Ganesha Chaturthi is a Hindu festival celebrated annually to welcome the God Ganesha on his birthday (birth anniversary). He is lovely son of Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati. People of Hindu religion all across India believe that every year Ganesha come to the earth and bestow people with lots of desirable blessings. Lord Ganesha is a most popular God of the Hindu religion who blesses devotees with wisdom and prosperity. It is celebrated in schools and colleges, shops and offices. Hindus also observe it at home and perform this Puja with great devotion.
He is the remover of obstacles and all the problems as well as creator of happiness in the life of people. People in India worship Ganesha always before starting any new work as Gananayak and Vighna-nashak. But, the puja during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival is observed once in the year with great interest and enthusiasm. He is the lovely God for all children. Children call him friend Ganesha as He cares and loves children. People celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi every year in the month of August or September for 10 days. Puja starts from Chaturthi and ends on Anant Chaturdashi.
Ganesha has a great mythological significance and his worship once in the year is also of great significance. Ganesha and Saraswati are specially worshipped by students in the schools and colleges. Students perform puja during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival with great pomp as they believe that Lord Ganesha will remove all obstacles from the path of their life and will bless them with knowledge and wisdom.
Each part of the image of Lord Ganesha has a profound meaning.
The Elephant Head
Story: Ganesh lost his human head in a fight with his father, Shiva, because he had refused to let Shiva enter the house, in obedience to his mother Parvati’s order not to let anyone enter. Father and son, unaware of the relationship they shared, battled each other furiously as Ganesh fought with all his might to discharge his duty. Shiva chopped off his head to defeat him. However, when he was brought to realize that Ganesh had only been doing his duty, Shiva brought their son back to life by replacing his human head with that of an elephant.
Learning: Be obedient and dutiful to your parents and elders in the family. Be loyal to the task you have been assigned.
Story: One day Shiva and Parvati presented their sons, Kartikeya and Ganesh, with an interesting challenge. The game was to take three laps around the world. The winner was to be blessed with the fruit of knowledge. Kartikeya, being the swift one, started off immediately to fly around the earth on his ride, the peacock. For a moment, Ganesh pitied himself for his bulky body and his ride, the mouse. He then circumambulated his parents thrice, since they meant the world to him.
Learning: Show your regard and love for your parents. Do not allow yourself to be bogged down by your physical limitations. Use wisdom and courage to handle complex situations.
The ability to listen attentively when people ask for help is the virtue of a good human being.
The Rolled Up Trunk
Background: A normal elephant eats drinks and breathes with his trunk. It also serves as the defense mechanism against his enemies. However, Ganesha’s image shows the trunk rolled up to the left or right side of his body.
Learning: A person may acquire power as a result of wealth, intelligence, success or destiny. However, it is important to control and not misuse one’s power.
Story: Sage Vyas was narrating the Mahabharata to Ganesh. While writing, Ganesh broke his feather pen. Ganesh did not want to interrupt his instructor. Hence, he broke his own tusk to continue writing with it.
Learning: Make yourself useful to achieve something purposeful. Selflessness is difficult but a much-valued virtue of a good human being.