Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Importance of Ganesh Chaturthi and the Elephant God

Ganesh Chaturthi culminates in the Anant Chaturdashi day. Ganesha is represented as a small, red, stout man, or a child with a big, fat elephant head, who has only one tusk, often sitting on a lotus flower. His ears are shown larger than life. His eyes are small and his eyes are piercing and penetrating. With him is always his vahana, a mouse or rat. In other representations, he carries a book and a prayer chain. According to legend, he lost his second tusk in a fight against Parashurama.

During Ganesh Chaturthi countless small or huge Ganesh statues are erected of mud on altars in houses and streets for a few days to worship it amidst prayers, music, and dances. In honor of Ganesha, it is customary to prepare sweets like modak, ladoo, kadubu, and karanji. It is offered to the deity on home altars, temples or in the pandals.


Artisans prepare idols with terracotta, plaster or papier mache. Ganesh is well adorned with a red dhoti, flower garlands, silk fabrics and covered with red sandalwood paste. This ritual is called Prana Pratishtha and includes the chanting of Vedic hymns of the Rig Veda, Upanishads, and Puranas. People organize theater performances with the theme of the content of the sacred texts.

The murti of Ganesha is immersed into the nearest water reserve on this day. In Mumbai, in the last day, the idols are brought in joyous processions to the Arabian sea. In Pune, they are carried to the Mula-Mutha river. While in various Indian cities in the north and east, such as Kolkata, the murti is immersed in the river Ganges, where people sunk it amidst huge cheers.

Scholars agree that the origins of Ganesha precede the Vedic age. The theory assumes that the elephant-headed god was first worshiped both as a scribe and as a deity of the harvests by the tribes. The earliest figures of Ganesha are found in the Deccan region of South India, where sugar cane was, and still is, the main crop.

ganesha wallpaper art painting pictures images drawing photos

One legend says that the Ganas were once human, who had won the favor of Shiva. Ganesha emerged as a distinct deity and clearly recognizable form between the fourth and fifth century, during the Gupta Empire, although he inherited Vedic traits from precursors.

In Japanese, Kanji is used as the equivalent of the Hindu Deva. He is also revered in Buddhism and Jainism. Under the name Vinayaka, he is also worshiped in Tantrism. Here he is considered as a gifted dancer who can bless several women at the same time.

His affairs include poetry, music, dance, writing, and literature. Most merchants regard him as their patron and almost every shop has a Ganesha statue. For many devout Indians, the first thing that comes into a new house is a statue of Ganesha. He can also be found on almost every Indian wedding invitation card.

A bowl of Indian sweet Modak and laddus, signify Ganesha's weakness to eat. He is often represented with a snake. An anecdote from the Purana narrates that Kubera, a rich man went one day to meet Shiva. He invited him to a dinner in his opulent mansion so that he can exhibit all his riches. After these initial rites, the great banquet began. While the servants of Kubera undertook at best to serve all the dishes, the little Ganesha began eating, eating and eating.

Kartikeya took his peacock and managed it within a day. The wise Ganesha simply circled three times around his parents, who represented the universe for him. Impressed by his shrewdness his parents announced Ganesha as the winner.
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53 comments:

justine said...

what a beautiful shot and great words!

mariana said...

BEautiful image , with gorgeous light and colors .
Very emotional !

don said...

A nicely arranged shot with excellent exposure and presentation. Fine image.

Forest Dream Weaver said...

Lovely image.....thank you!

kankana said...

I have so many ganesha murti at home and i still feel I don't have enough :) beautifully written and beautiful, shots!

T. Becque said...

A lovely shot.

geetlee said...

great perspective!

Jeevan said...

After long time reading your lovely article on festival and rituals of our very own culture... it’s a delighted post with colorful pictures of Ganesha. Keep it up bro :)

Havfruen said...

Thank you for comment on my blog.
You have so many nice pictures!! Have a nice evening!

Max Coutinho said...

Kalyan, hello!

Ah, I missed your pictures: and these are marvellous!

I am reading about Atma and Maya (even though it is the earthly existence of human beings it also implies a bit of illusion; as if it reminded us that life on earth is illusory - did I understood it correctly?).

I love the flower decorations: they are so rich and sophisticated.

Oh, Kalyan...it is not fair to show these pics of gorgeous food lol: you know I love Indiann food and sweets. Did you know that because of you, last year it was Indian Food Year at my house? Delicious!

Cheers

journeyphotographic.com said...

These are beautiful pictures, especially the first. It was an interesting read, too. Thank you.

Desiree said...

This is fascinating! I have learnt such a lot through this about your culture and traditions, and the images are gorgeous. Wonderful post, thank you!

Art said...

Lovely image.

Sensible Vegetarian said...

Lovely pictures looks so vibrant and beautiful.

Kungsfiskaren said...

Wow, absolutely stunning image!
Greetings from Sweden
/Ingemar

jojofeelings said...

Beautiful pictures. Great post.

'Tsuki said...

That is a lovely image, this hand with a light... Thanks for visiting my blog, and for leaving a comment on my picture of peace on fire... ;)

Lesley said...

Your posts are so informative - and full of gorgeous photos!

Kiran @ KiranTarun.com said...

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!

These are some beautiful shots and nice history of Ganeshji :)

BTW, thanks for dropping by my blog.

lisa said...

Beautiful words, and such a wonderful photograph!
Sending you wishes for a fantastic weekend!

Carol @ There's Always Thyme to Cook said...

Beautiful shots, enjoyed your post!

ladyfi said...

This is a magical and stunning shot that breathes serenity.

Pearlsa said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog. Please stop by on Saturday for more pictures - Saturday Scenes from Gibsons, BC Canada

deeps said...

Ganesh Chaturthi Greetings!

and thanks for sharing this note :)

Life Ramblings said...

what a wonderful tribute to Lord Ganesha. such a beautiful deity.

Eden said...

What a lovely shot!

Pat Hatt said...

Great Shot!

Ashwini said...

You've captured it so wonderfully well, the lights and the background. too good :-)

Charles Ravndal said...

Beautiful photos! I learned a bit about Ganesha from the Simpsons and researched a bit to know more.

Jaishree said...

Absolutely Beautiful!

bahar006 said...

Hi Kalyan, thank you for your visit to my blog. Your blog is colorful, love it:)Following you, loves:)

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

My dream is to own a camera that takes shots like that....and then to have the knowlegdge and the eye to pull it off. Lovely.

kaykuala said...

Nice image and appropriate explanation!

Rajesh said...

Wonderful post. Wish you Happy Ganesh Chaturti.

Galen Pearl said...

I very much enjoyed browsing around your blog. Very nice! Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.

Mitha Komala said...

thanks for commenting! :) I love your blog, all contents are amazing <3
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Ann said...

I lived in Singapore, all my Indian friends had elephant statues.

Bob Bushell said...

Beautiful.

fantacy in practicality said...

the different images of ganesha were wonderful with the sharing the history of our deity ganesha.

P.N. Subramanian said...

Very beautiful pictures. Nice post.

shivani said...

THANK YOU so much for stopping by on my blog, appreciating my thoughts and LEADING me to your creative and talented domain.
If i say that the shot is beautiful, amazing... with all it's effect i might sound cliched.
Instead let me share the joy that i feel.
Also this moment now when i am through with the day's this and that the shot evokes in me the feeling of peace and calm.
As i gaze, the light of the lamp and the hands that hold the lamp, my thoughts are directed not only towards a talented but kind soul but also towards HIM who protects and blesses...

Deeksha said...

So nice of you to visit my blog.
Awesome clicks.

Sarah said...

This is gorgeous.

Treat and Trick said...

Lovely click!

Nava Krishnan said...

He is all over my house, one big statue of Ganesha in my garden and many smaller wood crafts of him inside my house.

London Caller said...

Lovely shot!
I'm having my summer holiday in Malaysia at the moment.
I am planning to visit some Indian temples. :)

Cassiopeia Rises said...

Lovely. My son and a friend are attending a friend's wedding. They are Indian and will be dressed in traditional Indian garb. Head to toe. They will be caring a large figure of Ganesh around the room. He is very excited.

Melanie

Pietro said...

An interesting post, with wonderful images and excellent explanation!
Happy Tuesday!

Kala said...

Gorgeous bokeh light!

Kristin said...

What a stunning photo! You have a wonderful eye and are so creative. Nice job.

Krishna said...

nice post on god ganesh

Jay said...

wow....lovely post..!
Tasty Appetite

The Blonde Duck said...

How cool!