Thursday, 21 June 2012

May the blessings of Sri Ganesha be upon you all!


Ganesh FestivalThe power of the divinity is what gets me glued to the celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi or the Vinayaka Chaturthi. The blaring powerful music praising the Lord, devotees dancing, forgetting their problems, the huge idols being carried to the river and the whole ceremony associated with it gives me a different feeling to my inner self.
I begin my day holding on to Lord Ganesha’s locket on my chain. The feeling of God being near is what gets me going. Lord Ganesha, also called ‘Vigneshwara’, is invoked to remove the hurdles and obstacles in life and to give a good start to any important event.
Ganesh ChaturthiThe Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated during the Bhadrapaada month of Hindu calender which falls either in August or September. The preparations for the festival begins 2-3 months prior to the date. Clay models of Lord Ganesha varying from three quarter inch to almost 25 inches are built by skilled artisans. On the day of the festival, the idol is placed in homes or pandals in raised platforms. The poojari chants mantras symbolizing the invoking of Lord Ganesha’s spirit to the idol and this process is called ‘pranapratishhtha’. What follows next is the 16 ways of paying tribute to the Lord. Variety of sweets and other special dishes are offered during the ceremony. Modak is the main sweet prepared during the festival. The sweet has a shell made of rice flour and the inside is stuffed with jaggery and coconut.
Ganesh CelebrationVedic hymns are chanted and rakhta chandan is put on the idol during the pooja. There are also lots of community games conducted like the breaking of the butter pot kept at an altitude by a group of young men. The pooja is continued for 10 days and on the 11th day the idol is taken to the nearest river in a procession through the streets that involves dancing, singing and other merry making.
The immersion of the idol signifies that the Lord has taken away the sins of his devotees with him and hence purified the community.
Lord Ganesh is considered the God of wisdom and prosperity. So a lot of socially important events like the blood donation camps or the eye-check up camps are conducted in the community. This festival is celebrated widely in Maharashtra, Karnataka and various other parts of India. To be part of the merry making process is indeed a fulfilling experience.
The Other Home wishes everyone a peaceful and Happy Ganesh Chaturthi.

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