Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ganesha Chaturthi Festival

Ganesha Chaturthi falls on Monday, 9th of September in 2013, on Friday, 29th of August in 2014 and on Thursday, 17th of September in 2015

God of wisdom worshipped

The son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati or Uma, the elephant-headed Ganesha is worshipped as the god of wisdom and remover of all worldly obstacles.In Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and tamil Nadu, the Ganesh Chaturthi festival is celebrated for ten days with much joy, cheer, pimp and gaiety.

Big idols of Ganesha are made and after the puja, the idols are immersed in water accompanied by devotional songs, dancing and drum beats. Ganesha idols are also installed in homes and is worshipped with families and friends.

Hymns and songs attributed to Shree Ganesha are sung and sweet puddings made of rice, flour and sugar are made and offered to the deity especially the ladoo as it’s a favorite of Ganesha.

[caption id="attachment_650" align="aligncenter" width="432" caption="Lalbaughcha raja in Mumbai"]Lalbaughcha Raja[/caption]

Popular Ganesha chanting :

Ganpati Bapa Moriya meaning Farewell to Lord Ganpati
Gheema ladu choriya meaning Who avails 'ladus' soaked in ghee
Pudcha varsi laukariya meaning next year, return in haste.
Bapa Moriya re, Bapa Moriya re meaning O Lord Ganpati farewell, O Lord farewell

Millions of people worship Sri Ganesha, the elephant-headed Hindu god. Though mostly revered by Hindus worldwide, his popularity is far beyond imagination as he is being also worshipped by people of different religions.

Ganesha’s mantra :

Om Gam Ganapataye Namah and Om Sri Ganeshaya Namah.

Ganesha’s Gayatri Mantra :

Tat purushaaya vidmahe
Vakratundaaya dheemahi
Tanno dhanti prachodayaat.

About Ganesha and His Features

Shree Ganesha, also called as Ganpati or Ganesh is the son of Parvati and Shiva and is known as the god of auspiciousness and good luck. He is the remover of all obstacles and problems and also known as the God of wealth, health, celibacy, fertility, happiness and wisdom. Ganesha is one of the five major Hindu deities( Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Shakti and Ganesha) whose worship leads to salvation.

Different Names of Ganesha

Some popular and common names of Shree Ganesha are - Ekadantha, Gajakarnaka, Siddhivinayaka, Surpakarna, Lambodara, Vignaraja, Vakratunda, Heramba, Ganadhyaksha, Dhoomraketu, Sumukha, Phalachandra, Gajanana, Vinayaka, Kapila, Skandapurvaja, Vigneshwara and Maha-Ganapathi.

In his four hands, he holds shell, discus, sweet and a lotus which symbolizes his status as the universal ruler.

God Ganesha has two wives

Sri Ganesha has two wives namely Riddhi and Siddhi (the daughters of Brahma) meaning prosperity or Buddhi and spiritual strength or success respectively. Therefore, Ganesha is always accompanied by success and prosperity.

Birth of Ganesha

Ganesha was born on the 4th day in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada or the month of August/September according to English calendar. He is being considered as an expert in astrology. Not only in India, people all over the world, celebrate the birth of Sri Ganesha and this is being popularly known as Ganesh chaturthi or Vinayaka Chaturthi.

Signification of Ganesha’s big body

Ganesha’s big body signifies the earthly existence of the humankind, and also signifies maya - "the illusion of this world". Elephant head indicating he being the wisest and most powerful among animals; wide ears signify that he is able to hear everything in the universe.

Ganesha wrote Mahabharata

Ganesha wrote Mahabharata as a scribe to the sage Vyasa who dictated the whole epic to him. He rides a mouse and this indicates that he is able to move anywhere secretly.

Legend associated with Ganesha's Birth

Ganesha was created by his mother Parvati from a clay lump. He then declined Shiva, to meet Parvati, who was taking a bath at that time and had instructed her obedient son to guard till she comes out. Angered by this, Shiva then cut the child's head without knowing that he was his son. After he came to know the truth, Ganesha’s head was replaced with that of a baby elephant as no other head was available. After this incident, at the request of mother Parvati, Ganesha was given a boon by Shiva - that Ganesha would be worshipped first before the start of any good work and this tradition continues till now in Hindu religion as firstly, god Ganesha is worshipped and then comes the puja of any other god.

Ganesha is considered as the first god in the sense if somebody wants to take the blessings of Shiva, and then he has to come up to Ganesha’s first.Ganpati is fond of sweet puddings or balls of rice flour with a sweet core inside.

The best story revolving around Sri Ganesha

Once upon a time, there occurred a fight between Ganesha and his brother Kartikeya or Lord Subramanya as to who was the elder one of the two. The matter was referred to their father, Lord Shiva for a final decision. Shiva decided that of the two, the winner would be the one who would travel to the whole world and come back first to the starting point. On listening to this, Kartikeya flew off at once on his vehicle, the peacock, to circle around the whole world. And the wise Ganesha went lovingly, and circled around his divine parents. On seeing this, Shiva asked Ganesha “why you did not go around the world?” Ganesha replied and said that “his parents and their worship means the entire universe to him".

Thus the fight was settled in the favour of Lord Ganesha, who was then acknowledged as the elder one of the two brothers.

Ganesh Chaturthi Recipes

Mouth-watering Ganesh Chaturthi recipes are prepared painstakingly in almost every Indian household as a part of Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. Kozhukkattais made with par boiled rice, sweet Kozhukkattai that are filled with semolina, wheat rava payasam, upma kozhukkattai, mullu murukku, paal payasam, khara kozhukkattai, purna kozhukkattai, puran poli, rava laddoo, maida murukku, ribbon murukku, karanji, modak, paruppu payasam, moong dal ki chakli are some of the widely popular Ganesh Chaturthi recipes prepared in almost all Hindu kitchen during the festivities. Milk kheer, pineapple filled kozhukkattai, thenga paal kozhukkattai, panchakajjaya, kadalai paruppu payasam, South Indian modak and unni appamukadiche modak, carrot halwa, maida murukku, raw rice pudding, barfi, gulachi poli, Punjabi kheer, Bengali kheer are other specialities satiating the taste buds of Lord Ganesha and his devotees.

Modak Recipe

3 cups Rice Flour
6 cups Water
6 tsp Oil
4 cups Grated Coconut
2 cups Sugar or Powdered Jaggery
A little Milk

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