Vinayagar Chaturthi, also known as Ganesh Chavithi, is an auspicious Hindu festival worshipped for ten days each year. The event is held during the Hindu month of Bhadra, which normally occurs between mid-August and September. It is the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed deity.
Ganesha is recognised as the God of fortune, sciences, knowledge, wisdom, and prosperity, which is why most Hindus remember him and ask for his blessings before beginning any major project. Lord Ganesh is known by 108 distinct names, including Gajanana, Vinayaka, and Vighnaharta.
Hindus all around the globe commemorate this event with tremendous dedication and delight. It is primarily observed in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana in India.
History of Vinayagar Chaturthi
Ganesha is Lord Shiva and Parvati’s eldest son. There are several legends about his birth, but two of them are the most prevalent.
According to the first myth, Parvati formed Lord Ganesha out of dirt from her body to protect her in the absence of Shiva. She assigned him the responsibility of keeping an eye on her bathroom door while she took a bath. Meanwhile, Shiva arrived home, and Ganesha, who had no idea who Shiva was, stopped him.
This enraged Shiva, and after a spat between the two, he severed Ganesha’s head. When Parvati learned about this, she became outraged; Lord Shiva, in response, swore to bring Ganesha back to life. The devas were ordered to find a child’s head pointing north, but all they found was an elephant’s head. Ganesha was born when Shiva attached the elephant’s head to the child’s body.
Another common narrative is that the Devas asked Shiva and Parvati to create Ganesha so that he may be a Vighnaharta (averter of impediments) for rakshasas (demons) and thereby serve the Devas.
Importance of Ganesha Chaturthi
Devotees who worship Ganesha are said to be able to fulfil their wishes and aspirations. So, the fundamental point of Ganesh Chaturthi is that devotees who worship him are cleansed of their sins and guided along the road of knowledge and wisdom.
The event has been celebrated since the reign of King Shivaji. During India’s independence movement, Lokmanya Tilak (Bal Gangadhar Tilak) transformed Ganesh Chaturthi from a private celebration to a huge public event where people of all castes may come together, worship, and be unified.
People have begun to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in an environmentally responsible manner as environmental consciousness has grown over the years. This involves procuring Ganesha idols made of natural clay/ mitti and adorning the pandals with only flowers and natural materials.
108 distinct names of Lord Ganesha
Lord Ganesha, the Hindu deity known for his wisdom, auspiciousness, and removal of obstacles, is often addressed by various names and epithets in Hindu mythology. Here are 108 distinct names of Lord Ganesha:
These are some of the names of Lord Ganesha, and there may be other regional or lesser-known names and epithets associated with him as well.