One of the most popular festivals of India is Ganesh Chaturthi. School, offices, colleges and shops remain closed during this 10 day celebration. Many Hindus celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi at home by worshipping an idol of Lord Ganesha followed by regular aarti and offerings of modak, the favourite sweet of Lord Ganesha. This festival is celebrated once a year with great enthusiasm especially in Maharashtra as Chatrapati Shivaji initiated the festival long ago.
There are many myths and stories attached to the birth of Ganesha who is the son of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva. According to mythology, Goddess Parvati went to bathe herself and gave instructions to Ganesha to allow no one to enter. Little Ganesha fought with Lord Shiva and denied him entry. In great anger, Lord Shiva severed little Ganesha’s head from his body. Goddess Parvati got very angry with this and transformed to Goddess Kali, ready to destroy the world. To save the world from destruction, Lord Shiva gave order to his followers that they should go and return with the head of the first animal they find. Followers found an elephant at first sight and took the elephant’s head to Lord Shiva. It was placed on the body of Lord Ganesha and he was brought back to life again to appease Godless Parvati. Ganesha was blessed by all the Lords and Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated for the same reason.
Lord Ganesha is recognized by his big elephant head, distinct belly, and its mount, a small mouse. He is known as Vignaharta or destroyer of all the problems or obstacles. The long ears of Ganesha signify that he hears whatever his devotees say to him. The elephant head of Ganesha signifies wisdom. Before starting any auspicious task in India, Lord Ganesha is worshipped. For example, Ganesh pujan is conducted before beginning marriage rituals, before opening a business venture, while moving into a new house or a new office space. Even in temples, before worshipping any other God or Goddess, Ganesh is worshipped. But why?As Per the Scriptures
Ganpati Upanishad says that even before the creation of consciousness (purusha) and the creation of nature (prakriti), Lord Ganpati appeared. This is an important reason why Lord Ganesha is always worshipped first. As per this scripture, Lord Ganesha appeared even before the creation of life.As per the Mythology
When Lord Shiva replaced the head of Ganesha with elephant head, he bestowed Ganesha with several divine powers and announced that no auspicious work can start or be complete without worshipping Lord Ganesha and taking his blessings.
Another myth which leads to Ganesha being worshipped first is the story of a race won by Ganesha against his brother Kartikeya.Lord Shiva held this race between brothers Ganesha and Kartikeya and announced that whoever wins the race would be worshipped first. Kartikeya sat on his peacock and started encircling the universe whereas Ganesha circled around his parents, as they were his universe. Hence, Lord Ganesha was declared the winner and is worshipped before every significant life event and ceremony.3)Mouse is the Vehicle of Lord Ganesha
Lord Ganesha’s vehicle is widely known to be a mouse. Earlier images of Ganesha, as seen in the scriptures are without his vahana or vehicle. As per the Ganesh Purana, the incarnations of Ganesha as Mohotkata involve a lion as his vehicle, as Dhumraketu, he has a horse, the mouse is the vehicle of Gajanana and Mayuresvara rides on a peacock.
A mouse as the principal vehicle of Lord Ganesha is seen placed near to his feet from 7th century in western and central India. How a mouse became the vehicle of Lord Ganesha has a story behind it.
The mythological story as per the Ganesha Purana speaks about Krauncha, who was the musician-God. He once accidentally stepped on Vamadeva muni’s foot in the court of Lord Indra and was then cursed by the angry sage to transform into a mouse. Krauncha became a very big mouse and damaged the things that came on his way. Once Krauncha reached the ashram of Maharishi Parashar and started destroying things over there too. Lord Ganesha was also there and to teach Krauncha a lesson, he used a noose that looped around the mouse and brought him to Lord’s feet. As a punishment, Lord Ganesha made Krauncha his vehicle.
The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is much awaited, significant and cheerful celebrations for the Indians. This 10 days festival celebration of Lord Ganesha’s birthday is specially celebrated by the people of Maharashtra in India. It is one of the cheerful and auspicious festivals of India that is celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm. In fact prior to the celebration students are given many assignments to write essays on Ganesh Chaturthi festival. So here are some options of essays to choose from.