Ganesh Chaturthi 2022: Stories and Significance of this day
Ganesh Chaturthi is being celebrated all across India today. The Ganesh Puja will be celebrated without any restrictions in Odisha this year. Due to covid-19, the celebrations were made in a restricted manner for the past two years.
What is Ganesh Chaturthi?
Ganesh Chaturthi is a Hindu festival celebrated annually throughout the nation. The day marks the birth of Lord Ganesha, the destroyer obstacles. The elephant-headed God is much loved across the Hindu communities and it is said that offering him the first prayer before any task is undertaken bring in good luck. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on the fourth day of the month Bhadrapada (August-September) in the Hindu calendar.
Ganesh Chaturthi 2022 falls on August 31.
Ganesha is has 108 names that devotees know him by. He is also said to be the Lord of arts, sciences, education, and wisdom. He is the one who presides over new beginnings and praying to him before undertaking a task is said to bring good luck and make obstacles vanish.
What is the story behind Ganesh Chaturthi?
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha.
There are many legends about how he was born. Possibly the most popular one is that he was created by Goddess Parvati out of the dirt from her body while she was bathing. Seeing the adorable idol, she decided to bring him to life. The boy was very strong and smart. She asked him to guard her while she offered prayers to the deities. While he was guarding the entrance to her cave, Shiva came. Having no idea who he was and having been instructed to guard her, Ganesha stopped Shiva from entering, angering Shiva and getting into a fierce battle with him. He was ultimately defeated, and Shiva cut off his head. When Parvati emerged from her cave, she was heartbroken and angered seeing her son lying head. Shiva assured her that her son would live again and sent his men all around the world to find a child who was sleeping facing the North. Unable to find a human child, his men bought the head of a baby elephant. He attached the elephant head on the body of the dead boy and that is how Ganesha was born.
In another version, all the devas, fed up with the antics of the demons requested Shiva and Parvati for a child that would create obstacles in the paths of the demons and obliterate the obstacles of those who pray to him, that is, the devas, and thus Ganesha was born.
What is the historical significance of Ganesh Chaturthi?
Ganesh Chaturthi was initially celebrated as a puja or prayer ceremony exclusive to the Brahmins and Kshatriyas. Maratha ruler Shivaji encouraged people to make it a public affair during his rule to give rise to a nationalist sentiment as there was an ongoing battle against the Mughals at that point of time. In 1893 when the British banned public gatherings to curb political meets, Indian nationalist leader Bal Gangadhar Tilak revived the festival. It played an integral part in reducing the strong caste division that was obvious in all the strata of the society at that point of time and helped people fight for a commn cause with unity.