Adventures in Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy and science of spirit. We are one you and I; are you curious why?..


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Ganesh Chaturthi

Hari OM

Story-day is for cultural exploration, puraanas and parables and finding out about leading lights in spiritual philosophy.

Just about everybody knows of Lord Ganesha, he of the elephant head.  Not so many will understand what he represents.

Within the Hindu pantheon the shapes and names of the 'gods' all hold meaning and are intended to remind us of vices to be eradicated or virtues to be adopted.  Whilst many will worship through a variety of the deity manifestations, most will have an इष्ट-देवता /ishta-devataa, a 'personal god'. All, however, will accept Sri Ganesha.  This face of god is invoked for all things auspicious; before embarking on a journey or new business venture, for openings of functions or buildings; and he is always invited to weddings!

Chaturthi is the fourth day following full or new moon in any given cycle.  Once a year though is Vinayaka Chavithi - the 'birthday' of this Lord.  It is celebrated everywhere by Indians, but perhaps the biggest focus is in the state of Maharashtra.  This festival is celebrated for 11 days with much singing, chanting, dancing before the Lord, feasting and lots and lots of laddoos; sweetmeats formed into balls; and modakas; pastries stuffed with sugary stickyness.  You can see these are a favourite of Sri Ganesha!  It is a truly joyful (and noisy!) time, with banging of drums and fireworks and constant worship.  The culmination is the immersion of the various images of Ganesh-ji into water as he makes his journey back to Mount Kailash, the home of his father, Lord Shiva.

It is almost impossible not to feel uplifted and smiling in the presence of Sri Ganesha and for this reason he is beloved by all, from young to old.

May the blessings of Sri Ganapati be forever with you and yours and let his wisdom, strength and determination shine in your life.

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