नमो व्रातपतये नमो गणपतये।। नम: प्रमथपतये।।
नमस्तेऽस्तु लंबोदारायैकदंताय विघ्ननाशिने शिव सुताय।
श्री वरदमूर्तये नमोनम:।।
(Namo Vraātpataye Namo Ganpataye. Namah Pramathpataye. Namaste astu Lambodaray Ekdantaay Vighnanashine Shiv Sutaay Shree Varadmurtaye Namo Namah.)
Wishing all my readers a very Happy Maaghi Ganesh Chaturthi. It is also known as Magh Krishna Chaturthi. It is said that Lord Krishna looked at the moon on this day and was accused of stealing. He fasted on this day to get off the curse befallen on him.
People in Uttar Pradesh celebrate it as Tila Chaturthi. They make a mound of vermillion (sindoor) and worship it. They offer Til laddoos (sweets made from Jaggery and sesame seeds) to the Lord.
These are the days of rejoicement. A time when God arrives at our homes. It’s a beautiful concept in itself that God arrives as a guest at our homes. Generally every household does have a Mandir (temple), so then why does God need to come home? Just to explain to Humans that every Sarjan (construction) has a Visarjan (destruction). The Ganesh which visits our houses is called the Parthiv Ganesh, Ganesh made from sand.
Today let us try to understand about Ganpati as the Devi of Buddhi (Goddess of learning). What can we as students of life learn from Her? What does the Idol of Ganpati want to convey? Does the concept of the Elephant headed God have any meaning?
My readers, our seers have done everything which has some logic and wanted to convey some understanding through the celebrations of any festival. They want us to ponder over many qualities and try to imbibe them into our lives. The festival celebration always has a learning part hidden in it. Today we just want to finish the rituals and get on with it. At the same time I also see people being emotionally attached with Ganesh arriving at their homes. People await the arrival as it liberates us from worries and sorrow and keeps us happy. But will we be stuck in this. Will we not move ahead in our understanding and let ourselves grow. Or just go on doing it the ritualistic way? Let me make myself clear that am not against rituals. We all do the parayan of Atharvashirsh every year. Many of my friends do get the Parthiv Ganesh Murti at home in the month of Maagh. But let’s try to understand it today from a students perspective.
The Ganpati word itself has a meaning, the leader of the masses. Ganesh means the Eshwar of the Ganas (leader of the masses). So the Lord exhibits the characteristics of a leader. And to be a good leader, we need to educate ourselves (to draw out the qualities within us).
1. The Ganpati has an elephant head. Elephant signifies wisdom. Elephant is considered the wisest among the animals in the Animal Kingdom. So we all need to be gaining wisdom through what we study.
2. He has narrow and small eyes. It is not so that the eyes are small, but the face is so big, that the eyes look small. But the best part about the eyes is that they can see even a small needle in their path. As students when we study, we need to understand the smallest of the nuances of the topic which we are learning. We need to be alert for each and every information, and in whichever corner it may be, however small it may be.
3. His ears are like the “Sup” (grain whinning plate). The Sup keeps the grain intact and at the same time removes the dirt, the husk from them. The enormity of ears suggest us to be able to listen to all. At the same time keep the thoughts important for us and discard what is not. As a student, one needs to be focussed on studies. We may be exposed to various things around us, but we have to decide what to keep and which to keep away from. Also at the same time keep our ears open for good thoughts however far they maybe or however faint they may be. In all the different thoughts, we need to find out the most important one for us.
4. A crooked trunk signifies the length and the reach of oneself. The knowledge we get must be kept in such a way (folded) that it does not interfere in someone’s life. But it should unfold at the right time and be used for the rightful thing.
5. Ganpati is Mahakaay. A huge body. A big belly. Big belly is for keeping all things in the stomach. It is a storing place. Similarly we have to gain such huge knowledge that we need a big belly to keep it. Also we might get to know a lot about others (friends), good and bad, but we need to keep it with ourselves.
6. He has a small mouth. It signifies to talk less. A student needs to talk less and listen more. Keeping ones mouth shut means concentrating on what is being spoken and taught. At the same time, it also means that open up at the right time, ask questions, discuss, argue and draw conclusions.
7. The modak in his hand has its own significance. It is sweet inside and tasteless outside. It reminds us, students, that go into the depth of every topic, one learns. Any topic is always sweet and interesting from within. Outside it is always bookish and boring.
8. He rides a mouse. It signifies a control over worldly desires. Similarly a student needs to have a control over his desires and concentrate on his/ her studies. He needs to ride his wishes and will.
We can go on and on with lots of things about the Lord. But somewhere we need to leave the things for next time. Many thoughts still lie in my mind which need to be emphasized and talk about. But leave to it Ganesha to give me an opportunity to pen them down some other day.
Wishing you all again, a very Happy Maaghi Ganesh Chaturthi.
MAY LORD GANESH BLESS US ALL WITH LOTS OF INTELLECT AND WISDOM.