Vinayaka Chathurthi Pooja (Ganesha Chathurthi Pooja)
A day for revelation.
Vinayaka Chathurthi is a day of revelation for Hindus all over, the first thing which may occur in mind is that it may be the birthday of Lord Ganapathi the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Sri Parvati. Ganesha or Vinayaka is a strange god with head of an elephant and there is a story behind his origin which is stranger than his shape. In fact every thing associated with this lovable little god is strange and interesting. Lord Ganesh is worshipped by Hindus before starting any thing of important and his blessing is considered must for the success of all human efforts.
Birth stranger than fiction.
Let us see how he was born, one day while Lord Shiva had gone for hunting; Goddess Parvathi had to take bath and as no security was available she made a small clay image by her magical power she inflicted life in to it! The new security was on guard of the house while Lord Shiva arrived from forest. Shiva was denied entry by the new security personal as per the instruction of Parvathi who was not aware that her husband will return early. Shiva was enraged as he was blocked by a new dwarf and he took his sword and cut off his head.
Birth death and new avatar.
Parvathi when came out of bathroom found Shiva in a rage and the body of Vinayaka was lying on the floor as the head had gone some where. She told the fact to Shiva and he repented on his rage and asked servants to fetch the head immediately. As the head could not be found the servants cut off the head of an elephant and brought it home. Shiva with his magical power grafted the elephant head on the body and enlivened the image! As a compensation for cutting off head Shiva gave the image a special status as ‘Ganapathi’ which means the chief of the mass (gana = mass and pathi = chief) and admitted him as his son.
Many many avatars.
Ganesha, Ganadhipathi or Vinayaka all are one and same the Lord Ganesh, he is a specialist in taking new incarnations as per the requirements of the occasion. On one occasion Ganesha took the shape of a wild elephant and terrorised a girl by name Valli resulting in a marriage with Lord Subramanya; Ganesha’s brother. In yet another occasion he took the shape of crow to upset a pot of holy water kept by a sage Agastya in his hermitage, this is the legend behind the
On one occasion for a change he took the birth of a mischievous boy and started playing jokes provoking the saints who caught hold of him and chained to a pillar. Later when his true identity was revealed; the saints repented and pleased him with a special cookie by name ‘modakam’ which is made of boiled peas mixed with jaggery dipped in wet floor and fried in oil. Ganapathi is said to have a sweet tooth for modakam.........!
Ganapathi pappa moria!
Ganesha was made in the day of 14th lunar day of bright fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada (between August and September as per Gregorian calendar). This day is for Ganesha his birthday, his death-day as well as his resurrection day in a new shape! The celebration is done in gusto and flash of colors as saffron powder is lavishly sprayed or sprinkled all through. Processions are held as people dance and sing chanting ‘Ganapathi Pappa Moria, Mangala Moorthi Moria’ in loud clamor with the image of Ganesha to be dipped in the nearby sea or river. These are times of mass hysteria and people usually calm and soft chant these magical words as loud as they can and dance on the street bathed in saffron.
Ganapathi is said to travel on a rat (mooshika) as everything related with him is strange his vehicle is only natural! He is worshipped as the protector of farmlands as he is the master of rats. Although his pranks are many he is no weakling, on one occasion he brought all the Devas (demi-gods and their chief Indra) to their knees. Ganesh has a pot-belly which also is quite characteristic to him rather a trademark to a god who is richly endowed with peculiarities.
Ganapathi is said to be a soft hearted god and a short cut wise people pray to him to get instant relief from hard times. Once Ganapathi outwitted the Demon-King Ravana and blocked the phallus symbol from reaching Lanka (the present day