Ganesh Chaturthi Legends
According to the Hindu mythology and religious beliefs Lord Ganesha symbolises good luck and wisdom. This is why he is worshipped first before starting any good work. On the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi, people bring the idols of Lord Ganesha home to take the blessings in the form of good luck, intelligence, prosperity and good health. They perform the pooja, observe fast and say thanks by paying homage and celebrating Lord Ganesha coming to their place. People eagerly wait for this occasion the whole year so that they can be present at the service of Lord Ganesha and apologise for the mistakes which they have committed. They also make promises to follow the path of honesty and kindness and to serve the mankind. There are various legends related to the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi and people have great belief on these religious stories. Read to know more about the legends of Ganesh Chaturthi.
Legends Of Ganesh Chaturthi
Birth Of Lord Ganesha
One day when Goddess Parvati was taking bath she made a boy from the dough she used for her bath and put life into it. This is how Ganesha was born and she told him to stand on the main doorway of the house. Then, there came Lord Shiva and while going in the house he was stopped on the gate by Ganesha on orders of her mother. Lord Shiva became very angry and cut off Ganesha’s head with his trident. When Goddess Parvati came out and saw all this, she, in her anger, asked Lord Shiva to make her son alive or to see her destroying the world. Lord Shiva then went to the earth with Lord Vishnu and took the head of the very first living being to fix it on the body of Ganesha. It was the head of an elephant. After this, Lord Shiva apologised and declared that Lord Ganesha will be worshipped before all the gods and goddesses.
Leader Of The Gods
One day Lord Shiva and other gods decided to choose their leader from Ganesha and Kartikeya, and for this, a race was held between the two brothers. It is said that whoever took seven rounds of the earth first would be made the Ganadhipati or the leader of the gods. The race started and Kartikeya sat on his vehicle, peacock and Ganesha sat on his vehicle, rat. Kartikeya went to complete the seven rounds but then Ganesha realised that it was not easy task for him as his vehicle was a small rat. So, he with his intelligence took seven rounds of his parents, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, and paid obeisance to them. He said that, “my parents pervade the whole universe and going around them is more than going round the earth.” All the Gods and Goddesses were surprised to listen the logic of Lord Ganesha and to see his knowledge. Thus, Ganesha completed the race first and came to be popularly known as the Ganadhipati or the leader, which is now referred to as Ganapati.
Ganesha And Single Tusk
This legend is related to the symbolic snake, rat and the single tusk. On one of Lord Ganesha’s birthdays, his mother Goddess Parvati prepared 21 types of delicacies and sweet porridge in large amount. He ate so much of it that his big pot-shaped belly could not contain it. He, then on his vehicle, rat, went on his nightly rounds but all of a sudden his mouse stumbled to see a big snake. Lord Ganesha fell down and the entire food came out as his pot-shaped belly burst and then, he put that snake as a belt around his belly. Seeing this, the moon started laughing and this made Lord Ganesha very angry. He then broke off one of his tusks and threw it at the moon. He then cursed the moon that whoever looks at it on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi will be accused of doing wrong. It is why looking at the moon on the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is considered inauspicious.
Shiva And Gajasura
There was a demon (asura) called Gajasura who had all the characteristics of an elephant. He went into penance to please Lord Shiva and became successful in doing so. When Lord Shiva asked his wish, the demon said that he could emanate fire from his body continuously so that no one can come close to him. Lord Shiva granted his wish then again he continued his penance and again Lord Shiva came and asked his wish. This time the demon said, “I desire that you inhabit my stomach.” This wish was also granted by Lord Shiva and he resided in the stomach of the demon. Later, when Goddess Parvati could not find her husband, Lord Shiva, she asked Lord Vishnu to find him instead. Lord Vishnu knew everything and this why he reassured her and said, “Don’t worry, dear sister, your husband is Bhola Shankara and promptly grants to his devotees whatever they ask of him, without regard for the consequences; for this reason, I think he has put himself into some trouble. I will find out what has happened.” Then, Lord Vishnu changed Nandi (the bull of Shiva) into a dancing bull and conducted him before Gajasura and changed himself into a flutist. The pleasing performance of the bull sent the demon into ecstasies and he got impressed. He then asked the flutist his demand, then Lord Vishnu as the flutist said that whatever he will ask for whether the demon will give or not. Gajasura told yes and then the flutist asked to take out Lord Shiva from his stomach. The demon quickly understood that the flutist was no other than Lord Vishnu. He freed Lord Shiva and asked for his last gift and said, “I have been blessed by you with many gifts; my last request is that everyone remembers me adoring my head when I am dead.” To fulfil this last wish of Gajasura, Lord Shiva brought his son at that place and replaced his head with that of Gajasura.
Legend From Skanda Purana There is yet another popular legend associated with Ganesh Chaturthi, arising from Skanda Purana. It goes that once Ganesha was invited for a feast in Chandralok. He ate many Ladoos and later, as he got up to walk after the meal, he could not balance himself, because of his huge stomach, and slipped. His stomach burst and all the laddoos came rolling out. Seeing this, the moon could not control himself and began laughing. Ganesha got angry and cursed the moon that it will vanish from the universe. Because of moon’s absence, the whole world began to wane. The gods asked Lord Shiva to get Ganesha to change his mind. The moon also apologized for his misbehavior. Finally, Ganesha modified his curse saying that the moon would be invisible on only one day of a month and would be partially seen on Ganesha Chaturthi. He also added that anyone who watches moon on Ganesha Chaturthi would face a false accusation. This is the reason why, even today, it is considered inauspicious to look at the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi.Read more at http://festivals.iloveindia.com/ganesh-chaturti/legends.html#btSLvpb0YIBCS0WM.99
108 Names of Ganesh
Curse of Moon
The Arti for invocation of the supreme God Ganesh is sung to worship him.
It is believed that the shortcomings and mistakes while performing the puja are excused and fulfilled by singing the Arti.
Aarti in English
Jai Ganesh Jai Ganesh, Jai Ganesh deva
Mata jaki Parvati, Pita Mahadeva.
Ek dant dayavant, char bhuja dhari
Mathe sindur sohai, muse ki savari, Jai
Andhan ko ankh det, kodhin ko kaya
Banjhan ko putra det, nirdhan ko maya, Jai
Haar chadhe, phul chadhe, aur chadhe meva
Ladduan ka bhog lage, saht kare seva, ,Jai
Deenan ki laaj rakho Shambhu-Sut vaari
Kaamna ko pura karo jag Balihaari
Jai Ganesh, Jai Ganesh, Jai Ganesh deva,
Mata jaki Parvata, Pita Mahadeva..!!
Celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi
108 Names of Ganesh
Curse of Moon
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in most parts of the country with great fervor especially in Maharashtra and some parts of South India.
To appreciate this occasion, one must go to Mumbai where preparations begin months in advance. Images of Ganesha are installed within homes as well as in public places. Elaborate arrangements are made for lighting and decoration and Ganesha is fervently worshiped for about 7-10 days.
On the day of the Chaturthi, the last of the ten days dedicated to the elephant-headed god, thousands of processions converge on the beaches of Mumbai to immerse the holy idols in the sea. This immersion is accompanied by drumbeats, devotional songs and dancing. Every year, the largest Ganesh idol is installed at Khairatabad in Hyderabad, which is more than 30 ft tall. The Ganapati Mahotsav or the Grand Festival of Ganesha is the main festival in Mumbai, the financial capital of India.
Each of these idols can be up to 10 meters in height and are paraded on lorries decorated with multicolored lights. At the other end of the scale, little Ganeshas are placed in nukkads or street corners and in homes, and pujas are performed daily. This festival was initially started by Shivaji, the great Maratha ruler, to promote culture and a feeling of nationalism amongst his subjects who were fighting against the Mughals.
After his death the festival was celebrated but on a smaller scale. In 1894 when the British banned public assemblies Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak who felt that this was the way of spreading the freedom message through a legitimate religious festival revived the festival.
On full moon day every idol is taken down to the Chowpatty beach accompanied by hordes of people singing and dancing and is immersed in the Arabian Sea.
Ganpati is the god of learning. He is addressed as the “Remover of Obstacles” (“Vignaharta”). His devotees believe that no enterprise will succeed unless he is invoked. The picture of Ganpati is often found on the doors of houses and printed on wedding cards. On the occasion of the Ganpati festival a large number of images are made of all possible sizes, and people buy them to keep in their houses as a divine guest for one and a half, five, seven, or ten days, after which the image is taken out ceremoniously and put into the river, sea or well for immersion or“visarjan”. When he is immersed in the water, people sing,
(“father Ganpati, next year come again.”)
Divine Symbolism of Lord Ganesh
108 Names of Ganesh
Curse of Moon
Complete body of Ganeshji or Ganpati has symbolic imports for his devotees:
- Large Stomach
Represents his great capacity to digest all good and bad in life.
- Short Legs:
Symbolize tolerance power.
- Large Ears:
Imply listening devotees.
- Small Eyes:
Imply having high concentration power.
- Mouse as Vehicle:
Represents a deity of control over desires.
- Large Forehead:
Develops great intelligence
- One Tusk:
Retains good and throws away bad.
- Long Trunk:
Represents high efficiency and adaptability.
- Four Arms:
Ganpati’s four arms hold the following:
1. “Ankush”:- Symbol for control over the mind
2. “Ladu”:- For happiness
3. “Pash ”:- axe to cut off all bonds of attachments
4. “Ashirvad mudra”:- blessings for the well being of humanity
Ganesh Chaturthi Video
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… to the Hindu mythology, there are several legends related to Ganesh Chaturthi. Go through the article to know in detail about the Ganesh Chaturthi legends.
Ganesh Chaturthi, a festival dedicated to Lord Ganesh, is celebrated with great faith and belief. Let us explore its story and legends.
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