Vinayagar Chathruthi

Ganesh Mantra :

Vinayagar Chaturthi is a day on which Lord Vinayagar, son of Shiva and Parvathi, is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees and celebrated as his birthday.Vinayagar ,the elephant - headed , is worshipped as the supreme god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. Vinayagar is the God of Learning.He is addressed as
"Vignaharta" (remover of obstacles).

The Origin of the festival lies in the holy Hindu scriptures which tell the story :

Lord Vinayagar was created by Goddess Parvati.Once Lord Shiva was away at a war P
arvati wanted to bathe and having no one to guard the door , conceived of the idea of creating a son who could guard her.Thus Parvathi created Vinayagar out of sandalwood paste that she used for her bath and breathed life into a figure.she then set him to stand guard at her door and instructed him not to let anyone enter.
In the meantime ,Lord Shiva returned from the battle but as Vinayagar did not know him,stopped from entering parvati's chamber. Shiva enraged by Vinayagar's impudence,drew his trident and cut off Vinayagar's head.Parvati came to know that,Vinayagar has been decapitated and flew into a rage.she took on the form of Goddess Kali and threatened destruction to the three worlds of Heaven, Earth and the Subterranean Earth.Parvathi was still in angry mood , the other Gods were afraid and Shiva in an attempt to pacify Parvati,sent out his lieutanants to get the head of the first living thing that was sleeping with its head facing north. As per his orders the lieutenants found an elephant lying with its head facing north.They returned with the head of elephant to Lord Shiva.Shiva joined to Vinayagar's body and breathed life into him.Lord Shiva also announced that he will be worshipped by everyone before any other form of God is favored.And Lord named Ganesha, the Lord of his ganas (A nomadic community). 

Vinayagar Chaturthi Myths:
It is considered inauspicious to look at the Moon on Vinayagar Chaturthi .The Legen
d regarding this is : Lord Ganesha is very much fond of Modak(Kozhakkattai).On one of his Birthday he was going around everyhouse accepting the offerrings of modak. Having eaten enough he set out moving on his mouse at night.Suddenly the mouse stumbled as it haf seen a snake and became frightened ,due to this Ganesha fell down. His stomach burst open and all the modak came out.Ganesha stuffed them back into his stomach and caught hold of the snake and tied it around his belly.seeing all this ,the Moon laughed at Ganesha's gait (A person's manner of walking) .The humiliated Ganesha cursed the Moon,saying that anyone who sees you on the day of chaturthi would
face a false accusation (the act of imputing blame or guilt).


Ganesh Chaturthi and Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak :

Tilak,an Indian Nationalist ,Social reformer and freedom fighter reshaped the Ganesh Chathurthi festivals from Private family celebrations into a grand Public event.The festival was not celebrated in a public manner until this time but was a family affair among Hindus.
Tilak Popularised Ganesh chaturthi as a National festival "to bridge the gap between the Brahmins and the non-Brahmins". Tilak was the first to install large public images of Ganesha in Pavilions,and established the practice of submerging all the images .

Puja Rituals :

The festival starts with the installation of statues in colourfully decorated homes and specially erected temporary mantapas in every locality.The offerring to God are Coconut,Jaggery,21 Modaks,blades of grass( Arukampullu) , red flowers.The statue is anointed with red unguent (Semisolid preparation) , typically made of KumKom & Sandalwood paste. On the eleventh day , the statue is take throught he streets in a procession to immerse

in the Sea symbolizing a ritual see - off of the lord in his journey towards his adobe in kailash while taking away with him the misfortunes of his devotees. While coming in procession and immersing him in sea all join together and shout

"Ganapathi Bappa Morya, Purchya Varshi Laukar ya" (O father Ganesha, come again early next year).
Thus Vinayagar Chathurti is celebrated in Tamilnadu and in similar manner it is celebrated in many parts of India and also across the world.The Maximum fervour is witnessed in Maharashtra.

Sources : Wikipedia ,

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