Ganesha-the supreme lord of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.

Sri Sri | September 10, 2021 12:01 PM
Ganesha, the elephant-headed god, is worshipped as the supreme lord of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.  Ganesh Chaturthi, which has been an individual, home function for a long time, is now a social event as well.

During colonial rule, there was a wave of depression and desperation in society as there was no hope for freedom in the prevailing circumstances. Many leaders like Lokmanya Tilak then decided to have community celebrations during Ganesh Chaturthi to invoke a sense of bonhomie and togetherness.

Since then, Ganesh Chaturthi has become a community event, also. At the individual level, it’s a spiritual celebration and it assumes a cultural identity and expression when celebrated in the community on a large scale.  Interestingly different types of Ganesha idols have been found during excavations in places in Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Bulgaria and many countries in Europe, revealing that Ganesha had a presence outside India as well.  Ganesh Chaturthi is the occasion to realise that you are connected to the Divine and that you can overcome all obstacles.

When you face hurdles in life, you feel a sort of helplessness. You feel you don’t have the power and energy to get over them and so you tend to feel low and confused. At such moments, remember Ganesha, who, as Vigneshvara, is believed to be the remover of obstacles.  Ganesha is also known as the Dhoomra Varna (smoke-coloured god). Obstacles are smokey. When situations are unclear, you don’t see what’s in front of you, even though it is there. When you invoke the Ganesha within, you get the courage, confidence and spirit to face all obstacles.

And once you are ready to face them, you will find that they just vanish.  Another aspect of Ganesha is as the bestower of intelligence. However intelligent you are, you would still need more intelligence to sail through the ups and downs of life.  Ganesha is also the one who gives you perfection. Siddhi means perfection, buddhi means intelligence. If at all one needs to pray for something, it should be for good intellect and perfection. One sign of Siddhi is that things appear before you desire them; you don’t even get a chance to make a desire.

The second level is when you desire, and at that very moment, it appears in front of you. Sometimes, you desire but you don’t get what you want – this is lack of siddhi. Getting in abundance on time or before time is siddhi. And this can only happen through sincere prayer. 

Among the deities, Ganesha is the first deity. Ganesha’s place is in the base, the Muladhara chakra. He is the entry point for the divine qualities. So when we worship him, all the good qualities blossom in us. Usually, before immersing the clay idol in water at the culmination of the festival, the water element is worshiped.

We have to keep the pancha tattva, the five elements, free from toxic pollution and so avoid plastic and harmful paints.  Making the lord of intellect and perfection a part of you and your family is the essence of Ganesh Chaturthi. Though people adore Ganesha every day, the days of Ganesh Chaturthi are special as there is a wave of togetherness and devotion that gets invoked in the individual and in society. .

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