Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most popular festivals which are celebrated in India. People bring home idols of Lord Ganesh, sing hymns of devotion and celebrate the festivity with exuberance. However, what is the history behind the beginning of the festivity and its celebrations? Let’s dig deeper into mythology and find out the significance of celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi.
The first day of Ganesh Chaturthi marks the auspicious birth of the elephant-faced Lord. He is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Mythology states that Parvati created a boy out of her body’s dirt and perspiration. She told the boy to guard the entrance while she had a bath. Ganesha, being an extremely obedient child obstructed Lord Shiva when he arrived with his men. Known for his quick temper, Lord Shiva chopped off their son’s human head in a rage of anger, unaware of who he is. This caused Goddess Parvati to fall into a state of fury and agony. She commanded her husband to bring her child back to life at any cost and this is when Lord Shiva did everything he could to save the boy. He instructed his helpers to bring back a head of any living being who was asleep as it would be easier to attack a resting soul. What he did not foresee was that his helpers would get an elephant head. Thus, the child’s head was replaced with an elephant head.
Ever since, Lord Ganesha has been known as the God of wisdom and fortune. People celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi to welcome the elephant-headed God and pray to him for good fortune. Lokmanya Tilak had begun the festivity as a means for people to come together and promote unity in the society. Today, the festival has transgressed into a mere pollution-causing and environment-harming activity. The true essence of the festival has been lost. What happens today is worth mockery as people revel in the name of preserving culture. Let us look forward to celebrating a peaceful Ganesh Chaturthi while refraining from harming Mother Nature from our actions.