in the mountains of Himalayas. Goddess Parvati was alone and thought to create a strong son in the absence of Shiva on the Kailash. She had decided and created Lord Ganesha through the sandalwood paste (which she was used of taking bath) and then breathed a life into that statue. She had given a task to her great son, Ganesh. She said to Ganesh that, be here at the door and do not allow anyone to enter the door till I order you. She was taking bath inside under the guard of her son.
Soon, Lord Shiva came from his Samadhi and faced a new boy on the Kailash as he was not aware that Ganesh was his own son. Shiva started going inside and then prevented by the Ganesha to enter to the room. He said that Mata is taking bath and you can enter inside only when she gives me order. Lord Shiva requested a lot but he did not allowed by son. Soon, all the deities and Goddesses gathered and requested to Ganesha for the same. They told Ganesha that Lord Shiva is your father and allow him as he has right to meet your Mata. But Ganesh denied and said that I respect my father but what I can do, I have given a strict order from my mother to stop everyone to enter the door.
Lord Shiva became very angry, and then other God and Goddess requested him to go from here and let us try once. The followers of Shiva (Ganas, Vishnu, Brahma, Indra, Narada, Saptarishis, etc) started teaching manners to the child. Indra became very angry and attacked on the child with his all power however Ganesha was very much powerful as he was embodiment of the Shakti. Ganesha defeated everyone. Lord Shiva came again as it was the matter of pride for Shiva. He became angry and cut off the head of Ganesha by his trident. Soon, Mata Parvati came and became very angry by seeing that event. She started weeping by keeping the head and body of Ganesh in her lap. She said that I need my child again on any condition otherwise I would destroy the whole universe.
All the God and Goddess started fearing of the decision of Mata Parvati. They prayed to God Shiva to do something. Shiva said that it is impossible to join the same head but we can add head of other one to the body of Ganesha. He ordered to his followers Ganas, to go for search the head. He said that bring the head of anyone who is founded sleeping, facing to the north direction and just opposite to his/her child. Ganas started for searching the head in the whole universe by following the same conditions told by Shiva. Finally, they found a sleeping elephant in the north direction opposite to the child. They cut off the head of that elephant and brought to the Kailash. Lord Shiva added that head to the body of Ganesha. In this way Ganesha got his life back. Mata Parvati said that her son looks like an elephant so everyone would make fun of him, nobody would respect him. Then, Lord Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, Indra, Ganas and all Goddesses had blessed Ganesha with lots of blessings, power, Ashtra, Shastra, etc. They told that nobody would make fun of Ganesha instead Ganesha would be worshipped by everyone before starting any new work. Ganesha would be given first priority in any puja by everyone. People who would worship Ganesha first of all would really be blessed with wisdom and Lakshmi. Mata Lakshmi said that from this day, Ganesha would sit in my lap and people would worship Ganesha with me to get wisdom and Dhan.
Lord Shiva declared that, this boy would be called Ganesha (Gana+Isha means Lord of Ganas). So, Ganesha is the God of all God. Lord Ganesha is a Vighnakartaa means obstacle-creator for the devils and Vighnahartaa means obstacle-remover for his devotees and Devas to bless them for their hard work.
History and Origin of Ganesh Chaturthi Festival
The exact date of starting of puja on the Ganesha Chaturthi festival is not known by anyone however, according to the history it has been estimated that Ganesh Chaturthi was getting celebrated as a public event in the Pune during the time of Shivaji (founder of the Maratha Empire) during 1630 to 1680. Since Shivaji’s time, it was started celebrating regularly as Ganesha was Kuladevata of their empire. After end of Peshwas, it remained as a family celebration however revived again in 1893 by the Lokmanya Tilak (an Indian freedom fighter and social reformer).
Ganesha Chaturthi was started celebrating by the Hindu people as an annual domestic festival with a huge preparation. Gradually, it was started celebrating as a national festival to remove the conflicts between Brahmins and non-Brahmins as well as bring unity among people. People in the Maharashtra started celebrating this festival with lots of courage and nationalistic fervour during the British rule in order to get free from the cruel behaviour of Britishers. The ritual of Ganesh Visarjan was established by the Lokmanya Tilak.
Gradually, this festival was started celebrating by the people through community participation instead of family celebration. People of the society and community, get together to celebrate this festival as a community festival and to perform intellectual speech, recite poetry, dance, devotional songs, play, musical concerts, folk dances, recite mantras, aarti and many more activities in the group. People meet together before date and decide everything about celebration as well as how to control over large crowd.
Ganesh Chaturthi, a sacred Hindu festival, is celebrated by the people as a birth day of the Lord Ganesha (a God of God, means supreme God of wisdom and prosperity). The whole Hindu community celebrates together annually with full devotion and dedication. According to the Hindu mythology, it is believed that Ganesh was born on Chaturthi (4thday of bright fortnight) in Magh month. Since then, birth date of Lord Ganesha was started celebrating as Ganesh Chaturthi. Now-a-days, it is celebrated all over the world by the people of Hindu community.
How to Celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi
The preparation of the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi starts a month or week before. Highly skilled artists and artisans start making variety of artistic clay models of the Lord Ganesha for the purpose of puja on Ganesh Chaturthi. All through the market become full of statues of Ganesh. The whole market speeds up in its full swing. It looks great everything in the market just like to welcome the big Hindu festival. Statues are also gets decorated using multiple colors to give them a real look.
Celebration in Community
Community people prepare a pandal in their specific locality though the collections and contributions of money. Community people bring a grand statue of the Ganesha to worship. They decorate their pandals (using flowers, garlands, electric lights, etc) in order to make it standard than others. They also make theme based decorations depicting the religious themes. Priests of the temples get dressed in the red or white dhoti with Shawl. They chants mantras and do prayer. The rituals are Pranapratishhtha and Shhodashopachara (means ways to pay tribute). Devotees offer variety of things to the God including Coconut, modak, jaggery, durva grass, flowers, red flowers garland, etc. Devotees apply the paste of kumkum and sandalwood all through the body of statue.
A big ritual ceremony is held every year. People chant mantras, sing devotional songs, Ganapati Atharva Shirsha from Upanishad, recite Vedic hymns from the Rig Veda, Ganesha stotra from Narada Purana and many more recitation takes place all through the ceremony. People celebrate this festival is different ways according to their beliefs, rituals and regional tradition. A huge crowd involve in all the rituals from Ganpati Staphna (means idol installation) till Ganesh Visarjan (means idol immersion) to be part of the celebration and get blessed with wisdom and prosperity for whole year.
Celebration at Home
Ganesh Chaturthi is being celebrated all over the India however especially in the Maharashtra as an important festival of the year. Most of the families celebrate this festival at small level in their home by doing all the rituals in the same way. One member of the family brings a small or big clay statue (according to the like) in the home and performs idol installation in the home temple or in the mid of house or in the big open space. All members of the family worship the idol of the Lord Ganesha both time, in the early morning and evening until the Visarjan takes place. People do prayer, sing devotional songs, dance, offer variety of offerings like flowers, fruits, ghee diya, bunch of tender grass (Durva, a bunch having 21 shoots and a shoot having three or five strands), sweets, modak, dhoop batti, Kapoor, etc.
People do worship and offering (especially 21) both time and end their puja with the huge aarti ceremony. People in the Maharashtra sing aarti (in the end of puja) especially written by the saint Ramdas in 17thcentury. Domestic celebrations may end after 1, 3, 5, 7 or 11 days till the Visarjan of statue in the large body water source like river, sea etc. In order to avoid problems due to the large crowd, people generally avoid going to large water body for Visarjan. People do Ganapati Visarjan in a bucket or tub of water and later they use the clay in the garden.
Preparation for Festival
People start preparation for the festival at least a month or week ago. They prepare a most favourite dish of the Lord Ganesha called modak (in Marathi). It is named differently according to different languages like modaka or kadubu in Kannada, kozhakatta or modakkam in Malayalam, modakam or kudumu in Telugu and kozhukattai or modagam in Tamil. Modak is especially prepared for the puja using rice flour or wheat flour by mixing coconut, dry fruits, condiments and jaggery. Some people cook it through steam however some people fry it. Another dish is called karanji, just like modak but differ in shape (semicircular shape). There is a ritual of offering Modak to the Ganesha in 21 numbers.
Puja Process, Rituals and Significance of Ganesh Chaturthi
The puja process and rituals differs slightly according to the regions and traditions all over the India. People start making the clay statue of Lord Ganesha in different sizes 2-3 months before the date of Ganesh Chaturthi. People keep one statue on any raised platforms in home or outside the home in a decorated tent in large space so that neighbours may view and stand for puja. People do all the preparations by their own or call any nearest priest of the temple.
Some people do meditation in the early morning during Brahmamuhurta all days. Devotees take baht and go to temple or worship at home. They do prayer and offer Prasad with complete faith and devotion. People belief that at this day, we should not see the moon and keep distance from people unbelieving in God.
People performing puja especially wear red silk dhoti and shawl. Priest chants mantras in order to call God into the idol. This Hindu ritual is called as pranapratishhtha means idol installation. This ritual is followed by another ritual called as shhodashopachara means use of 16 ways to pay tribute to the Ganesha. People offer coconut, 21 modak, 21 durva grass, red flowers, sweets, jaggery, dhoop batti, garland, etc. First of all, people apply mixture of kumkum and sandalwood paste to the statue, do offerings and chant Vedic hymns, Ganapati Atharva Shirsha, Ganesha stotra and devotional songs all through the puja days.
Ganesh puja starts from Bhadrapad Shudh Chaturthi and ends on Ananta Chaturdashi. On 11th day Ganesh Visarjan takes place through a procession on the street with dancing and singing. Procession starts with saying “Ganpati Bapa Moriya, Gheema ladu choriya, Pudcha varsi laukariya, Bapa Moriya re, Bapa Moriya re” means people pray to God that come again next year. People pray to God for their wellness and prosperity for whole year while immersing the idol into water. Devotees offer flowers, garland, coconuts, camphor, and sweets during the Visarjan.
People offer Modak to God to make him happier as Ganesha loves Modak too much. It is believed that praying with full devotion at this day gives inner spiritual strength, prosperity, remove all obstacles, success including all the wishes. It is believed that the first person who kept fast on the Ganesh Chaturthi was Chandra (moon). Once, Ganesh was traveling through the heaven and met to Chandra. He was very pride for his beautifulness and laughed on Ganesha for his odd shape. Then he was cursed by Ganesh. Moon was very upset and requested to Ganesha for forgiveness. Finally, Lord Ganesh told him to keep fast on Ganesh Chaturthi with full devotion to get free from curse.
According to the Vayu Puran, one can get relief from false accusation if he/she keeps fast by listening the episode of Shri Krishna. People also add some herbal and medicated plant leaves in the water while idol Visarjan in the belief of purifying the water. Some drink lake water especially on this day to get protected from the infections and viral diseases. People worship eight embodiments of the Lord Ganesha (means Ashtavinayaka) especially on Ganesh Chaturthi in order to remove all the negative energy and evil power from body and surroundings. It is believed that breaking coconuts on the earth on Ganesh Chaturthi ensures success by absorbing all negative energy from atmosphere.
Ganesha Visarjan Dates 2018
Ganesh Visarjan is the immersion of Ganesh idol into the water on 11thday of Ganesha Chaturthi festival. Ganesh Visarjan is the ritual ceremony performed at the end of festival on Ananta Chaturdasi. In 2018, Ganesh Visarjan would be performed on 22nd of September (Saturday). At this day, more than lacs of statues are immersed into water every year. Some people perform Ganesh Visarjan some days before to the Ananta Chaturdasi. Following are the Ganpati Visarjan dates in 2018 according to the customs and traditions:
- One and half day Ganesh Visarjan would be on 13th of September 2018.
- 3rd Day Ganesh Visarjan would be on 14th of September 2018.
- 5th Day Ganesh Visarjan would be on 16th of September 2018.
- 7th Day Ganesh Visarjan would be on 18th of September 2018.
- 10th Day Ganesh Visarjan would be on 21st of September 2018.
- 11th Day (Anant Chaturdashi) Ganesh Visarjan would be on 22nd of September 2018.
Some people perform Ganesh Visarjan on the next day of Ganesh Chaturthi however some people do on 3rd, 5th, 7th, 10th and 11th day after the Ganesh Chaturthi. We should perform the idol immersion very carefully and eco-friendly way so that no plastic wastes can immerse with the Ganesha idol in order to prevent the water pollution. Ganesh idol can also be immersed in a bucket or tub of water at home.
Significance of Ganesha Visarjan
Ganesh Visarjan is of great importance in the Hinduism. Ganesh idol made up of clay is immersed into the water which gets unformed into the water. It means that everything in this world would be unformed a day (Moksha or liberation). The process of getting formed and unformed goes forever as a never ending cycle (means Chakra). Every year Ganesha come to make us sure about the Supreme Truth of life.
Ganesh Visarjan Muhurat in 2018
The complete duration of Ganesh Visarjan on Anant Chaturdashi is for approximately 4 hours and 40 mins. The timing of Ganesh Visarjan would start at 9.12 am in the morning and end at 1.54 pm in the afternoon. Evening and night muhurta timings are different.
Lord Ganesha Mantra
“Vakrtund Mahakaya Surya Koti Samaprabha, Nirbhignam Kurumedaya Sarva Karyashu Sarvada.”
Lord Ganesh Aarti
Jay Ganesh, Jay Ganesh, Jay Ganesh Deva,
Mata Jaki Parvatii, Pita Mahaadevaa.
Ek Dant Dayavant, Char Bhujadhari,
Mathe Sindoor sohe, Muse Ki Savari.
Paan Cadhe, Phul Chadhe aur Chadhe Mewa,
Ladduan Ka Bhog Lage, Sant Kare Seva.
Andhan Ko Aankh Det, Kodhin Ko Kaaya,
Banjhan Ko Putra Det, Nirdhan Ko Maaya.
Surashyam Sharan Aae Saphal Kije Sevaa,
Mata Jaki Parvati, Pita Mahadeva.
Jay Ganesh, Jay Ganesh, Jay Ganesh Deva
Essay on Ganesh Chaturthi
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