Lord Ganesh, Lord Vinayaka or Ganesh Ji is perhaps the most adored and loved amongst all Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
The elephant headed God is also perhaps the only God who brings forth together people and devotees of all races, castes and creed. Lord Ganesh is devoutly worshipped as the God of prosperity, fortune and wisdom.
Ganesh Chaturthis is a way of life in many parts of India celebrated with huge pomp and vivacity and may be with little fewer splendors probably in other parts of the country.
When are Ganesh Jayanti/ Vinayaka Chaturthi celebrated?
Each lunar month, according to the Hindu calendars have two tithis. As per the ancient Hindu scriptures, the Chaturthi tithis belong to the Lord Ganeshji. It is believed that Lord Ganeshji was born during the Chaturthi of the Shukla Paksha or the full moon of the Bhadrapada month. Thus the Chaturthi after the Amavasya is known as Vinayaka Chaturthi.
- Dates of Ganesh Chaturthi in the next five years according to the modern day calendar:
- In 2014, the Ganesh Chaturthi date is Friday, August 29.
- In 2015, the Ganesh Chaturthi date is on Thursday, September 17.
- In 2016, the Ganesh Chaturthi date is on Monday, September 5.
- In 2017, the Ganesh Chaturthi date is on Friday, August 25.
- In 2018, the Ganesh Chaturthi date is Thursday, September 13.
How are the Ganesh Jayanti/ Vinayaka Chaturthi celebrated?
During the Ganesh Chaturthi the idol or the Vigraha of Ganesh ji is brought home during the periods of labh, Shubh or the Amrit Choghadia. The Ganesh Avahana or welcoming time is looked up from the panchang. Post bringing the Ganesh idol home, the Sthapna or what can be called the Installation of the Idol needs to be done.
- From the pages of Mythology:
According to the Hindu Time frame a day is divided in to five parts, Pratahkala, Sangava, Madhyahna, Aparahna and Sayankal. Ganesh Pujan or the puja is preferred during the Madhyahna on the Ganesh Chaturthi day as it is believed that Ganesha was born during the Madhyahna kal, or the afternoon, roughly between 12.33 to 15.35 Pm. The Muhurat between this times mentioned is considered to be the best time to perform the Ganesh Puja and to carry out any kind of important work. Thus during the midday the devotees carry out all the rituals of the puja which is called the Shodashopachara Ganapati Puja or carrying out the Ganpati puja with all sixteen items.
There is a saga related to the non-sighting of the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi. As per the legends, once Lord Krishna was falsely accused of stealing the precious jewel Syamantaka. Seeing Lord Krishna s state, Lord Narada informed him that anyone who saw the moon on the Bhadrapada Shukla Chaturthi would be cursed and would be falsely alleged or given mithya dosham. This was because Lord Ganesha had cursed God Chandra or the Moon God. Thus, Lord Krishna observed Ganesh Chaturthi to come out of the false allegation. Since then watching the moon on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi is prohibited as it may lead to being false allegation.
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with great devotion. He is the God who is invoked before any ritual according to the Hindu shastra. He is called the Sarva Bighna Binashayak, or the destroyer of all obstacles. He is the harbinger of all prosperity and all things good.
The Ganeshotsav, or the Ganesha festival ends after ten days, on Anant Chaturdashi or the day when the ganesh Visarjan; or the immersion of the Ganesh idols takes place. The Gvolent deianesha idols are carried to the water body amidst great fanfare and street processions. Lord Ganpati was revered as the benevolent deity of the Peshwas who ruled Maharashtra.