Thursday, September 01, 2005

ganesh utsav 2005

The festival season of the Indians begin with the Ganesh festival which is a few days away. Preparations have already started in real earnest with pandals being erected in various ports of cities large and small. Lord Ganesh will reside in these temporary accommodations for the duration of the annual festival. He is the harbinger of all the good things, especially related to riches. Hence, whoever carries out business worships this elephant headed deity. The festival starts on Ganesh Chaturthi - 4th day of Bhadrapada Shukla (Shuddha) Paksha, when Ganesh Pratishthapana is performed and the festival is concluded with the Ganpati Visarjana (immersion procession) on Anant Chaturdashi (14th day of Bhadrapada Shukla Paksha). This year, it commences on 7th September 2005 and concludes on 17th September.

The ten-day long festival is celebrated basically in Maharastra and by Maharastrians wherever they may reside in other parts of the World. This year, in view of the havoc created by the unprecedented rains, and loss of lives and property, the celebration may be on a subdued scale. From reports it seems that plenty of idols have been damaged by the rains and flood conditions. In olden days, it used to be restricted to families. Later, Bal Gangadhar Tilak realized its tremendous potentials as an opportunity to bring people on a common platform to carry out the struggle for freedom from British rule. Hence, he converted it into a community festival in Pune. Later, it caught the fancy of the masses and propagated to far corners of the state and even beyond the boundaries of Maharastra. http://www.panditjiusa.com/ganesh_festival.htm

Coming to Nashik, there are quite a number of Ganapati pujas – the one on the Main Road is most famous, here the idol is made of silver! It is normally housed in the Ganapati temple on Raviwar Karanjia. During the festivals, it is brought outside for public viewing. Then there are the Khandave Ganapati, the Tilya Ganapati, the Varad Vinayak, the Dholya Ganapati and the Navshaya Ganapati. Details are available on the following link: http://www.nashik.com/pilgrimage/temple.html

The Pune festival organized by Sri Suresh Kalmadi on this occasion showcases the various aspects of the cultural side of Maharastra. Details of the events of 2004 can be viewed on this official link - http://www.punefestival.com/

Like so many other Indian festivals, this also occupies a prominent position on the internet. Innumerable memorabilia are on offer on attractive terms for on-line buying. There are even sites where one can perform Puja on-line based on instructions that come over the net. You may not be able to enjoy the fragrance of incense sticks but, who knows, you may be fortunate to locate a site where you can certainly light them and watch the smoke curl up into the air. http://www.astrojyoti.com/ganeshapoojas.htm

On the 14th day that is on Anantha Chaturdashi the images are immersed in the local rivers or lakes. In Mumbai, the large ones are immersed in the Arabian Sea. The TV networks dutifully relay the complete proceedings and, the gorgeous affairs are really and truly breathtaking. With chanting of ‘ganapatti bappa morya, pudcha barsha laukar ya!’ we bid good bye to the Lord Ganesh requesting him to come early next y