Bhubaneswar: The auspicious Hindu festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, marking the birth of Lord Ganesh is here. The festival is celebrated nationwide with great enthusiasm and joy. Also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi or Ganesh Utsav, it falls on the Chaturthi tithi of Shukla Paksha. The festival is observed for 10 days by the Hindu devotees and the last day of the celebration is marked with “Ganesh Visarjan.”
Ganesh Chaturthi begins on September 19 and ends on September 28. The Ganesh Puja muhurat will start at 11:01 am and end at 1:28 pm on September 19. Additionally, the Chaturthi Tithi will start on September 18 at 12:39 pm and end on September 19 at 1:43 pm, says Drik Panchang.
History and Significance:
Lord Ganesha is the god of wisdom, knowledge, prosperity and happiness. As per the legend, Maa Paravati created Lord Ganesha with sandalwood paste. It is believed that she left Lord Ganesha to guard the place while she was taking a bath. Since Lord Shiva was not present at this time, he did not know about this arrangement. When he returned, he was surprised to find Lord Ganesha outside the place where Maa Parvati was taking a bath. When Lord Ganesha did not allow Lord Shiva to enter the place he was furious and severed Ganesha’s head. Maa Parvati was infuriated to see this and took the Kaali avatar while threatening to end the world. After finding the truth, Lord Shiva requested his men to fetch the head of a child whose mother was looking the other way. His men returned with the head of a baby elephant and gave it to Ganesha. That’s how Lord Ganesha came to be known as the elephant-headed god.
Ganesh Chaturthi holds immense spiritual and cultural significance for Hindus. Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, is believed to bless his devotees with wisdom, success, and good fortune. Devotees seek Lord Ganesha’s blessings before starting any work, exam, wedding or new job.
Scriptures such as the Ganesh Purana, Mudgala Purana, and Matsya Purana mention a ‘Ganesha Chaturthi Navaratri,’ similar to the Devi Navratris. In Hyderabad, the name of the festival is, in fact, ‘Ganapathi Navratri Utsavam’.
Just like the nine days of Devi Navratri are meant for worship of nine forms of the Goddess, these nine days are for worship of Ganesha to keep away nine types of evils – anger, passion, attachment, greed, intoxication and passion, etc. This way, Ganesh Chaturthi becomes a kind of `diksha’.
When Tilak made the festival into a public event, one of the reasons was to unite people, foster patriotism and bridge social gaps. However, the main purpose was to rid Indians of tamasic tendencies in order that they work for the freedom of the country.
Ganesh Chaturthi is marked with much fervour across the country, especially in Maharashtra, Telangana, and Karnataka. To celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi, people bring idols of Ganpati Bappa to their homes for one-and-a-half days, three days, seven days, or ten days. The festival ends with Ganesh Visarjan, during which devotees immerse Lord Ganesha’s idols in water with heavy hearts, wishing for Bappa to return next year. Huge processions are held during Visarjan with people chanting ‘ Ganapati Bappa Morya, Purchya Varshi Laukariya’.