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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
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“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

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  • 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

India successfully test fires n-capable Agni-V ballistic missile

The missile was earlier tested successfully in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.

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Nirbhay
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) sources said the Nirbhay missile test was "successful".(Representative image) VOA
  • India successfully tests the Agni-V ballistic missile on Thursday
  • This was the fifth test that missile underwent
  • With this success, India is now in ranks with US, UK, China and Russia

India on Thursday successfully tests fired its indigenously developed intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V — the most potent and with the longest range in the Agni series – that can reach targets as far as Beijing.

The test took place at the Abdul Kalam Island facility off the Odisha coast. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted about its success, congratulating its makers DRDO, the armed forces and the defence industry.

You may also like: Ballistic missile Agni-IV test fired as part of user trial

India has many high tech and powerful missiles to its name. Wikimedia Commons
India has many high tech and powerful missiles to its name. Wikimedia Commons

She said the successful test of the 5,000-km-range missile that can carry a one-tonne warhead, was “a major boost to the defence capabilities of our country”.

“The Made in India canistered missile, having three stages of propulsion, was successfully test fired,” she tweeted.

Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Agni-V is the most advanced version of the Agni series, part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme that started in the 1960s.

The missile was earlier tested successfully in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.

This was the fifth test of the missile and likely to be its first user trial, though there was no official word on it.

India is developing new technologies everyday to strengthen its defence.
India is developing new technologies every day to strengthen its defence.

Thursday’s test brings the missile closer to its induction in the tri-service Strategic Forces Command.

The missile has a much longer shelf life, with its container being made of special steel that absorbs the blast of the takeoff.

In the canisterised launch, a gas generator inside ejects the missile up to a height of about 30 metres. A motor is then ignited to fire the missile.

Also Read: Nikki Haley says North Korea Could Face Stronger Sanctions due to its 7th Missile test in 2017

With this missile, India joins the super-exclusive club of ICBM (missiles with a range of over 5,000-5,500 km) capable countries of the US, Russia, the UK, France and China. IANS