Ganesh Chaturthi Essay
A Hindu celebration commemorating Lord Ganesh and his mother Goddess Parvati or Gauri's arrival to Earth from Kailash Parvat is known as Ganesh Chaturthi. It is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi.
During this festival, the idol of lord Ganesh is placed at home for 10 days. This festival ends on the tenth day after its start, on the last day Ganesh's idol is carried publicly with music and chanting and immersed in a water body like a river, sea, etc.
Among the rituals that are performed on this festival include hymns from the Vedas and Hindu literature like prayers and vrata (fasting). It is said that modaka is a favourite treat of Lord Ganesh, hence it is included in the gifts and prasda from the daily prayers that are given from the pandal to the devotees.
Bal Gangadhar Tilak, also known as Lokmanya Tilak, built clay idols of Lord Ganesh in Pune in 1893 to celebrate the festival both privately in people's homes and publicly on lavish pandals.
Approximately 150,000 monuments are submerged each year in Mumbai alone. Once the clay statue breaks, it is supposed that Ganesh would go back to Mount Kailash and rejoin Parvati and Shiva. The entire celebration is dedicated to Lord Ganesh, the god of beginnings, the remover of barriers, and the god of intellect and intelligence. It is observed throughout India but is particularly well-liked in places like Maharashtra and Goa.
In addition to Nepal, the Hindu diaspora also celebrates Ganesh Chaturthi in a number of other nations, including Fiji, Mauritius, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, and other Caribbean islands. Every year, this festival is celebrated between 22 August and 20 September.
Indian freedom warrior Lokmanya Tilak celebrated it as a way to protest against the colonial British government's 1892 anti-public assembly rule that prevented Hindu assemblies. Ganesh Chaturvedi is another name for it.
Since King Shivaji's rule (1630-1680, founder of the Maratha Empire) Ganesh Chaturthi has been openly observed in Pune, but it is unknown when this custom actually began. The Peshwa, who were Ganesh devotees, started a public Ganesh festival in their capital city of Pune during the month of Bhadrapad in the 18th century. Before Lokmanya Tilak, an Indian freedom fighter, the Ganesh festival in Maharashtra had lost state support due to the British Raj and was celebrated as a private family function.
As per others, including Kaur, the festival became public even later, in 1892, when Bhausaheb Laxman Javale placed the first sarvajanik (public) Ganesh idol in Pune. This public celebration was praised by Indian freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak in his publication Kesari in 1893. Tilak then pledged to make the annual festival a big, well-attended public event. Robert Brown claims that Tilak made Ganesh his choice for the god who would "cross the gap between Brahmins and non-Brahmins," encouraging a grassroots unification to oppose British colonial rule. Tilak recognised Ganesh's appeal as "the god for everyone." Other researchers assert that the British Empire established a number of ordinances after 1870 that forbade public gatherings of more than 20 individuals in British India for social and political purposes out of concern for seditious assemblies as a result of pressure from the Indian Muslim minority.
However, Friday mosque prayers were exempt from these ordinances. Since Tilak believed that Hindus were virtually prohibited from organising public gatherings if their religion did not need daily prayers or weekly assemblies, he used this religious exemption to create Ganesh Chaturthi in order to get over the British colonial restriction on big public gatherings. In pavilions in Bombay Presidency and on other festive occasions throughout the festival, he was the first to erect sizable public images of Ganesh.
In 1893, Tilak assisted in turning the Ganesh Chaturthi festival into a significant neighbourhood gathering as well as a covert platform for political agitation, academic debate, poetry readings, plays, concerts, and folk dances.
In Goa, Ganesh Chaturthi was celebrated before the Kadamba era. The Goa Inquisition forbade Hindu festivals, and individuals who did not accept Christianity were subject to severe punishments. The restrictions didn't stop Hindu villages from following their religion, though. Many households worship Ganesh as patri, which is a paper cutout, or as tiny silver idols. Ganesh Chaturthi in Goa is exceptional in this way because some homes have hidden Ganesh idols because the Jesuits forbade clay Ganesh idols and because of celebrations during the Inquisition.
Months before the festivities, public preparations start. Local companies or community organisations frequently sponsor or fund local Mandapas or Pandals with donations from the local populace. In Maharashtra, "Padya pooja," or worshipping Lord Ganesh's feet, usually precedes the creation of a murti. The Murtis are brought to "pandals" the day before the event. The pandals are lavishly decorated and lit. The festive preparations at home include scheduling the Ganesh murti up to a month in advance and buying puja supplies or accessories a few days before the event. The murti is taken home either the day before or on Ganesh Chaturthi itself. Families decorate a small part of the house with flowers and other colourful accents before placing the idol.
Typically, the presence of Chaturthi Thithi determines the festival's date. The following day is observed as Vinayaka Chaturthi if Chaturthi Thiti starts at night on the day before and ends by morning on the following day. During the consecration ritual, a priest invokes Ganesh as a guest by performing a Prana Pratishtha. The final part of the 16-step Shodashopachara ceremony is to offer the idol coconut, jaggery, modaks, durva grass, and red hibiscus flowers. The reciting of hymns from the Rigveda, the Ganapati Atharvashirsa, and the Ganesh stotra from the Narada Purana, depending on the locale and time zone are also performed.
The custom of Ganesh Visarjan, which is also called Ganesh Nimajjanam is observed on the final day of the festival. On this day, Lord Ganapati's idol is immersed in a river, sea, or other body of water. The followers parade through the streets while carrying the Ganesh idol to the water body.
The history of the Ganesh visarjan is fascinating. On the festival's final day, Lord Ganesha is said to reconcile with his parents, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, atop Mount Kailash. The holiday of Ganesh Chaturthi also acts as a metaphor for the significance of the cycle of birth, life, and death. Ganesha is revered as the Lord of Fresh Starts and the Remover of Obstacles. According to popular belief, when the Ganesha idol is taken out for immersion, it also carries or removes numerous obstructions or hurdles in the house.
In India, The central and western states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Goa, as well as the southern states, the eastern states of West Bengal, and the north-eastern provinces of Assam, celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi largely at home and in public. Ganesh Chaturthi is known in Maharashtra as Ganeshotsav.
During the event, families erect tiny clay statues for adoration. Every morning and evening, people present the Murti with gifts of flowers, durva, karanji, and modaks. An aarti is sung in honour of Ganesh, and other Gods.
Ganesh Chaturthi, also called Parab or Parva in Konkani, starts on the third day of the lunar month of Bhadrapada. Women observe a day of fasting and worship Parvati and Shiva. A variety of instruments, such as ghumots, crash cymbals, and pakhavaj, are played during the rituals. The following day is the celebration of Navyachi Pancham, the harvest festival, during which newly harvested paddy is taken home from the fields and puja is held.
People around Karnataka send their loved ones good wishes at the Gowri festival, which comes before Ganesh Chaturthi. In Andhra Pradesh, plaster of Paris statues of Ganesh is typically worshipped at home alongside clay and turmeric statues.
Celebration outside India
In Pakistan, the Shri Maharashtra Panchayat, a group for Maharashtrians in Karachi, organises Ganesh Chaturthi events.
The British Hindu community that lives there also celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi. In 2005, the Vishwa Hindu Temple hosted the inaugural Ganesh Chaturthi celebration in London. The Hindu Culture and Heritage Society, a Southall-based organisation, then had the idol immersed in the Thames near Putney Pier. In Southend-on-Sea, a Gujarati group organised a different event that drew some 18,000 ardent followers.
Every year, events take place in Liverpool on the River Mersey. The Philadelphia Ganesh Festival, which is celebrated in Canada, Mauritius, Malaysia, and Singapore, is among the most well-known Ganesh Chaturthi events in North America. Due to the significant Tamil-speaking Hindu minority, the event is more frequently referred to as Vinayagar Chaturthi in Malaysia and Singapore.
The primary sweet food offered during the event is modak, also known as modaka or kadubu in Kannada, modakam or kudumu in Telugu, and modak in Marathi and Konkani. A modak is a rice- or wheat-based dumpling that is steamed or fried after being filled with grated coconut, dried fruits, and other ingredients. The karanji, which resembles modak in taste and composition but has a semicircular shape, is another well-known sweet delicacy. The Goans and the Konkani diaspora refer to this sweet supper as Nevri and associate it with the Ganesh holiday.
In the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Ganesh receives offerings of modak, laddu, vundrallu, panakam, vadapappu, and chalividi. A dish of modak often has 21 pieces of the sweet, and these offerings are referred to as naivedya. Modak and an idli that is specific to Goa are also well-liked dishes.
Panchakajjaya is an offering made to Lord Ganesh at this celebration in several parts of Karnataka. Ingredients include sugar, ghee, sesame, desiccated coconut, and roasted Bengal gramme powder. Panchakajjaya is produced in a variety of forms. Green gramme, roasted chana dal, roasted Bengal gramme, or roasted aval can be used in its preparation.
Ganesh Chaturthi is a highly religious and popular festival in India. It is celebrated with great devotion, joy and excitement. People place a Ganesh idol in their homes for ten days and immersed it in a water body at the end of the festival. It is believed that Lord Ganesh removes all hurdles and problems from the life of devotees who place his idol in their homes during this festival.
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