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Monsoon Months (Chaturmaas) – Muharram / Ganesh Chaturthi – 2

On the supreme sacrifice day of Muharram, bow down to Imam Hussein, the grandson of The Holy Prophet. The sacrifice He gave was for Humanity and Allah. The 72 soldiers of Islam with Him also sacrificed their lives. I have talked about the sacrifice in my blog last year, which my readers can refer to. It is through such sacrifices that Islam has earned acceptance and respect all over the world.

But the way Islam is looked as regressive in the world, pains thinkers like me. A handful few (maybe 10% of all Islamists) follow a path of violence to propagate their thought and have also created a havoc around the globe. From Afghanistan to Iran, from Iraq to Syria, from Al Quaeeda to ISIS, the militant mindset needs to be changed. And Imam Hussein can be the best ideal for all of this to change.

At the same time, Imam’s sacrifice is a factual and a sad truth about differences within a thought process. But these differences within, leading to a kill, is something Humanity needs to think about. Differences exist and should exist in the quest for truth, but they should not translate into killings. We find many instances in every culture too. But some learn, some wait to be taught. At the end we all need to understand that killing is not the final good.

On this day, I pray to Allah to bestow upon His children, the patience, understanding and love for each other and for peaceful coexistence of the humankind.

Here, in India, the Ganesh festival is at its peak. After my first blog, many of my readers pointed out to many parts of Ganeshji’s life and deeds which I have forgotten or deliberately left out. I want you my readers to think and be a part of this process which we have initiated together. Let us all read and think together.

Now as the festival moves towards its culmination, that is of immersing the idols of Ganesh into the waters of rivers and seas. A story which I was told when I was small is what I share now. River Ganga out of love and warmth, wanted that Ganesh be considered Her son and stay with Her. She pleaded Ganesh about this. That is when it is said that Ganesh promised Ganga to be with Her, once He is worshipped by the children of Mother Earth. He promised to visit Ganga after the culmination of His worship. So the tale goes that He is immersed in waters and goes to meet Ganga. Every river and sea in India is considered as Ganga and worshipped in that manner.

There are many aspects to this story if one sits back and thinks. One I have already mentioned in my first blog. It is a teaching to us, that every Srijan ( creation) has to move towards Visarjan (destruction). It’s a part and process of the cycle of evolution of the Universe. If we think, we will know that it is because of Visarjan that we are able to enjoy life. Can we imagine an infinite life? (the scientists have been trying to find the elixir of life, but it has evaded us till now.) If we knew that we are going to have an infinite life, will we be enjoy life? So, the seers, wanted us to understand the finiteness of life and so they introduced us to this process of Srijan – Visarjan through celebration of Ganesh festival.

Also let us look at it in our everyday life. Visarjan is a part of our daily life. We have to immerse many of our thoughts, beliefs and emotions, otherwise our very existence will become difficult living with them. Let’s understand it with an example. Say we had a fight and now we hold a grudge for the person with whom we fought. Now if we keep living with this grudge, we cannot move ahead in life. So as soon as that person goes away, we have to forget it and move on. Yes we might remember it again when we see or meet that person. But it does not or cannot stay with us for every moment of our life. Our lives will become miserable. So better immerse it.

Visarjan also signifies to develop an outlook from “looking outside” to “looking inside”. Everything is destructible, but not the Love of God, the Soul. We need to understand that the flow of the river of love is within out body and keeps us going. We need to immerse the Ganesh into it. Leave our bodily desires and immerse ourselves into our souls.

Yet another way to look at it can be that death (visarjan) is going back to where we came from. Going back to our mother. Our mother will remould the Soul, and we will get a new life. We can also understand the importance and necessity and conviction about Life after Death. Why fear Death?, when we are going to come back again and again, till our Karma makes us do this. Death is only changing of bodies, as we change our clothes, is what Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta describes. As I mentioned in my last blog, it is the Parthiv Ganesh which we bring home. Parthiv means made from earth. “From dust thou art, to dust thou shalt be, was said of the body” it comes from earth and returns back to earth. Again it’s a process.

But, today I want to ask my readers that do we truly think about all this on the day of Visarjan? Or just play some dirty songs and dance dirtily in front of Ganesh? Am not against dance or music. I still remember the traditional send offs given to Ganesh when He leaves. I still remember the corner of the eye being moist when He is ready to leave. I still see the longing in the eyes of the Devotees who want their God to stay forever. But a few devotees (Can we call them so?) just blare their speakers with some utmost filthy songs and make some dirty dance moves in the name of God, which even Ganesh would not like to see. We are making a show of our intellect in front of the God of Intellect. Would He like this? Would He approve of it?. I leave it up to my readers to decide.

Ganpati is also the leader of the masses. He signifies of how and what a leader of the people should be like. He stays amongst the people and mingles in such a way that it becomes difficult to identify Him. But I will leave this thought for some other time.

Till then, I urge upon my readers to think over the thoughts I have shared and appreciate their comments and suggestions for the same.

PS : Visarjan is the also symbol of nirgun nirakar bhakti. God can not be binded in shape .is the main thought behind all non hindu religions. Visarjan of ganapati shows nearness of vaidik culture with all non hindu religions. – contributes by Sandesh Sankhe, my friend.

Author:

Am a teacher by profession. A student of History and international politics. Believe that Bhakti (Devotion) and Humanism can only save Humanity. Revere all creation. My thoughts are influenced by His Holiness Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale

9 thoughts on “Monsoon Months (Chaturmaas) – Muharram / Ganesh Chaturthi – 2

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