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Ganesh: The Elephant God
Ganesh Mahotsav Special
Omkar Dattatray9/22/2018 9:13:58 PM
Vakartunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samapraba Nirvigane Karomedevo Sarvekareyshev Sarvada. Lord Ganesh is the removal of all obstacles, hurdles and problems in the world.
India or for that matter Hindu society is famous throughout the world for its spiritual advancement. Even the western nation are influenced by our spiritual wisdom and the philosophy enunciated by Vedas. We Hindus are not monolithic having one book and only one prophet but rather Hindu mythology recognizes many Gods and Goddesses but in ultimate analysis regards these deities as the various forms or incarnation of the same supreme primal being who is the father of the universe. Thus Hindus are the worshipphers of the various Gods and Goddesses and in them they are actually worshiping the all omnipresent and omnipotent God who according to Vedeta philosophy is without form and beyond the effects of cause and matter. He is regarded as the supreme energy pervading in all beings. Lord Ganesh is one of the Gods who is worshiped by Hindus in India and other parts of the globe. Lord Ganesh and its brother Karthikey also known as Kumar Jee are the sons of Lord of destruction Shankar. Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva loves her son Ganesh very much and Ganesh is called her Yacha putra. Hindus do not only worship different deities but also are the worshippers of different things of nature. As Lord Krishna in Srimad Bhagvad Gita has said that he is in everything and every creature and even in rivers, mountains, trees and in all beings and in all Gods and Goddesses. Significance of Lord Ganesh is great as he has the privilege of being worshipped first of all in every religious function, Pooja, ceremony, ritual and in the performance of daily karam kand and at all occasions like marriage, house pravesh and everywhere. Ganesh is known as Adidav meaning first among Gods and his worship is done even before worshipping his father Lord Shiva. Ganesh is also known as Mooladar. In Hindu terminology neigh even in the Indian society Shri Ganesh also symbolizes the beginning of any work religious, social, economic relating to money and trade etc. It is because of this fact that Hindus generally commence any work with salutations to Lord Ganesh. The question arises why so much of importance is attached to Ganesh Pooja. One story around this runs as . Once Parvati the better half of lord Shiva and mother of Ganesh was busy in making shringar and was combing herself. As from times prehistoric Hindu ladies do not dress themselves and Shringar themselves in front of their husbands. So Goddess Parvati also in consonance with the rich value and principle asked her son Ganesh to sit outside her room and not let anyone to enter the room as Maha Shakti was busy in Shringar. It so happens that Mahadev Shankar came and Ganesh did not allow even his father to enter the room as his was ordered by his mother not let anyone inside the room. At this Shanker became furious and he is said to have beheaded his son Ganesh with his finger in a fit of anger. When Mahadev came inside the room, Pravati enquired of him as to how he came in and when she saw Ganesh, she was angry and sad and pleaded to the Shanker for Ganesh's life and survival. Now Mahesh was also moved and he ordered that head of any one in the morning be cut and it said that elephant was seen first of all in that morning. So Lord Shankar orderded that the head of the elephant be cut and be kept on the neck of Ganesh. Now with the chanting of some mantras he gave Zevadan-life to Ganesh and life cycle of elephant also came to end. Now Parvati and karteky-brother of Ganesh were happy. Some speculation about it is that Shanker felt that now with elephants head Ganesh may like somewhat ugly and for this shanker blessed him that among all deities Lord Ganesh will be worshipped first and in every function individual and even in organized once salutations to Ganesh will be offered before hymns are chanted in reverence of other Gods and it is done so even today. In Yagas - sacrifices (Havans) also Lord Ganesh is worshipped before salutations are offered to other Gods. Ganesh Sahakar is performed in Havans before oblivations are offered to other deities. One legend about the superiority of Ganesh is that once it was a point of controversy between Shanker and mother Parvati that who is superior between their two sons - Ganesh and Karteky. It was decides that superior between the two will be considered he who will give seven rounds (Prtakshanas) of all deities and pilgrimages of Bharat and will do it first. Lord Ganesh's mount (Vahan) is rat and of his brother's is peacock and it is self evident that Karteky will won the test. Ganesh jee was perplexed and he approached his mother and gave seven rounds around his parents and those were equal to the seven rounds of all pilgrimages and deities as mother Parvati is the essence and source of all creation. But Kartikey set on his pilgrimage with his peacock and wherever he went he enquired if Ganesh had visited that place and everywhere he was given reply in affirmative. In this manner, Ganesh stood victorious and his brother also worshipped him. This established the superiority of lord Ganesh.
Ganesh is worshipped throughout the length and breadth of India but in Maharashtra, Goa, Gujrat and Rajasthan etc. Ganesh is worshipped in a special manner. At all these places Ganesh Cheturthi is celebrated with utmost religious fervor and zeal every year. It starts on the Cheturthi of Badhar and last up to Chaturdashi. During these days specially eracted Pendals - platforms are prepared and Ganesh Pritmas - moorties are kept on them and religious processions are taken. These Ganesh pritmas and pandals are magistically decorated. Idols of Lord Ganesh are then immersed in the rivers as a mark of respect and this culminates in the close of the festival. At these and other places Ganesh Movhotsav is celebrated in the month of Baisakh and Ganesh is worshipped these days witjh great pomp and show. Kashmiri pandits observe Ganesh Chuterdashi in the Hindu month of Baisakh with a great devotion and reverence and in Kashmir Ganesh is generally worshipped in the form of tree ( Bharan). Lord Ganesh is called by various names like Vaganhartar, Mooladar, Kamadev, Gaganan and in all 12 names are attributed to him. Some opine that Lord Ganesh has one thousand names. Let Ganesh come to the rescue of India and help us in our fight against militancy and other problems. May this year's Ganesh festival bring peace and prosperity to India.
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