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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Lord Ganesha Arrives In The City!




Happy Lord Ganesha Festival wishes to all of you! The beloved God of wisdom and prosperity who protects everyone from obstacles and mishaps has arrived yesterday in Mumbai. Huge endless queues line up the biggest public worship places while millions do the rituals, the offerings and chanting of devotional songs in their homes. At home for the desired duration of days He is like the Head of family and is respectfully installed, bathed ritualistically, dressed and offered all the daily meals—an integral part of worship. No wonder He is so fondly called Ganapati or Gananayaka (leader or protector of people).

This year Ganapati Festival on the occasion of Lord Ganesha's Birthday is being celebrated from September 19 in Mumbai and Maharashtra. This 10-day festival begins on the fourth day of the new moon lunar cycle. Worshiped both publicly and at homes across the state this festival is celebrated from one and half day to the full ten days. On the 11th day idols are immersed in a big way. Depending on the days of worship major immersions take place on the second, fifth and the 11th day. To check pollution in the seas the municipal corporation of Mumbai has kept ready many artificial ponds. Many idols are being conceptualized on the running themes of corruption, drought, organ donation and many others. 

Ganesha Festival has a special significance for Maharashtra because in 1893, Lokmanya Tilak transformed the annual domestic festival into a large, well-organized public event. Tilak recognized the wide appeal of the deity Ganesha as "the god for everybody", and popularized Ganesh Chaturthi as a national festival in order "to bridge the gap between Brahmins and 'non-Brahmins' and find a context in which to build a new grassroots unity between them", and generate nationalistic fervor among people in Maharashtra against the British colonial rule. Tilak was the first to install large public images of Ganesh in pavilions, and also established the practice of submerging in rivers, seas, or other pools of water all public images of the deity on the tenth day after Ganesh Chaturthi.
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