We celebrate this 10 day long festival every year but how many of us know what is Ganesh Chaturthi and why is it celebrated?
Ganesh Chaturthi marks the birth date of the youngest son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. As we begin preparations to welcome our favorite Hindu deity, lets unravel 10 cool things about Lord Ganesha;
1- He is worshiped first before other Gods in every holy procession
It is believed that Lord Shiva gave a boon to Ganesha that he would be worshipped before any other Lord. He was thereby declared superior to all gods.
2- One of his 108 names is Ekadanta which literally means one toothed.
According to Brahmavavart Purana, the great sage Parshurama once went to the Kailash mountain to visit Shiva when He was meditating. So, Lord Ganesha didn’t allow Parshuram to meet Shiva. This angered Parshuram and He used his axe which was granted to Him by Shiva himself to attack the little Ganesha. To respect the power of the weapon given by his father, Ganesha took the attack on one of His teeth and since then He is called Ekdanta.
3- He penned down Mahabharatha
It is believed that Lord Ganesha is the original writer of the epic Mahabharata. The great sage Vyasa found Lord Ganesha worthy of understanding the Mahabharata. Thus, He decided to recite the epic Mahabharata to Ganesha and asked Him to write it without any interruption.
4- Is he married or unmarried? The eternal question
While in South India, it is believed that Ganesha is a Brahmacharya, it is generally believed that Lord Ganesha was married to the twin sisters Riddhi (Goddess of prosperity) and Siddhi ( Goddess of Intellect) who bore Him two sons Shubha (auspiciousness) and Labha (Profit).
5- The mysterious birth
According to Puranas, Goddess Parvati kept a Punyak fast and wished for a baby boy. It is believed that as a result of this fast, an incarnation of Lord Krishna was born to Parvati as Lord Ganesha. Another story says that Parvati created Ganesha from the clay as she wanted someone loyal to her as Nandi was to Lord Shiva.
6- The Moon once laughed at Lord Ganesha’s fat belly and got cursed
A story tells how Ganesh once went to a feast for his birthday, but he ate so many laddoos that he toppled over when trying to get up. Lord Ganesha got angry at the moon when he laughed at Ganesha’s fat belly. As a result, Ganesha cursed the moon and said that on Vinayagar Chaturthi, whoever will look at the moon, he would be falsely blamed. That’s why people believe in not looking at the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi.
7- The Banana Bride
Goddess Durga once asked Ganesha; “What if your wife does not give enough food to eat after you get married?”. Then, Ganesha went to cut a Banana tree and gave it to his mother saying; “This is your daughter-in-law”. So, even today during Durga puja, Banana tree wrapped in a saree and adorned with vermilion is placed on the right side of Lord Ganesha as his wife.
8- He is worshipped in Tibet, China and Japan as Vinayaka
In Buddhism, Ganesha is referred to as Vinayaka and is worshiped in countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Tibet, China, and Japan
9- Ganesh has a sweet tooth and loved ladoos and modaks.
10- He won a race on a tiny mouse
Narad Muni who is famous for creating rivalries betwee the Gods once brought a special mango to Kailash. The boys started fighting for it. Parvati suggested that the one who circled the world three times and came back first would get it as a prize. They decided to hold a competition between the two boys and make the mango the prize.
Kartikeya didn’t waste any time on thought. He jumped on to his vahana and zoomed off to make a quick trip around the Earth, three times.
In the meantime, back on Mount Kailash, Ganesha called his parents and asked them to sit together. Folding his hands, he walked around them thrice.
Bewildered Shiva & Parvati, asked Ganesha why he was moving around them.
Little Ganesha’s eyes twinkled, as he replied, “As my parents, you are the world to me—so when I went around you thrice, it was equal to going round the world.”
Let me know in comments which ones you knew