Ganapati Bappa Morya

Rockstar_Ganapati

Rockstar_Ganapati

This is the time of the year when we all welcome The Elephant God – Lord Ganesha with full festive fervour. I had written about the story of Ganapati’s head and our trip to Mumbai’s favorite Ganapati Lalbaugcharaja. I can’t get enough of The Vignaharta(remover of obstacles). Years ago during the British Rule when people were prohibited to gather in large numbers, Bal Gangadhar Tilak came up with this brilliant idea of Sarvajanik Ganapati(community Ganapati) festival. He brought the Ganapati out of people’s house and made it a public celebration. This helped people develop a sense of belonging and helped the Indian Independence Movement. This year I am at the birth place of this trend  – Pune.

Even years after Independence people continue to celebrate the festival with equal gusto. In fact even now the festival is used to depict current events or raise social awareness. For me the best  part is the creativity shown in the decorating the mandaps and the Ganapati idol.  The mandaps can be Mysore palace, mythological backdrop, garden, The Himalayas, an egg shell!!, or even a dinosaur. Imagine going inside a dinosaur to see the Ganapati idol.

Jute_Ganapati

Jute_Ganapati

The expression of human creativity while making a Ganapati idol has no limits. It can Ganesh in the form of other Gods like Vishnu with a seven headed snake, shiv or others, it can be Ganesh made of mustard seeds, sesame seeds, coconut fiber , Cadbury gems, leaves or at times even recyclable material like the cycle parts. At times it can highlight current issues  or just be fun like I remember seeing during my childhood – a Police Ganapati, a lawyer Ganapati, a rockstar Ganapati, a software engineer Ganapati, a judge Ganapati ans so on. Use of technology to improve on story -telling for Mythological stories is yet another interesting aspect of this.

People from all walks of life and even different religions celebrate the festival. And the best part is people enjoy this festive season in all its forms with no discrimination and God is seen in his innumerable avatars too. Just like the way the Lord almighty exists in many different forms.

Ganapati_Mandap

Ganapati_Mandap

Ganapati_Corruption

Ganapati raising awareness about corruption

Saibaba_ganapati

Saibaba_ganapati

No wonder the Elephant God is so loved and revered. It is time to bid adieu to this year’s Ganpati at most homes. Hope you had a great Ganesh Chaturthi and have a great year till a the God appears in his new forms. Next time lets see if we get to see a robo-Ganpati as well.. 🙂

Ganapati Bappa Morya, Mangal Murti Morya, pudhcha varshi laukar ya…(Dear Ganesha we pray to you and request you to come again next year with lots of blessing and love)

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Happy Ganesh Chaturthi

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to all 🙂

Enjoy_Ganesh_chaturthi

Enjoy_Ganesh_chaturthi

Today is the day when we celebrate the birthday of the Elephant-God. As a kid the one story that I have heard the most is the curious tale of  Ganesha’s birth. My Granny loved telling the story and I equally loved listening to all her stories. Every morsel that she put in my mouth was accompanied by her interesting narration.

It is believed that Goddess Parvati before going to take bath and saw that there were no attendants. Hence she created this figure from the turmeric paste she had prepared for herself and infused life into it.  She instructed him to not let anybody in while she was taking bath and Ganesh followed her orders. After a while, Shiva returned from a long period of meditation and tried going in to meet Parvati  only to be stopped by this little boy. Shiva was infuriated to be stopped by this stranger. Shiva then told him that he was her husband and demanded to be let in. But this boy would go to any length to keep his word given to Parvati and hence promtly refused. Shiva could not take it any longer and cut his head off to enter inside.

Moments later when Parvati came out saw her son’s body lying lifeless and started crying. She demanded that her son be brought back to life immediately. But Shiva couldn’t find the head anywhere. Shiva knew he couldn’t return with out his son’s head and ordered his ganas to get the head of the first creature sleeping facing north which happened to be an elephant. This was then fixed as Parvati’s son’s head. And hence the eleplant head and the name Gana-pathi(head of ganas). Parvati was happy to see him back to life. Shiva also promised Parvati that he would become remover of obstacles and would be worshipped before all the other gods. Hence the name Vignaharta and as a result all occasions starts with Ganesh-pooja.

Hope Ganesha removes all obstacles and bring all the happiness and success you deserve in your life..

Happy Birthday Ganesha!!!