Ganesha goes hitech With major Ganesh pandals in the city launching their own websites, the Lord gets tech savvy this year

Lord Ganesha will trot the globe on a new ‘mouse’ this year. Following the trend in places like Mumbai and Pune, major Ganesh pandals in Hyderabad too, have made their presence felt on the World Wide Web through their sites. From making online darshans and placing puja requests, to watching live video feed and updated photo galleries, your Ganesh fix this Vinayaka Chaturthi is just a click way!

These sites will only make things easier for Hyderabadi devotees this year, says S Rajkumar, organizing secretary, of Ganesh Utsav Committee, Khairatabad, that was founded in 1954. “Over the last 57 years, the crowd that the Khairatabad Ganesh has attracted is only increasing with each passing year. The serpentine queues grow longer each year and due to the rush, darshans have become shorter. My family couldn’t get darshan for more than a minute or two last year. That’s when I decided to start the website,” he says.

People can watch the live videos of Khairatabad Ganesh and offer prayers at the pandal by just shooting off an email. “If people mail us their names and details of their gotra, etc., we get puja performed for free for them. The site also has a photo gallery with photographs of our Ganesh idols clicked in the last 57 years, including several rare black and white ones. The real time video feed will go online shortly before the festival starts,” he adds.

The website’s home page also gives a sneak-peek into the design of this year’s Khairatabad Ganesh. “The idol will be 50-feet tall and Lord Ganesh will be seated on the garuda vahanam (eagle) perched on a globe,” adds Rajkumar.
Youth and colony associations that install pandals and organize pujas in their respective localities have already launched websites for their associations and respective Ganesh pandals. Take for instance Devi Nagar Youth Association (DNYA) from Kavadigua that has its own website. Tenugu Praveen Kumar of DNYA, says, “On the site, people can view the day’s schedule, pujas, competitions we organize for kids and other events that are part of the festival. Viewers can surf through the photo gallery and even follow us on Twitter. We currently have 353 followers.”

Even the Balapur Ganesh, famous for the laddoo which is auctioned for lakhs of rupees every year, boasts of a website for sending greetings, along with wallpaper and prayer downloads. Besides the pandal sites, there are other sites too that are making an impact. There’s a dedicated page on a social networking site called ‘Ganesh Festivals in Hyderabad and Secunderabad’, which already has 864 followers and shared devotional songs, videos and RSS feeds and blogs on the city’s pandals.

Ganapati associations too, are all for city Ganeshas making their presence felt on the Net. G Hanumanth Rao, chairman, Ganesh Diksha, says, “It is cool to worship the God online and even watch pandal videos . No matter what the medium, devotion is what counts.”

Source from Hyderabad Times

Spirit of Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations

Ganesh chaturthi is fast approaching and you might be excited to celebrate it with gusto. This year (2010) on September 11 starts the gala celebrations of Ganesh chaturthi. Yes. We all celebrate. But would you like to know the spirit that makes the celebrations more meaningful?! Please read on to know!

Ganesh chaturthi is one of the grandest and most elaborate festivals that Indians celebrate. Especially in the state of Maharastra, Ganesh chaturthi is celebrated for 10 days. It begins on the fourth day of shukla chaturthi and ends on the day of ananta chaturdasi. The power of Lord Ganesha is invoked on the first day; worshipped elaborately in decorated pandals for 9 days; and on the tenth day he is bid farewell by immersing in water bodies.

But now-a-days Ganesh chaturthi is celebrated just as some mundane party or get-together, aiming only at external activities. You might have noticed such a thing in the places where mass of people sing mundane cinema songs and dance wildly without knowing what are they doing this for. There is no connection to Lord Ganesh. Some do not even know who is Lord Ganesha and what is his significance. This is sorry state of affair.

Celebrations of Ganesh chaturthi festival can be meaning only by knowing the philosophy behind Lord Ganesh and contemplating his significance in one’s life.

Significance of Lord Ganesha
Hindu scriptures describe Ganesha as son of Lord Shiva, who is empowered to remove obstacles in the path of success. He is one of the five prime Hindu deities. He is worshipped at the beginning of every major venture. He is glorified in following vedic mantra:

Mushikavaahana modaka hastha,
Chaamara karna vilambitha sutra,
Vaamana rupa maheshwara putra,
Vighna vinaayaka paada namasthe

“O Lord Vinayaka! the remover of all obstacles, the son of Lord Shiva, with a form which is very short, with mouse as Thy vehicle, with sweet pudding in hand, with wide ears and long hanging trunk, I prostrate at Thy lotus-like Feet!”

The figure below shows Ganesha symbolism

Lord Ganesha should be worshipped with great reverence and respect. It is best celebrated with the spirit of enthusiasm for wisdom and knowledge. One should take resolutions on the day of Ganesha chaturthi. One should contemplate what is the goal of his or her life and how to achieve that goal. What are the obstacles on the way of your goal. What is your idea of success. Then you should pray to Lord Ganesha for help in achieving the goal. This is the real meaning of worshipping Lord Ganesha.

Lord Ganesha is pleased when the devotee prays for success of all humanity. Ganesh chaturthi should unify all and direct everyone towards the success of human life, salvation.

We hope this article have given direction in the matter of how to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi meaningfully. We wish our readers a very happy and successful Ganesh Chaturthi!

Who popularized Ganesh Chaturthi as a national festival?

Till 1893, Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations were a private affair, not done on a public scale. People used to celebrate it in a traditional manner. It was Lokmanya Tilak who popularized Ganesh Chaturthi as a national festival, after visualizing its cultural importance. The reason for this was to enhance the sense of belongingness as well as togetherness among the citizens. It was also done with an aim to build a new grassroots unity between the Brahmins and the non-Brahmins.

Ganesh Chaturthi was an important festival during the Peshwa rule in Maharashtra. It acquired a more organized form all over India during the Swaraj movement, when Lord Ganesha was chosen as a rallying point for protest against British rule, because of his wide appeal as “the God for Everyman”. One of Tilak’s strongest movements to evoke nationalism, through religious passions, was the organization of Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra, which inspired feelings of Hindu unity in the state.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak was the first person to install large public images of Ganesha in pavilions and he was the one who established the practice of submerging all the public images on the tenth day of the festival. Ganesh Chaturthi soon started seeing community participation and involvement, in the form of cultural events. It also served as a meeting point for common people of all castes and communities, at a time when social and political gatherings were forbidden by the British Rule.

Meaning of Ganapati

‘Ga’ symbolises Buddhi (intellect), ‘Na’ stands for Vijnana (wisdom). So, Ganapati is the master of Buddhi and Vijnana. The universe is sustained by Ganas (gods) and Ganapati is their master. In this world, everybody has a master, but Ganapati has none. He is a master by himself. This is the birthday of the Master of Masters. Ganapati is also called Mooshika Vahana (one who has a mouse as his vehicle). You may wonder how a small mooshika can carry on its back a hefty personality like Vinayaka. Here mooshika does not mean a mere mouse. It symbolises the darkness of ignorance because it is in darkness that the mouse moves about. Hence, Mooshika Vahana is one who subdues ignorance and dispels darkness. It is only when we understand the inner significance of the Vinayaka principle that we will be able to celebrate Vinayaka Chaturthi properly.

Vinayaka is also called Vighneswara (remover of obstacles). No obstacle can come in the way of one who prays to Vinayaka. Worship of Vinayaka confers success in spiritual as well as worldly endeavours. God grants happiness at two levels, Pravritti (outward) and Nivritti (inward). Pravritti is related to physical body whereas Nivritti to intellect. The former undergoes change with the passage of time, whereas the latter remains unchanged. Hence, one should try to reduce body attachment with proper food and habits.

Today people perform Vinayaka worship without actually understanding its significance. Vinayaka symbolises the qualities of a true leader in all aspects. “Viyate Nayake Iti Vinayaka” meaning, He is a master unto Himself. In this world Vinayaka is worshipped by many. However, Vinayaka does not worship anyone as He has no master above Him. Even Easwara, the father, worships His son Vinayaka, but it does not happen the other way.

Repentance is the basis for the glorious life that follows. To recognize this truth, you worship Lord Vigneshwara.

How to Celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in a Traditional Way?

Ganesh Chaturthi celebrates the birth of Lord Ganesha, the beloved son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. For believers of Hindu philosophy and religion, Ganesh is considered to be the supreme god of wisdom, fortune and prosperity. While the festival is celebrated throughout India and other parts of the world with much pomp and show, the celebration turns most elaborate in Indian states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

The origin of the festival lies in the holy scriptures of the Hindus. There is a legend that goes behind the creation of Lord Ganesha and why He is worshipped at every auspicious occasion and festival before any other form of God. The Ganesh Chaturthi festival celebrates the creation of Lord Ganesha amidst prayers and chanting of mantras and Vedic hymns from the Rig Veda.

The festival begins 2-3 months prior to the day of Ganesh Chaturthi, when the making of a credible clay model of Lord Ganesha begins. The size of the model varies and may go up to 25 feet. It is placed on elaborated platforms for people to view and pay their homage on the day of the festival. A priest chants Vedic mantras and instills life into the idol, a ritual called ‘Pranpratisththa’.

This festival is widely celebrated for 10 days in Hyderabd & Secunderabad with the devotees praying bhajans for lord ganesha. Some of the popular bhajans are listed below.

  • “Gaja Vadana Gajaanana”
  • “Vinayaganae vinai theerpavanae”

Ganesh Chaturthi Pooja:

Ganesh pooja is done by all the family members on the day of ganesh chaturthi. The pooja is performed with the following items.

  • Idol of Lord Ganesha
  • Flowers
  • Coconut
  • Chandan
  • Agarbathis

The idol of lord ganesh is kept in the raised platform and with the presence of all the family members. Then pooja is performed by praying bhajans.

Ganesha Chaturthi Recipes:

This festival is celebrated along with the preparation of a lot of recipes. Some of the famous recipes that are prepared for the festival are:

  • Kolakattai
  • Ladoo
  • Rawa Ladoo
  • Puliyotharai
  • Sundal
  • Boli
  • Milk Kheer
  • Adirasam

Prospects of Ganesha Chaturthi:

  • Business man who aims for success in his life and business.
  • For curing the health related problems.
  • Blessings to get good education, health and peaceful life.

What is Ganesh Chaturthi & Ganesh Festival?

The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi marks a day on which Lord Ganesha makes his presence on earth for all his devotees. The festival lasts for up to 10 days (depending on the place where it is celebrated), ending on Ananta Chaturdashi.

During the festivals, a household worships an idol of Shri Ganesha, and there are public celebrations of the festival.

Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most popular festivals of the Hindus. This festival is observed in the month of Bhaadrapada according to the Hindu calendar and usually falls any day between 20th August and 15th September. The festival is marked with preparation of mouth watering delicacies and exchange of Ganesh gifts.

Story of Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi falls on the fourth day after new moon in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada (August – September).

Ganesha is the remover of obstacle – Vighneshwara or Vignaraja – and is always invoked when Hindus are beginning a new enterprise. It is believed that Goddess Parvati created Ganesha out of clay and breathed life into him. Letting him stand guard at the door, Goddess Parvati went to have her bath. When her husband, Lord Shiva returned, the child who had never seen him stopped him. Ganesha did not allow Shiva to enter and finally an enraged Shiva severed the head of the child. Goddess Parvati returned to find her son dead and was distraught and asked Shiva to revive him. Shiva cut off the head of an elephant and fixed it on the body of Ganesha and giving birth to elephant-headed Ganesha.

In Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated for 10 days. In other parts of India, it is celebrated for one day on the Ganesh Chaturthi day. On the day special prayers are performed in all Hindu homes and hymns and songs are sung in praise of Lord Ganesha.

The origin of public celebration of Ganesh festival is traced to the period of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaja, the great Maratha ruler, who asked people to perform public celebration to promote culture and nationalism in the 17th century.

The large-scale Ganesh festival of today was revived by Lokmanya Tilak, freedom fighter, in the last decade of 19th century in Pune to spread the message of freedom struggle and to defy the British who had banned public assemblies.

Thousands of Ganesh statues are installed in various public places in India and in Hindu Temples around the world. Millions of small Ganesh idols are installed in Hindu homes in India, especially in Maharashtra, Goa and Andhra Pradesh. After the festival these statues are immersed in the sea (Ganesh Visarjan ceremony).

Ganesh Festival is also attracting lot of criticism from environmentalists and nature lovers primarily due to pollution caused by the use of Ganesh idols made of Plaster of Paris. Hinduism and Nature are so entwined that one cannot be separated from another. Ganesha itself is a classic example. But still we Hindus do little to stop pollution. At least we can stop creating more pollution in the name of Ganesha by only buying natural Ganesh idol and natural items for Ganesh Puja.

Devinagar Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations

The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated the states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and many other parts of India. Started by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaja, the great Maratha ruler, to promote culture and nationalism, the festival was revived by Lokmanya Tilak (a freedom fighter) to spread the message of freedom struggle and to defy the British who had banned public assemblies. The festival gave the Indians a feeling of unity and revived their patriotic spirit and faith. This public festival formed the background for political leaders who delivered speeches to inspire people against the Western rule. The festival is so popular that the preparations begin months in advance.

Ganesha statues installed in street corners and in homes, and elaborate arrangements are made for lighting, decoration, mirrors and the most common of flowers. Poojas (prayer services) are performed daily. The artists who make the idols of Ganesh compete with each other to make bigger and more magnificent and elegant idols. The relevantly larger ones are anything from 10 meters to 30 meters in height. These statues are then carried on decorated floats to be immersed in the sea after one, three, five, seven and ten days. Thousands of processions converge on the beaches to immerse the holy idols in the sea. This procession and immersion is accompanied by drum- beats, devotional songs and dancing.

It is still forbidden to look at the moon on that day as the moon had laughed at Ganesha when he fell from his vehicle, the rat. With the immersion of the idol amidst the chanting of “Ganesh Maharaj Ki Jai!” (Hail Lord Ganesh). The festival ends with pleas to Ganesha to return the next year with chants of “Ganpati bappa morya, pudcha varshi laukar ya” (Hail Lord Ganesh, return again soon next year.

History of Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on the birthday of Lord Ganesh (Ganesha), the god of wisdom and prosperity on the fourth day of the moons bright fortnight, or period from new moon in the lunar month of Bhadrapada. The celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi continue for five, seven, or ten days. Some even stretch it to twenty one days, but ten the most popularly celebrated. In the tradition of the right hand path the first day is the most important. In the left hand path tradition the final day is most important.

Ganesha is the god of wisdom and prosperity and is invoked before the beginning of any auspicious work by the Hindus. It is believed that for the fulfillment of one’s desires, his blessing is absolutely necessary. According to the mythology, he is the son of Shiva and Parvati, brother of Kartikeya – the general of the gods, Lakshmi – the goddess of wealth and Saraswati-the goddess of learning. There are numerous stories in Hindu mythology, associated with the birth of this elephant-headed god, whose vehicle is the Mooshak or rat and who loves Modaks (droplet shaped Indian sweet).

Legend has it that Parvati created Ganesha out of the sandalwood dough that she used for her bath and breathed life into him. Letting him stand guard at the door she went to have her bath. When her husband, Shiva returned, the child who had never seen him stopped him. Shiva severed the head of the child and entered his house. Parvati, learning that her son was dead, was distraught and asked Shiva to revive him. Shiva cut off the head of an elephant and fixed it on the body of Ganesha.

Another tale tells of how one day the Gods decided to choose their leader and a race was to be held between the brothers- Kartikeya and Ganesh. Whoever took three rounds of the earth first would be made the Ganaadhipati or the leader. Kartikeya seated on a peacock as his vehicle, started off for the test. Ganesh was given a rat, which moved swiftly. Ganesh realised that the test was not easy, but he would not disobey his father. He reverently paid obeisance to his parents and went around them three times and thus completed the test before Kartikeya. He said, ” my parents pervade the whole universe and going around them, is more than going round the earth.” Everybody was pleasantly surprised to hear Ganesha’s logic and intelligence and hence he came to be known as the Ganaadhipati or leader, now referred to as Ganpati.

There is also a story behind the symbolic snake, rat and the singular tusk. During one of his birthdays, His mother, Parvati, cooked for him twenty-one types of delicious food and a lot of sweet porridge. Ganesha ate so much that even his big belly could not contain it. Mounting his little mouse, he embarked on his nightly rounds. His mouse suddenly stumbled upon seeing a huge snake. To adjust His belly, Ganesha put the snake on as a belt around his stomach. All of a sudden, he heard laughter emanating form the sky.

He looked up and saw the moon mocking him. Ganesha infuriated, broke off one of his tusks and hurled it at the moon. Parvati, seeing this, immediately cursed the moon that whoever looks at it on Ganesh Chaturthi will be accused of a wrong doing. The symbology behind the mouse and snake and Ganesha’s big belly and its relationship to the moon on his birthday is highly philosophic. The whole cosmos is known to be the belly of Ganesha. Parvati is the primordial energy. The seven realms above, seven realms below and seven oceans, are inside the cosmic belly of Ganesha, held together by the cosmic energy (kundalini ) symbolized as a huge snake which Ganesha ties around Him. The mouse is nothing but our ego. Ganesha, using the mouse as a vehicle, exemplifies the need to control our ego. One who has controlled the ego has Ganesha consciousness or God-consciousness.

Ganesh Festival in Hyderabad

Devinagar Youth Association was formed in 1978 by the youth of our colony comprising social workers, dramatists, stage artists, enthusiastic and outstanding personalities with potential to exhibit their talents in promoting cultural and social activities.

We have also demonstrated and exhibited our artistic talents under this banner at different occasions in our colony attracting large number of people spell bound. We always stood as volunteers in the fore front for the noble cause of donating blood at various occasions sponsored by Gandhinagar police station and other social organization of the twin cities.

Recognizing the merits in our youth, some of our youth have been chosen as maitri members of Gandhinagar police station to cooperate with them in maintaining law and order in a harmonious way.

We spontaneously participated in disaster management with cash and kind in the recent flood occurred at Kurnool district.

Obtaining the guidance of elderly persons and senior citizens of our colony at every stage while pursuing with our programs is always our paramount concern. With this outlook, we were able to mobilize reasonable numbers of youth of our colony into the fold of our activities.

One of the prominent activities of our association is celebrating Independence Day and Republic day in a ceremonial and disciplined manner. We invite one of the distinguished personalities on this occasion to hoist the National flag with National Anthem. We also conduct sports and games competition by the children of our colony. We exorbitantly exhibit our patriotism and national integrity on these occasions.

We have not only won the admiration of the residents of our colony but also MLA’s, MP’s and the staff of Gandhinagar police station for the peaceful conduct of all events.

We keep our colony clean and green. We have set an example in the entire Kavadiguda for maintaining cleanliness. Having identified our managerial capabilities with the members of our association, the elders and the prominent residents of our colony have advised us to celebrate the Ganesh festival every year in the addition to the existing activities.

Accordingly we started celebrating Ganesh festival at a very large scale regularly since 1978 onwards. Substantially a big idol of Lord Ganapathi is installed, surrounded by huge structure decorated with illuminations studded with colorful lights. These celebrations are spread over nine days as per the scheduled programs. Every evening of Navratri celebrations is conducted with Bhakti, Shraddha and Devotion. The Bhajans and Parayanams and devotional programs are under taken during these nine days. To explore the talents of the children of our colony, we conduct singing, dance and fancy dress competitions. They feel extremely delighted when they receive the prizes on the last day of celebrations along with their parents. We invite the distinguish personalities including politicians and leaders of our constituency and more importantly the staff of Gandhinagar police station for conducting pooja and prize distribution. The coverage of these celebrations is highlighted by the press and media with the photographs and articles published in popular newspapers. The peaceful Ganesh procession is taken on the last day with music and folk dances by the devotees and youth of our colony with drums, trumpets and bugles to match with the occasion. The Ganesh idol which was worshipped for nine days with pooja’s performed by purohits, travels slowly in a magnificent way on the decorated chariot for the immersion at Hussain Sagar Lake at Hyderabad.

In view of the above mentioned activities we have established our identity as praise worthy citizens and our association is proudly termed as a “PRESTIGIOUS ORGANIZATION”.

Having won the admiration of the people at large, we look forward to meet with the new challenges confronted by the youth and solve them with the totality of the concept of hard work, commitment and collective endeavor, we have a long way to go . . .

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