The Story of Ganesh going Public….

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You would  be thinking what is this, what could be story behind Ganesh Chaturthi or Ganapati since it is related to sentiments of Indian and their religious belief.

If you are thinking same, You are right but I want to tell you story when this religious sentiment was not a wave but it was only limited to house hold celebration.

This story took shape with my recent visit to Mumbai and evidencing the feast . It took me by wave by seeing so many people coming together to celebrate it without asking who are you or where are you from. It tinkled me and I decided to know more about it and put it on paper.

So here is summation of all what I got and understood. Hope you will like it and love to know about it.

History

Ganesh Chaturthi is said to have been celebrated since the days of Maratha rulers: Satavahana, Chalukya and Rashtrakuta. This festival was celebrated by Peshwas to worship Ganapati as their family deity as a private affair. Chhatrapati Shivaji brought this event to public to promote traditions and nationalism. Mainly celebrated in the states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh with a lot of zeal and splendor, Ganesh Chaturthi is the most popular festival of Maharashtra.

Going  Public

The festivities remained a family affair until the festival was revitalized by Bal Gangadhar Tilak in the late 19th Century, to take the message of freedom struggle to all Indians.

So why Bal Gangadhar Tilak want to take it to public? Before that let me tell you about Ganesh Chaturthi in zest.

It all started when Bal Gangadhar Tilak realized the actual power of this festival and understood how this festival helps to bring different class of people together. It was time of British Rule and Britisher never allowed any kind of public gathering. So he decided to bring Ganesh Chathurthi at Public forum so that he can bring all class of people on same platform and make them understand the actual power of unity which can be used to galvanize the mass against British Rule. Festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi that continued for ten days gave people of every religion the scope to interact and know each other. It was a unique move by this freedom fighter, which he achieved with the Ganpati Visarjana or immersion procession which is taken out on the final day of the ganesh festival.

Early Reason Celebration

Ganesh Chaturthi is festival were Idol of lord Ganesh is kept in Pandal ( Temporary Shrine) which is then worshiped for ten days with different kind of herbal leaf which is then immersed  with Idol of lord Ganesh in water. it is believed that these herbs helps in keeping water clean and thus helps people to drink water from these water bodies.

Celebration

Ganesh Chaturthi preparations commence from almost a month before the festival. The celebrations last for around ten days (from Bhadrapad Shudh Chaturthi to Ananta Chaturdashi). First day clay idol of Lord Ganesha is installed in home decorated with flowers. Temples witness the visit of large number of devotees. Pooja is performed and bhajans are chanted. Often, families gather together to celebrate the festival. Localities organize and arrange for pandals and install large idols of Lord Ganesha to celebrate the festival with friends and family. Festivities goes on for next nine days. On the final day of the celebrations, the idol of Lord Ganesha is taken on the streets. People exhibit their enthusiasm and joy in the form of dancing and singing on the streets along with the idol. The idol is finally immersed in the river or sea. The day witnesses a large number of devotees expressing their happiness and offering their prayers.

Vision of Bal Gangadhar Tilak work he brought people from all class and group together but there are several other reasons. Ganpati is after all a popular god. His blessings are invoked at most religious ceremonies as he is the god who can remove all obstacles to success. He is the giver of fortune and can help to avoid natural calamities. He is also the god who brings prosperity.

So next time you want to visit Mumbai or Pune make your schedule around Ganesh Chaturthi so that you can see the beautiful color of festivity on the street of these city to enjoy and live the moment.

Happy Travelling….