“Ganesh Chaturthi is a day to start striving to multiply your intelligence. If you work for a boneless limb by doing asanas in the morning, it may happen,” says SadhguruJaggiVasudev.
It is being said that Goddess Parvati created Ganesha out of dirt and set him to guard her door while she was taking bath. Shiva, who has gone out, returned at that time, but as Ganesha didn’t know him, stopped him from entering. An angry Shiva beheaded Ganesha. A furious Parvati ordered Shiva to bring back life to Ganesha’s body. The devas went in search of a head facing north of a dead person could manage only the head of an elephant. Shiva fixed the elephant’s head on the child and brought him back to life.
There is another story which says that Ganesha was created by Shiva and Parvati on request of the Devas, to be a vighnakartaa (obstacle-creator) in the path of rakshasas (demonic beings), and a vighnahartaa (obstacle-averter) to help the Devas.
The 10 days of this festival are celebrated with tremendous zeal and enthusiasm all across the country, especially in Maharashtra.
People install clay idols of Lord Ganesha and perform rituals for next 10 days which includes timely Aarti, Prasad distribution, satsangs etc.
There are four main rituals during the festival – Pranapratishhtha – the process of infusing the deity into a murti or idol, Shhodashopachara – 16 forms of paying tribute to Ganesha, Uttarpuja – Puja after which the idol could be shifted after its infusion, GanpatiVisarjan – immersion of the Idol in the river.
During these 10 days of Ganesh Chaturthi, the streets of Mumbai remain jam-packed as people hop from one pandal to another to witness the extravagant idols and grand pandals. This year nearly 7,610 GaneshotsavMandals, or pandals have been set up across the state of Maharashtra.
Food is also considered as an important part of this festival. Lord Ganesh is known as “modapriya” due to his fondness of modaks. Different varieties of the sweet are prepared over the course of the celebrations. Modak is prepared with a mix of coconut shavings and jaggery.