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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Bhagwan Ganesh – remover of obstacles

Bhagwan Ganesh is immensely popular among Hindus as Vighnaharta (one who removes obstacles). Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated across Bharat on the Shukla Paksha Chaturthi day of Bhadrapad month. The Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations as we all know was made Sarvajanik by Bal Gangadhar Tilak. It was leveraged as a tool against the British to create national consciousness among the public at large.

Bhagwan Ganesh is considered the deity of 14 disciplines and 64 arts. As per Puranic beliefs, the birth anniversary of three different avatars of Bhagwan Ganesh is celebrated on three occasions in a year. First, is the Vaishakh Shukla Purnima celebrated as Pushtipati Vinayak Jayanti, Bhadrapad Shukla Chaturthi that is celebrated all over Bharat and Magh Shukla Chaturthi. Bhadrapad Shukla Chaturthi also known as Ganesh Chaturthi is said to be the most important of the three.

Bhagwan Ganesh is known as the one who emerged from the Pranava Om as per the Skanda Puran. Various Puranas give us different legends as to how Bhagwan Ganesh came into being. Hindu Dharma tells us about three basic methods of undertaking worship namely Vedic (based on the Vedas), Agamic (based on Agama shastras), and Tantric (using beej mantras and mudras). Agama shastras are followed in temples and temple rituals.

However, as far as Bhagwan Ganesh is concerned there are no rigid rituals to be followed. In other words, one needn’t recite any Vedic mantras, follow Agama rituals, or undertake Tantric rituals. Merely remembering Bhagwan will win the devotee His grace says Bhagwan Ved Vyas in the Mahabharat.

Ganesh is the first among the Hindu deities to be prayed to and every Hindu ritual begins with devotees offering their prayers to Him so that their work may be completed without any obstacles. Right from a novice up to a learned pandit pray to Bhagwan Ganesh before commencing their work for its successful completion.

Ganesh Chaturthi Katha

As per Hindu shastras, when Ganesh Bhagwan became the head of the Ganas (hence the name Ganapati) He was worshipped by Brahmadev. Chandradev is said to have mocked Sri Ganesh as he was returning after a heavy feast. Angered by this, Ganesh cursed Chandra who then undertook the Chaturthi pooja as advised by Brihaspati.

Chandradev performed the pooja of Sri Ganesh following the method stated by Brihaspati. The day when Chandradev performed the pooja Bhadrapad Shukla Paksha Chaturthi came to be celebrated as Ganesh Chaturthi. Hence it is believed that seeing the moon on Shukla Paksha Chaturthi brings miseries and misfortunes in addition to making one a victim of false accusation and slander.

As per Bhagvat Puran, Bhagwan Sri Krishna became a victim of such slander as He had seen the moon on Shukla Paksha Chaturthi. The story goes that Yadava nobleman Satrajit had obtained a gemstone named syamantaka mani from Suryadev. It was a very valuable stone and said to possess magical powers. Hence, Bhagwan Sri Krishna wanted Satrajit to hand over the jewel to the Yadava chief but Satrajit refused to do so.

Satrajit’s brother who came to possess the jewel was killed by a lion which then made off with the jewel. Jambavan, the king of bears, took possession of the jewel from the lion. In the meanwhile, Bhagwan Sri Krishna was accused of stealing the syamantaka. To get rid of this slander, He set off to search for it and having reached Jambavan, He entered into fierce combat lasting for 28 days. Sri Krishna then returned to Dwarka with the jewel and returned it to Satrajit.

Bhagvat Puran goes on to say that Sri Krishna learned from Devarishi Narad seeing the Shukla Chaturthi moon had led to the former falling victim to false accusations. Sri Krishna then undertook the worship of Sri Vinayak as advised by Devarishi.

In Kaliyug, Bhagwan Ganesh and Maa Kali are said to grant immediate refuge to the devotees. Hence, the prayer Kalau Chandi Vinayaka is a popular prayer chanted in Kaliyug.

Bhagwan
PC:wordzz.com

Gauri Ganpati

Ganesh Chaturthi is the time when Maa Gauri comes to Her maternal home. Gauri Ganpati is a Maharashtrian tradition. Gauri Devi is a form of Maa Parvati whose puja is held on Anuradha nakshatra in Bhadrapad month’s Shukla Paksha.

Gauri Maa’s puja is performed during the Bhadrapad month by married women for saubhagya. Gauri puja is held for three days. Devi arrives on the first day, her puja is held on the second day, and visarjan is performed on the third day. Once married women prayed to Gauri Devi as they were being harassed by an Asura. Answering their prayers, Devi slayed the Asura thereby saving their husbands and all the earth’s living beings. Since then married women perform Gauri puja during Bhadrapad.

Traditionally, devotees install Gauri Devi’s Pratima at an auspicious time. Eight footprints are drawn using rangoli powder and Devi is invited into the homes of devotees by placing Her on each of the eight footprints. The Pratima is installed (pran pratishta) after being seated on an aasan and the next day puja is held. Prasad items, vegetables, pakwans, koshimbir, chutneys, and savouries are offered. The Haldi-Kumkum program is held in the evening and women stay awake the whole night. The next day visarjan is done after offering kheer as nevaidya.

Visarjan

Uttarpuja (Uttaravahan) is the concluding ritualistic worship. The puja is concluded by performing the arati and mantrapushpanjali. After the uttarpuja, the murti is shifted slightly from its place. Pran pratishta brings Chaitanya (divine consciousness) to the vigraha.

As per Hindu beliefs, Bhagwan Ganesha returns to His parents Bhagwan Shiva and Maa Parvati in Kailasa at the end of the 10-day Ganesh Chaturthi. Visarjan signifies the birth cycle of Bhagwan and symbolises his return. Earlier murtis were made of clay taken from ponds and lakes. The clay gets naturally dissolved in the water bodies. Therefore, it is important to use natural materials like clay rather than PoP (plaster of Paris).

Hindupost wishes its readers a very happy Ganesh Chaturthi. May Bhagwan Ganesh bless all of us with happiness, health, wealth, and prosperity and rid the world of the Chinese virus!

References:

  1. Vinayaka Chaturthi Katha – Shri Damodar Deekshitar (Source)
  2. Chandi Vinayaka – Hindu blog (Source)

(Featured Image Source: IANS)


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Maitri
Maitri
A opinionated girl-next-door with an attitude. I'm certainly not afraid to call myself 'a proud Hindu' and am positively politically incorrect. A Bharatiya at heart who loves reading, music, sports and nature. Travelling and writing are my passions.

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