Best Eco Friendly Ganesh Festival 2010 Competition for best Green Ganesha idol in Hyderabad/Secunderabad

Eco Friendly Ganesh Festival 2010 competition led by SAVE (Society for Awareness and Vision on Environment) in collaboration with ACT (Aurora Cares for Them) is an initiative for eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturthi festival celebrations in Hyderabad. They have also announced prize money to the best Ganesh mantap association who conduct the entire act of Ganesh Navaratri celebrations in aeco friendly way and also perform Ganesh nimajjan without disturbing nature. The following are details.

Norms and rules for Eco Friendly Ganesh Festival 2010 Competition:

  • During Ganesh Navratri celebrations plastic bags and glasses and bottles should not be used. Paper plates and leaf bowls only shall be used.
  • Use of synthetic colours and dyes in the entire process of celebration and nimajjanam should be completely prohibited.
  • Vulgar songs and film imitation songs should not be played near the mantap or with the nimajjan procession. Vulgar filsm and vulgar dances are totally prohibited in this celebration. Burrakatha, puppet show, bhajans, harikathas etc should be used.
  • To avoid sound pollution, speakers should be used with the acceptable decibel limits. During nights, care should be taken to see that speakers are not used beyond the stipulated hours / time. Pandals should seek police permission in this regard and stick to the timings completely.
  • Celebrations must be done strictly according to our Indian culture and tradition.
  • On the nimajjan day, devotees accompanying the idol should wear Khadi or cotton dresses only.
  • Cloth banners must be used in place of flexi banners.
  • Pandals of Ganesh idols should be made of Bamboo only.
  • People should not be pressurized to pay money for the celebrations.
  • Use of electricity must be reduced to the maximum extent.
  • Illegal power connections should not be used. Permission from AP Transco must be taken through official order.
  • All permissions from the respective statutory authorities must be taken much before commencing the celebrations.
  • Environmental Awareness shall be a major component of celebrations.

Requirements for Evaluation:

Following material is required for the evaluation and shall be submitted in a sealed envelope at Aurora’s Business School, behind NIMS, Panjagutta, Hyderabad or Aurora’s Degree College, Chikkadpally, Hyderabad on or before 5 pm, 21st September 2010.

  • Video shoot of at least 10 minutes duration in a CD
  • A4 page note on celebrations and activities done by the association
  • 25 high resolution images in a CD
  • Paper cuttings if any, of the celebrations.

Evaluation Process:

Evaluation will be done by a Panel of Judges consisting of Environmental activists and student volunteers.

Prizes:

The best three Ganesh Mantap Associations would be given the following prizes:

  1. 1st Prize – Rs. 75,000
  2. 2nd Prize – Rs. 50,000
  3. 3rd Prize – Rs 25,000

All participating associations would be given Certificate of Appreciation.

Prize distribution would be done within the last of September 2010. The details would be intimated to all the participants in the second week of September 2010.

For further details about the clay Ganesh idols and Eco Friendly Ganesh Festival 2010 competition contact –

Deepak @ 98484 44950,
Ravi @ 99486 56599,
Jyotsna @ 97012 24507,
Kamesh @ 98487 99648,
Vijayaram @ 040 – 64514336.

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Devinagar youth has lost a humble soul today

Devinagar youth has lost a humble soul today i.e., on 08-09-2010. Mr. Naresh Kumar J was born on 24th Dec  1979. Though not a PG holder in academics; Naresh was a more than a post grad in understanding the importance of humanity, friendship, relationships and the responsibilities. He was a very kind, caring and a God fearing person.  

He has done his schooling from Queens High School (Kinder Garden to 6th) and later changed to Wesley Boys to complete his schooling. He joined Intermediate in St.Thomas Junior College (Narayanaguda) and started his career in retail segment with Genesis and Basics at Himayat Nagar continuing his education. He joined Ambedkar Open University to complete his Graduation in the year 2002. With his interest and passion in fashion industry he joined Reevs – a complete ethnic and customized costume designer store at Banjara Hills as a personal costume maker in 2004 to learn more about the fashion and changing trends. He resigned Reevs in 2010 June and planned to setup his dream ‘Creative Minds’ – a complete one stop service desk for his fashion crazy customers.

Changing the meaning of ‘Helping people help themselves’ in a helpless situation this helping hand has left us alone in an unfortunate accident at 7:00 PM on 08-09-2010.

At this point in time we all convey our deep condolences and pray God to give his family enough strength to pass through this situation.

LORD GANESH SLOKAS

Shuklaambara Dharam Vishnum
Shashi Varnam Chatur Bhujam
Prasanna Vadanam Dhyaayet
Sarva Vighna Upashaanthaye

Meaning: We meditate on Lord Ganesha – who is clad in white (representing purity), who is all pervading (present everywhere), whose complexion is gray like that of ash (glowing with spiritual splendor), who has four arms, who has bright countenance (depicting inner calm and happiness) and who can destroy all obstacles (in our spiritual and worldly path).


Vakratunda Mahakaaya
Suryakoti Samaprabha
Nirvighnam Kuru Mey Deva
Sarva Kaaryeshu Sarvada

Meaning:The Lord with the curved trunk and a mighty body, who has the luster of a million suns, I pray to thee Oh Lord, to remove the obstacles from all the actions I intend to perform.


Agajaanana Padmaarkam
Gajaananam Aharnisham
Anekadantham Bhaktaanaam
Ekadantam Upaasmahey

Meaning:I worship day and night that elephant faced Lord Ganesha who is like sun to the lotus face of Mother Parvati. Giver of many boons, the single tusked Ganesh, I salute Thee to give e a boon.


Gajaananam Bhoota Ganaadhi Sevitam
Kapitta Jamboophaala Saara Bhakshitam
Umaasutam Shoka Vinaasha Kaaranam
Namaami Vighneswara Paada Pankajam

Meaning: The Lord with the elephant face, served by all the Ganas, One who takes as His food, the essence of Kapitta and Jamboophala (these are two favorite fruits of Ganesh), son of Uma (Mother Parvati), destroyer of misery of the devotees, controller of obstacles, we worship Your Lotus Feet.


Ganaanaam Twam Ganapathi Gam Havaamahe
Kavim Kaveenaam Upamasra Vastamam
Jyeshta Raajam Brahmanaam Brahmanaspatha
Aanashrunvanna Oothibhi Seedha Saadanam

Meaning: We invite You, the Lord of spiritual faith (of Lord Shiva). You are the wisest among the wise, the best to be given as a standard of comparison. You are the senior Lord, Lord of the Vedic manthras, listening to our prayers. Please visit our home with prosperous things and be seated here.

All ABOUT GANESHA

GANESHA in Sanskrit means ‘multitude’. lt means ‘Lord’. Ganesha therefore literally means the ‘Lord of all beings’. Ganesha is the first son of Lord Siva. Siva represents the supreme Reality. The son of Siva symbolises one who has realised the Reality. One who has discovered the Godhood in him. Such a man is said to be the Lord of all beings.

Ganesa is known by other names as well. Ganapati, Gajanana, Vinayaka, Vighnesvara. Ganapati has the same name literal meaning as Ganesa. Gajanana means ‘elephant-faced’. Gaja = elephant, anana = face. Vinayaka means the supreme leader, literally one who has no leader himself. Vighnesvara is the Lord of all obstacles, worshipped in the initiation of Hindu rituals and ceremonies. As his name suggests Vighnesvara remove all obstacles, overcomes all challenges of life. There is a belief that no undertaking will meet with failure if the grace of Vighnesvara is invoked. In Hindu mythological literature Ganesa is described as having a human form with an elephant’s head. One of the tusks is broken. He has a conspicuously large stomach. He sits with one leg folded in. At his feet a variety of foods are spread. A rat sits near the food and looks up at him as if it were asking him for sanction to eat the food. This mystical form of Lord Ganesa represents not only the supreme state of human perfection but the practical path to reach that state. The details of his description suggest deep philosophical significants, which can guide you to reach that ultimate state.

The first-step of spintual education is sravana, which means listening to the eternal, truths of Vedanta. The second step is manana which is indepedent reflection upon those truths. The large ears and head of Ganesa indicate that he had gained previous Wisdom through Sravana and manana. An elephant’s head on a human body in Ganesa is meant to present supreme Wisdom.

The trunk which springs from his head represents the intellect, the faculty of discrimination which necessarily arises out of wisdom.
Intellect is the discriminating faculty, the discerning ablity or the judging capaciy in man. Man’s intellect is of two distinct types namely the gross and the subtle. Gross intellect is that aspect of his discrimination which is applicable to the realm of the terrestrial world, that part of the intellect which distinguishes between the pairs of opposites existing in this world, distinguishes between day and night, black and white, joy and sorrow etc. Subtle intellect is the other aspect of his discrimination, which distinguishes between the infinite and the finite, the real and the unreal, the transcendental and the terrestrial. A man of realisation like Ganesa is one who has fully developed both his gross and subtle intellects. He has perfect understanding and knowledge of the terrestrial as well as the transcendental.
The trunk of an elephant has the unique capacity of performing both gross and subtle activities. A trunk can uproot a tree. It can pick up a needle from the ground. One rarely finds gross and subtle operations being performed by a single instrument. A spanner which is used for fitting a locomotive is useless for repairing a wrist-watch. The elephant’s trunk is all exception to this rule. It serves both ways. So does. Ganesa’s intellect penetrates the realms of the material and spiritual worlds. That is the state which man must aspire to reach.
A Man-of-Perfection” is thus rooted in” the supreme wisdom. He is not swayed by agreeable and disagreeable, circumstances, pleasant and unpleasant happenings, good and bad environment. In other words, he is not victimised by the pairs, of opposites existing in this world, Heat and cold, joy and sorrow, honour and dishonour do not affect him, influence him or harass him. He has transcended the limitations of opposites in the world. He is dvandva atita, beyond opposites. This idea is well represented in Ganesa having two tusks one of which is broken. The common man is tossed between pairs of opposites. Represented by Ganesa’s tusks. He should endeavour to overcome the influence of the pairs of opposites in him Man ought not to act merely by his likes and dislikes; these are his worst enemies which he must control and conquer. When he has completely mastered the influence of these pairs of opposites in him he becomes, a Ganesa.

Ganesa’s large belly is meant to convey that a Man-of-Perfection can consume and digest whatever experiences he undergoes. Heat or cold, war or peace, birth or death and other such trials and tribulations do not toss him up and down. He maintains an unaffected grace in and, through all these fluctuation & of the world. Figuratively, he is represented as being able to stomach and digest all types of experiences.

In Hindu mythology, Kubera, the god of wealth offered a dinner to Ganesa in his palace. Ganesa ate all the food that was prepared for the entire gathering of guests. Thereafter still dissatisfied, he started eating the festive decorations that were used for the occasion. At this juncture his father, Lord Siva approached him and offered him a handfull of roasted rice. Ganesa consumed the roasted rice and his hunger was satisfied immediately. This story is a directive to mankind that man can never be satisfied with the joys provided by the world of objects represented by Kubera’s feast. Material pursuits can never give peace, contentment or happiness to mankind; The only way to attain absolute Fulfilment or peace is by consuming your own vasanas, unmanifest desires in you. The destruction of vasanas is represented by the consumption of roasted rice. When rice is roasted it loses its capacity to germinate. The consumption of roasted rice indicates the destruction of vasanas, desires in you. Thereafter you remain in a state of absolute, peace and bliss.
Ganesa sits with one leg folded up and the other leg resting on the ground. The leg on the ground ihdicates that one aspect of his personality is dealing with the world while the other is ever-rooted in single-pointed concentration upon the Supreme Reality. Such a man lives in the world like anyone else, but his concentration and meditation are ever-rooted in the Atman within himself. This idea is symbolised in the above posture.

At the feet of Lord Ganesa is spread an abundance of food. Food represents material wealth, power and prosperity. When a man follows the high principles of living indicated above he achieves these material gains. He has them always at his command though he has an attitude of indifference towards them.

Beside the food is a tiny rat looking up towards Ganesa. The rat does not touch the food but waits for the master’s sanction as it were for consuming it. The rat represents desire. A rat has a small mouth and tiny sharp teeth. But it is the greediest of all animals. Its greed and acquisitiveness are so great that it steals more than it can eat and hoards more than it can remember, often abandoning burrows full of hoarded grains through forgetfulness. This predominant trait in a rat justifies its symbolism as desire. One little desire entering man’s mind can destroy all his material and spiritual wealth earned for many long years. The rat looking up therefore denotes that the desires in a perfect man are absolutely under control. The activities of such a man are motivated by his clear discrimination and judgement rather than by an emotional craving to enjoy the variety of sense-objects of the world.
There is a belief amongst Hindus that it is inauspicious to see the moon on the Vinayaka Chaturthi day, reckoned to be the birthday of Ganesha.As per a Puranic story, the moon saw Ganesa riding on his tiny rat and laughed at the ludicrous scene. For this reason the moon is condemned and people are forbidden to see it on this day.

Ganesa riding on his rat indicates a Man-of-Perfection trying to use his limited body, mind and intellect to convey the illimitable Truth. The body, mind and intellect are finite. They cannot express the infinite Atman, A Man-of Realisation finds it almost impossible to convey his infinite experience through his finite equipments. Hence the words and deeds -of all spiritual masters are peculiar and incomprehensible. The common man’s intellect cannot comprehend th’eTruth. The moon is the presiding deity of the mind. The moon laughing at Ganapati riding on the rat indicates the ignorant scoffing at the Man-of-Realisation’s attempt to convey the Truth. This attitude, of scoffing at spiritual preceptors and precepts is detrimental to humanity. The generations are therefore warned not to laugh or scoff at the spiritual messages. If they do, they meet with degradation and disaster.
Ganesa has four arms. The four arms represent the four inner equipments, of the subtle body, namely manas mind, buddhi intellect, ahankara ego and citta conditioned- consciousness. Ganesa represents the pure Consciousness, “the Atman which enables these four equipments to function in you.

In one hand he holds an axe and in another a rope. The axe symbolises the destruction of all desires and attachments and their consequent agitations and sorrows.

The rope is meant to pull the seeker out of his wordly entanglements and bind him to the everlasting and enduring bliss of his own Self. In the third hand he holds a Modaka rice ball. Modaka represents the joyous rewards of spiritual seeking. A seeker gains the joy of satisfaction and contentment as he progresses on the path of spiritual evolution. In the fourth hand he holds a padma lotus. The lotus represents the supreme Goal of human evolution. By holding the lotus in his hand he draws the attention of all seekers to that Supreme State that each one of them can aspire for and reach through proper spiritual practices. He blesses all his devotees to reach the Supreme State of Reality.

Thus by indicating to mankind the goal of human evolution and the path to reach the same, Lord Ganesa occupies a place of distinction in the Hindu pantheon. May he give us all the strength and courage to pursue the path which he has led and may we gain that supreme Goal which he has reached.

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.

History
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.

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