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Ganesh Chaturthi: Celebration, Significance, and Information

Ganesh Chaturthi marks the birth of God Ganesha, the god of wisdom, knowledge, and wealth. It falls in the Bhadra month of the Hindu calendar, which falls in the months of August and September. This year, 2022, Ganesh Chaturthi will be observed on 31st August. 

He is known by 108 names and Gajanana and Vinayaka are the most popular names. It is a 10 days celebration that starts with bringing Ganesha to home and ends with Visarjan, saying goodbye to the deity with an expectation of his return in the following year. 

History of Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesha is the son of God Mahadev and Goddess Parvati. His birth story is interesting. According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Parvati made a mud idol of Ganesha using her body dirt for guarding her door in the absence of God Shiva. While Parvati was bathing, God Shiva returned, and unknown about his identity, Ganesha stopped him from going inside. The two got into a feud and God Shiva severed the head of Ganesha. This made Goddess Parvati furious. God Shiva, when learned the truth of Ganesha, promised Parvati to bring Ganesha back to life. He instructed the Devtas to bring the head of the first person they saw. The Devtas couldn’t find any person, and they could only find an elephant. God Shiva then fixed the elephant’s head on Ganesha’s body, and God Ganesha was borned. 

Another story that relates to the birth of Ganesha is that the Devtas requested God Shiva and Goddess Parvati for the creation of a deity who could create obstacles for demons in order to protect Devtas. This led to the creation of Ganesha, known as Vighanharta – the obstructor of obstacles. 

Significance of Ganesh Chaturthi

Worshiping Ganesha on Ganesh Chaturthi helps the devotees to earn the blessings of God Ganesha. As he is known as Vighanharta, he takes away all the obstacles in the path of prosperity of his devotees. He fulfills the wishes of his devotees and removes every doubt or obstacle in their path of success. He blesses them with knowledge, happiness, wisdom, and prosperity. 

Pleasing God Ganesha on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi brings luck to the devotees. He bestows devotees with wealth and good fortune. Another important aspect of Ganesh Chaturthi Puja is that the sins of the devotees are eliminated by Ganesha, leading them to the path of enlightenment.  

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Ganesha is considered the god of beginnings. He is blessed to be worshiped first in every Puja and rituals in Hinduism. Before beginning anything new or starting a Puja, God Ganesha is the first one to be worshiped. He is considered to bless the devotees for the success and fulfilling the purpose of the Puja or event. This is the reason for people to please God Ganesha before commencing anything new.  

The historical significance of this festival is that it was promoted as a communal celebration by Shivaji Maharaj and Lokmanya Tilak for uniting people during the freedom fight of India. They turned this festival, celebrated by individuals at their home, to a large-scale celebration for the society to unite for freedom fighting for the country. 

Celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated for 10 days in Maharashtra and other parts of India. It starts with bringing the idol of Ganesha to homes, offices, or pandals on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi and worshiping it for the next 10 days till Anant Chaturdashi. The devotees pray to Ganesha for the next 10 days and offer Modak, Laddus, flowers, dry fruits, and other sweets to the deity. 

The day one of bringing the idol of Ganesha is called Pranprathistha, meaning bring life to the idol of the deity. During the 10 days celebration, the devotees offer prayers to Ganesha in 16 different ways, known as Shodashopachara. 

On the day of Anant Chaturdashi, the devotees perform Ganesh Visarjan bidding farewell to the god. It is also related to Ganesha taking away their worries and problems and blessing them with knowledge, success, good luck, and wealth. Ganesh Visarjan is the immersing of the idol of Ganesha in water, and it is performed after Uttarpuja. The Visarjan takes place with mass celebration during the procession by singing and dancing on devotional songs of the god.   

Puja Timings for Ganesh Chaturthi

The Shubh Muhurat for Ganesh Puja on 31st August, 2022 is between 11:56 am to 1:43 pm. Performing the rituals in the Shubh Muhurat is considered auspicious and the best time for wish fulfillment through pleasing the deity. 

Offering for Ganesh Chaturthi

Offering 21 modaks, coconut, and jaggery to God Ganesha is considered auspicious on Ganesh Chaturthi. Along with this, milk, curd, bananas, dry fruits, and hibiscus flowers should also be offered to the deity. Motichur Laddus or Modaks are the favorite sweets of Ganesha and they should be offered to him on this day. Ganesha is fond of food, and puffed rice, Payasam, Puran Poli, Srikhand, and Peda should also be offered to him. 

Seek the blessings of Ganesha this Ganesh Chaturthi for a prosperous life by following the related rituals and Puja. Talk to an expert Astrologer to know the rituals and Puja for Ganesh Chaturthi you must follow according to your zodiac sign to reap the benefits by pleasing God Ganesha.

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