EDUindex News

EDUindex News

Ganesh Chaturthi


 By: Astha Raghav 

Ganesh Chathurthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, or Vinayaka Chaviti is a Hindu festival celebrating the arrival of Lord Ganesh to earth from Kailash Parvat with his mother Goddess Parvati/Gauri. The festival is marked with the installation of Lord Ganesh's clay murtis privately in homes and publicly by Shri Bal Gangadhar Tilak popularly known as Lokmanya Tilak in Pune in the year 1893 on elaborate pandals (temporary stages). Observations include chanting of Vedic hymns and Hindu texts such as, prayers and vrata (fasting). Offerings and prasāda from the daily prayers, that are distributed from the pandal to the community, include sweets such as modaka as it is believed to be a favourite of Lord Ganesh. The festival ends on the tenth day after start, when the idol is carried in a public procession with music and group chanting, then immersed in a nearby body of water such as a river or sea, called visarjan.. In Mumbai alone, around 150,000 statues are immersed annually. Thereafter the clay idol dissolves and Ganesh is believed to return to Mount Kailash to Parvati and Shiva. The festival celebrates Lord Ganesh as the God of New Beginnings and the Remover of Obstacles as well as the god of wisdom and intelligence and is observed throughout India, especially in the states such as MaharashtraKarnatakaRajasthanMadhya PradeshAndhra PradeshTelanganaOdishaGoaWest BengalGujaratChhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu. Ganesh Chaturthi is also observed in Nepal and by the Hindu diaspora elsewhere such as in AustraliaNew ZealandCanadaSingaporeMalaysiaTrinidad and TobagoGuyanaSuriname, other parts of the CaribbeanFijiMauritiusSouth Africa,United States, and Europe. In the Gregorian calendar, Ganesh Chaturthi falls between 22 August and 20 September every year.

At public venues, along with the reading of texts and group feasting, athletic and martial arts competitions are also held.

Indian freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak, championed it as a means to circumvent the colonial British government ban on Hindu gatherings through its anti-public assembly legislation in 1892. It is also known as Ganesh Chaturvedi.

Though not alluding to the classical form of Ganapati, the earliest mention of Ganapati is found in the Rigveda. It appears twice in the Rigveda, once in shloka 2.23.1, as well as in shloka 10.112.9. Both of these shlokas imply a role of Ganapati as "the seer among the seers, abounding beyond measure in food presiding among the elders and being the lord of an invocation", while the shloka in mandala 10 states that without Ganapati "nothing nearby or afar is performed without thee", according to Michael. However, it is uncertain that the Vedic term Ganapati which literally means "guardian of the multitudes", referred specifically to later era Ganesh, nor do the Vedic texts mention Ganesh Chaturthi. appears in post-Vedic texts such as the Grhya Sutras and thereafter ancient Sanskrit texts such as the Vajasaneyi Samhita, the Yajnavalkya Smriti and the Mahabharata mention Ganapati as Ganesvaras and VinayakGanesh appears in the medieval Puranas in the form of "god of success, obstacle remover". The Skanda PuranaNarada Purana and the Brahma Vaivarta Purana, in particular, profusely praise him. Beyond textual interpretations, archaeological and epigraphical evidence suggest Ganesh had become popular, was revered before the 8th century CE and numerous images of him are traceable to the 7th century or earlier.

Thank You!