Indian Festival : Ganesh Chaturthi
Lord Shiva performed surgery
Ganesha denotes the master of all senses, mind and intellect. That is the all-pervading, antaryamin. ‘Gananam patih eeti Ganapatih’| To enlighten us of that formless Supreme Brahman the sages and god have composed many a divine plays. The following story is narrated in scriptures. Lord Shiva had gone out. The Goddess Parvati, by her yogic power, created a boy out of the mud of Her Body and placed Him at the entrance of the house. She told Him not to allow anyone to enter, while she went inside for a bath. Lord Shiva came back and wanted to go in. The boy stopped Him and said, “You cannot go inside.” With His trident, Lord Shiva beheaded the boy and went in. Then Parvatiji told Him about having created the boy. Lord Shiva said, “Ok! He is your mental child. I too will display the power of My will.” Lord Shiva ordered His servants to cut off and bring to Him the head of any creature that might be sleeping with its head facing north. They brought the head of an elephant and Lord Shiva joined it onto the body of Ganesha. What a great feat of surgery! People talk so highly of plastic surgery of nose and organ transplant. See the great surgeon Lord Shiva. He made a head transplant! And this surgery played an instrumental role in teaching many things to the people.
Wonderful inspiration to the society
Lord Ganapati has very large ears like winnowing basket. The large ears give us the lesson that the family-head should be keen in mind. The elephant’s large ears are symbolic of a winnowing basket that separates grains from pebbles, chaff etc. They teach us that one should winnow out the unnecessary things and keep the essence of whatever one hears. Don’t take all you hear for truth or untruth. Just keep the essence of it. Lord Ganapati’s physical form imparts this teaching to us. Lord Ganesha has a long trunk. He smells things from long distance. Likewise, the head of the family should be able to smell the activities of others before they cause serious consequences.
The eyes of an elephant are smaller than other organs. Yet he can pick up even a needle. Similarly, the head of the family or the community should have a keen insight. He should speak and act with circumspection weighing all probable consequences of his words and acts. He should be careful what to speak and when to speak. His decisions should be well considered ones. Lord Ganapati rides a mouse. How would such a huge Lord Ganapati ride a mouse? It teaches that one should keep even smallest person as his attendant. Big person will not be able to gather information from all places. The small person can enter any place like a mouse, and bring the secret information to you. Similarly, take help from even the smallest of men and gather information and spread your message far and wide. It is not that Lord Ganapati rides the mouse and goes from place to place. This is a symbolic message telling how to enter the spiritual world.
The spiritual meaning behind bidding farewell to Lord Ganapati
We make clay idol of Lord Ganapati, worship it for a few days and then a farewell is bidden to the Deity by dipping it in water. We first give a form to the formless God; then we immerse that form too in the water. Yet it gives us something, when we celebrate the festival with dancing and singing with devotional love. Dancing on rock and pop music too gives something – it gives sexual excitement, irritability and depletion of life energy. But dancing in the name of Lord Ganapati gives us insights – listen to all, but retain only what is useful; smell things from far off; take help from the smallest of men to carry out your divine works.
Bidding farewell to Ganesha suggests us to bid farewell to egotism, sense of reality in the physical forms, and attachment and aversion. Don’t grieve over the past. Let bygones be bygones. Do not be upset with loss of ever-changing things. Have no fear of the tomorrow. Live in present without being overwhelmed by egotism and ignorance. Do japa of ‘Aum Gam Ganapataye Namah’. Teach your children also to do japa of this mantra. It is a wonderful recipe for spiritual growth.
Save yourself from false accusation
Ganesh Chaturthi is also known as ‘Kalanki Chauth’.
Looking at the Moon in the night of the fourth lunar day of the bright fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada is prohibited by the scriptures. This year Ganesh Chaturthi falls on 9th September. That day the moon will set at 9.28 PM. Up to this time, looking at the moon is prohibited.
If one happens to chance upon the moon by mistake…
One should drink water consecrated by the following mantra.
‘Shinha prasenamavadhit shinho jambavata hatah |
Sukumaraka maa rodistava hryesha syamantakah ||
‘O charming prince! For this gem the lion has killed Prasena, and Jambavana has killed that lion; hence do not cry. Now this Syamantaka gem belongs rightfully to you alone.’
(The Brahmavaivarta Purana, Chapter: 78)
The story of Syamantaka jewel is described in the fifty sixth and fifty seventh chapters of the 10th canto of the Srimad Bhagwat. Application of this mantra, or reading or hearing of the above mentioned story saves one from the adverse effect of looking at the Moon on this day.
On the auspicious Afternoon of Bhadrapad Shukla Chaturthi, Lord Ganesha should be worshipped and after doing aarti, || Aum Gam Ganapataye Namah || this mantra should be chanted, bhakta invokes the presence of Ganesha using the statue as a channel, or body for his energy. This ritual is the Pranapratishhtha. After this the ritual called as Shhodashopachara (16 ways of paying tribute) follows. Coconut, jaggery, modakas, durva (trefoil) blades of grass and red flowers are offered. The statue is anointed with red unguent, typically made of kumkum and sandalwood paste. Throughout the festival, Vedic hymns from the Rig Veda, the Ganapati Atharva Shirsha Upanishad, and the Ganesha stotra from the Narada Purana are chanted. On the 1,3,5,7 or 11th day, the statue of Ganapati is immersed in a river or the sea.
“One story of Lord Ganesha”
Once Lord Ganesha was walking in His own delightful rhythm. It was the fourth lunar day (chaturthi). The Moon god saw him. The Moon god was very vain about his good looks. He said with a bitter sarcasm to Lord Ganesha, “What a beautiful form you have! A big belly and an elephant’s head…”.
Lord Ganesha realized that the Moon’s vanity will not go without his being appropriately punished for the same. Lord Ganesha said, “Your face will not be worth showing to anybody.”
The Moon did not rise after that. The gods were worried, “The whole department that nourishes the earth has been closed! How will the medicinal herbs be enriched? How will the affairs of the world be conducted?”
Lord Brahma said, “The Moon’s insolence has angered Lord Ganesha.”
The gods worshipped Lord Ganesha in order to propitiate him. When Lord Ganesha was pleased, the Moon’s face became worth showing to others. The Moon god prayed to Lord Ganesha with hymns.
Lord Ganesha said, “Your face will be worth showing on other days of the year, but on the fourth lunar day of the bright fortnight of Bhadrapada, the day when you insulted me, whoever sees you will be slandered with a serious blemish within a year. This is necessary to give the message to the people that ‘No one should be vain regarding one’s physical beauty and charm.’
The Lord of all the gods and senses is the Self. You are ridiculing a Self-Realized personality like me? You are finding faults with my physical form and are proud of your external beauty? You are ignorant of Me, the Self, the source of all beauty, that lends beauty to your external form. That Self alone exists. He alone is seen in the forms of Lord Narayana, Lord Ganesha, Lord Shiva as also in all beings. O Moon! Even your real Being is That very Self. Don’t be proud of your external beauty.”
Even the likes of Lord Krishna was accused of stealing the ‘Syamantaka Gem’, because He happened to see the Moon on that particular fourth lunar day. Even His brother Balrama joined the accusers; though, in fact, Lord Krishna had not stolen the ‘Syamantaka Gem’. A Great famous saint has seen Moon of Kalanki Chauth last year and he is framed with false allegations.
Those who don’t believe in the truth of this incident, who are sceptical of the scriptures, are invited to test its veracity by looking at the Moon on the fourth lunar day of the bright fortnight of Bhadrapada (Ganesh Chaturthi). A sceptic will pay the cost of disbelieving the scriptures retold in satsang. Within a year, he will be the victim of such a great blemish as will completely vitiate his dignity.Share on Facebook