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“Ganapati Bappa Moriya”: On the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi, know why ‘elephant- headed God is one of the most loved Deities among Hindus!

Lokmanya Tilak realized this cultural of Ganapati and popularised Ganesh Chaturthi as a National Festival to unite everyone

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Ganesh traveling on a mouse, Wikimedia

“Ganapati Bappa Moriya”

Sept 05, 2016: The familiar chant that every Hindu bows their head to! The elephant-headed Hindu God who unites people is worshipped on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi. Needless to say that the festival continues for 10 days and the fervour is at its peak among Indians. There are many stories about Lord Ganesha in the Hindu Mythology and this article focuses on why is He ‘elephant-headed’? Why is he worshipped first? Why does he ride on a rat?

There are many stories about Lord Ganesha in the Hindu Mythology and this article focuses on why is He ‘elephant-headed’? Why is he worshipped first and Why does he ride on a rat?

Shiva Purana, Brahmabaibarta Purana narrate different stories about the birth of the son of Mahadev and Devi Parvati and how he became elephant-headed.

Professor Phyllis Lee,  a behavioral psychologist at University of Stirling and chair of the scientific advisory committee for the Amboseli Trust for Elephants says, “It is the ability to influence others and sustain friendships are important to an elephant group, while in other animals it is often aggression or dominance.”

Elephants tend to influence the group in the correct direction and they respect the intelligence of the leaders. Ganeshji united people, not in the age of Purana but also at the crucial time of Indian revolution against British.

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Lokmanya Tilak realized this cultural of Ganapati and popularised Ganesh Chaturthi as a National Festival to unite everyone, from brahmins to non-brahmins.’Gana’ means followers of Shiva and Devtas including Aditya (solar deity), Vasu (attendant deity of Indra), Vayu (air), Rudra (deity of storm and hunt) etc. who are led by Ganesh.

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In Hinduism, Lakshmi is worshipped for Dhan (money), Saraswati for Vidya (knowledge), Viswakarma for Shilpa (Art), Kartikeya for Vijay (wining). The deities are worshipped by people for personal gains but Ganesh is the god who brings unity in society. Thus Ganesh is worshipped first in any auspicious occasion like marriage and other pujas.

According to Ganesh Purana, Ganesh is the Omkara. The text utters:
“Omkarrupi Bhagwan Yo Vedado Pratishthita
Yang Sada Munaye Deva Smarantindradayo hridi
Omkararupi Bhagawanuktastu Gananayaka
Yatha Sarveshu Karmshu Pujyatehso Vinayaka”

This means ‘Omkara’ is pronounced before every Mantra is memorising Ganesh as he is Nayak (leader) of Gana.

Ganesh Chaturthi celebration, Wikimedia commons
Ganesh Chaturthi celebration, Wikimedia commons

The presence of rat with Ganesha as the ride is quite significant. The Gajamundadhari (elephant-headed) deity has one of the smallest creature Mushika (rat) as ride which symbolises Ganapati brings everyone under same roof- from big to small, wise to ignorant, sophisticated to Bhuphal (who born from the earth, rat). Rat is the symbol of patience and enthusiasm. Ganeshji is named Abyakt, Sarvesh, Akshar, Nitya which express his glory as Param Brahma. To understand him better- one need realisation, self-restraint and spirit.

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An old text Panchatantra, taught us a very familiar story of a lion and a mouse where the mouse cuts the ropes and frees the lion. In a similar manner, Lord Ganesha too detaches the followers from Ashtapaasha, the eight ties- (Ghrina, Apamana, Lajja, Mana, Moha, Dambha, Dwesha, Baigunya: Hate, Insult, Shame, Standard, Affection, Pride, Grudge, Defect respectively). Thus, he selected rat as his mate to cut the trap and release people from the prejudices.

– by Priyanka Saha of NewsGram. Twitter: @priyanka140490

  • Jagpreet Kaur Sandhu

    This article shows why our favorite Ganpati bappa is much loved and celebrated!

  • Sukant Parvate

    “Nice Article and nicely explained. I was searching for this topic since long, I’m thankful to you that you shared and provided such a wonderful information, Ganpati Bappa Morya!

Next Story

Mercy for the Nirbhaya Rapists?

Gender discrimination is the root of many evils. While keeping the aspiration of females down, certain males have committed many wrongs in the past.

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Nirbhaya
The Nirbhaya incident in Delhi was “instrumental” in bringing about a kind of gender awareness renaissance in India.

By Salil Gewali

Gender discrimination is the root of many evils. While keeping the aspiration of females down, certain males have committed many wrongs in the past. Apart from various kinds of physical tortures, the mental tortures undergone by defenseless females are endless. Within the confinement of four-walls innumerable sins are still being committed which mostly go unreported. However, it was Nirbhaya’s rape incident in Delhi that was “instrumental” in bringing about a kind of gender awareness renaissance in India. Post-Nirbhaya incident, a lot many changes in the laws have been made. The safety and security of women have been prioritized, the nation-wide the whole police departments have been sensitized, to a greater extent the road transportation has been made women-friendly.

Nirbhaya rape
The public is right and more sensible now to point out the “hard cruelty” with which the gang had sexually tortured Nirbhaya that night.

Thanks to the countless number of protests across the country condemning the six rapists. The people from all walks of life came together and relentlessly pressurized the government that the Nirbhaya convicts must be awarded capital punishment. Media’s contribution in the campaign is immeasurable. Alas, India’s judiciary is so annoyingly slow it has taken over 7 years to pronounce the death sentence.

Nirbhaya rape
Advocate Indira Jaising suggested that the convicts of Nirbhaya rape case could be “forgiven” by the parents.

However, now nothing could be so mind-blowing than the flood of condemnation against the comments by a veteran advocate and social activist Indira Jaising. Without a sense of guilt and potential backlash, she suggested that the convicts be “forgiven” by the parents. Jaising’s idea has clearly touched a raw nerve of the major population in the country. People’s anger is spilled well over social media. What is most noteworthy is the scathing condemnation directly from the horse mouth — the mother Asha Devi. A very bold lady, who determinedly fought for justice for so many years, thunders – “Who is Indira Jaising to give me such a suggestion? The whole country wants the convicts to be executed. Just because of people like her, justice is not done with rape victims,” Asha Devi aptly further adds — “Can’t believe how Jaising even dared to suggest such this; I met her many times over the years in Supreme Court, “not once” she asked for my well-being and today she is speaking for convicts. Such people earn a livelihood by supporting rapists; hence rape incidents don’t stop,”

The latter comments by the Nirbhaya’s mother clearly hint the doubt at the “integrity” of the advocate Ms. Jaising. How on earth that one who has not spoken a word of sympathy in spite of many encounters in the court can reserves the right to suggest that which offends the distressed victim party. Asha Devi deserves a salute for her boldness. Yes, India Jaising is one of the advocates who knocked the door of the Chief Justice of India in the middle of the night in July 2015 in order to seek the mercy for the dreaded terrorist Yakub Menon.

Nirbhaya rapists
In 2015, the Delhi Government proposed to award the Nirbhaya juvenile convicts with Rs 10000/- and a sewing machine.

Again, here is another bombshell to drop which many of us may have forgotten. Can we ever “forgive” for the shocking proposal in 2015 by Delhi Government to award the Nirbhaya juvenile convicts with Rs 10000/- and a sewing machine?  Who has approved such bizarre ideas and which leaders are responsible? What kind of lesson should the citizens take from this?

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I think the public is right and more sensible now to point out the “hard cruelty” with which the gang had sexually tortured Nirbhaya that night. They had used the iron-rod to inflict deep injuries upon the girl which is unspeakable, which is very unpardonable. So, given the increasing cases of rapes and subsequent inhumane cruelty and cold-blooded killings, Capital punishment can be the only answer and “one of the deterrents”. Before the divine retribution, the hard rod of punishment should not be spared at all. 

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali