Indian Ganesha (Vinayaka) Chaturthi Festival
Different Names of Ganesha Festival
The birth anniversary of Lord Ganesh, (Ganapathi) the elephant headed God, is celebrated as Ganesh Chaturthi all over India. It is also referred as Vinayaka Chaturthi, Vinayaka Chavithi, and Ganesha Festival. It comes on the fourth day (Chaturthi) of the bright fortnight of Bhadrapada month of Hindu calendar, which is in August/September. Lord Ganesha is widelyworshipped as the supreme god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.
Prayer to Lord Ganesha
Om Shreem Hreem Kleem GlumGum
Ganapathi Varah Vartha
Sarve Janam Vasamanya
Karyeh Sithi Swahah
Lord Ganesh is worshipped first in any prayers. He is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi, and the brother of Lord Karthikeya (Subramanya). Some of the important aspects of Ganesh Chaturthi rituals in India are fasting, feasting and distribution of sweets. Modakam (a sweet dish stuffed with jaggery and coconut) is Ganesha's favorite sweet. After the ritual worship, these sweets are distributed as "prasadams" (sacred food) to the people present there.
A mythological story goes like this. Once Ganesh and his brother Karthikeyan had a dispute as to who was the elder of the two, and the matter reached their father Lord Shiva. He decided that whoever goes around the world and comes back first will be declared as the winner.
Karthikeya immediately flew on his vehicle, the peacock, to tour around the world, but Ganesha went around His Divine parents, and came back and asked for his prize. The wise Ganesh justified it saying His parents represent the entire manifested universe. Thus, Lord Ganesh became the elder son.
Legend about Ganesha Chaturthi
It is also believed that on one of His birthdays Ganesha was going around house to house accepting his favorite offerings of sweet dishes. Suddenly his vehicle, the mouse stumbled down seeing a snake and Lord Ganesh fell down, which made the moon laugh at him. Annoyed, he cursed the moon that no one should look at the moon on the Ganesh Chaturthi day. If anyone does, he will earn a bad name.
In Karnataka, before the day of Ganesh Chaturthi, people indulge themselves in Gowri Pooja. On this auspicious day, Goddess Parvathi, mother of Lord Ganesh, is worshipped, especially by married women, for the longevity of their marriage and to achieve marital bliss.Locally, this festival is referred as Gowri Habba.
Ganesh Festival is celebrated in Maharashtra in a grand way. It is celebrated for ten days. These days are full of joy and festivity and cultural programs are the part of this festival. During the struggle for independence, Indian freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak made it a public festival, for the unity of people.
Ganesha's Idols are the main attraction of this festival and the localities compete with each other to make their best. On the last day of the celebration, the idol is taken out in procession and immersed in sea.
According to Hindu mythology, Lord Ganesha is the remover of all obstacles that stand in your spiritual path.
Ganesha Chaturthi Songs Video
Other related pages
- Vinayaka Chaturthi
Vinayaka Chaturthi Festival celebration in South India