Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi celebrates Lord Ganesha, the joyful elephant-headed son of Goddess Pārvati and adopted son of Lord Shiva. He is the patron god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. Revered as the Remover of Obstacles, He is first to be worshiped during every pooja and statues of Lord Ganesha adorn the dashboards of vehicles across the subcontinent. Serving as the playful yet diligent stenographer for Ved Vyasa’s great epic The Mahabharata, Lord Ganesha stipulated with Vyasa that the poet could not cease from reciting his verses once he began; in turn the poet specified that Lord Ganesha understand the meaning of the verses before writing them down. In the course of writing, Lord Ganesha’s pen ran out of ink; eager to continue, He broke off His right tusk to use as a writing tool. Leader of Shiva’s armies, this majestic god chooses to ride a mouse as his vehicle. What can explain this incongruity? Among the many possible interpretations include the idea that the mouse represents the many small, persistent problems that can plague an individual’s sense of prosperity and well-being. The mouse may also represent avarice which can erode our sense of dharma, our internal moral compass. Lord Ganesha helps His devotees conquer these vexing internal and external demons.

In India many devotees craft statues of Ganesha in clay in their homes to serve as a focal point of worship. Often the statues are immersed in a body of water at the end of the worship service to signify the dissolution of all grievances for the coming year.