1) Lord Ganesha — the creator of happiness
Ganesh Chaturthi is the most favourite festival of the Hindu community. It is celebrated all over the country with great devotion and joy. People bring an idol of Lord Ganesha into their homes very happily and perform puja for 10 days with full devotion and faith.
Ganesh Chaturthi is a 10-day Hindu festival celebrated to honour the elephant-headed God. Ganesha is the younger son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Although it is not known when or how Ganesh Chaturthi was first observed, the festival has been publicly celebrated in Pune since the era of Shivaji (1630-1680). It was later revived by Lokmanya Tilak which is now celebrated all over India on a large scale.
According to the Hindus, Ganesha is the remover of obstacles and all the problems in one’s life as well as the creator of happiness in the life of people. People in India worship Lord Ganesha always before starting any new work. Little children call him friend Ganesha as he cares for and loves them.
– Jubel D’Cruz
2) Ganesha omits upper and lower caste differences
Maharashtra is the state known for the grand scale Ganesh Chaturthi celebration. Publicly, Ganesha idol was installed first by Bhausaheb Laxman Javale. It was celebrated as a public event since the time of Maratha King Shivaji. Then, Lokmanya Tilak changed the festival from a private celebration to a grand public event “to bridge the gap between the Brahmins and the non-Brahmins and find an appropriate context in which to build a new grassroots unity between them”. This is what I like the most about Ganesh Chaturthi that it reduces the differences between Hindu upper cast and others, whether for the time being.
– Ismail Ansari
3) Gala Ganapati grand celebrations
Ganpati festival is commencing from Sept 13, 2018, in Mumbai in general and Navi Mumbai and other parts of the city in particular and both men and women have geared up for the big occasion. Bal Gangadhar Tilak was instrumental in making Ganapati Festival as a social function for all religion. It is time to remember the Elephant God on this auspicious occasion with a Ganapati slogan chanting.
Sarva vigna haram devam
Sarva vigna vivarjitham
Sarva siddhi Prajatharam
Vandheham Gana nayakam
Om Ganam thva Ganapathim havamahe
Kavim kavinam upamasravasthmam
Jeyshtarajam brahmanam brahnaspatha
Aana srunvannuthibi sitasathanam
Om Maha Ganapathaiye nama
God is Great and Elephant God Ganapati is really great. This year’s Ganapati is an eco-friendly Ganpati. People have taken an oath to bring Eco-friendly Ganpati idols home and save the city from pollution. Reduced noise pollution is a key to this year’s Ganapati festival celebrations.
The end of the monsoon brings round one of Mumbai’s most beloved festival — Ganesh Chaturthi. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated by the Hindus around the world as the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the destroyer of obstacles. Observed during the Hindu month of Bhadra, it lasts for 10 days, ending on the 10th day which is called Anant Chaturdashi.
This year, Ganesha idols were brought home on September 13 and installed with great ceremony (sthapna) on a decorated platform. The idol is offered pure water along with libations such as honey and milk.
A puja is performed twice a day until the idol leaves the home. On the 10th day, the uttarpuja ritual is performed, after which visarjan takes place i.e. the idol is submerged in the sea, river or even a token dip in a bucket. The final visarjan day sees Mumbai crisscrossed on Anant Chathurdasi day, by throngs of worshippers trailing their idols to the shore. It is customary to bring home a smidgen of sand and the paat on which the murti rested before visarjan. Kept at home for a day or two, they serve as a panacea for the emptiness brought on by Ganpati’s departure.
Children enjoy the festival with much fanfare. With schools declared a week’s leave, children enjoy the prasadams and the cultural events very much. In all, it is a happy family reunion for the relatives and friends.
– Jayanthy Subramaniam
4) Ganapati binds communal fabric of the city!
Ganesh Chaturthi is Mumbai’s ‘King of all festivals’ which is celebrated across the city with much fanfare by people of all religions including Muslims which makes the festivities unique. The city has overcome the gravest of all problems including the worst of riots and bomb blasts as people genuinely feel that it is because of ‘Bappa’s’ blessings over us and no amount of outside force can unsettle us — be it natural disasters or otherwise. Mumbai comes to life like never seen before during the one and a half week of celebrations as people irrespective of religion, gender, and financial stature rub shoulders to seek the blessings of the Elephant God to prosper and live peacefully in life.
Ganapati festivities are the binding force that protects the communal fabric of the city. People see the idol of the Ganesha as their own Gods — be it ‘Allah’ or ‘Christ’ and it is faith that matters as all Gods are the same in the garb of an idol you worship and given different names in different religions as the blood in our bodies is the same which is a proof of our oneness as a specie.
Hope this year’s festival too is celebrated with the same spirit of brotherhood and the blessings of Ganesha as always which should bring peace and prosperity into our lives!
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)