Life is full of obstacles. From the moment we wake up, we have to take care of bodily needs such as hunger and thirst. Not only do we face obstacles in worldly affairs such as livelihood, relationships etc, we also face obstacles in our sadhana and spiritual work that we do. And we face obstacles connected with our body as well – disease and old age. If we look at the life of Ganesha, his very existence represented obstacles. But he turned it around. He transformed every single obstacle into a huge blessing. For instance, soon after his birth, Ganesha’s head was cutoff by Lord Siva. In exchange of his own severed head, he received the head of an elephant which represents wisdom. That is why Ganesha is known as Vighna Hartā, the remover of obstacles.
Ganesha Chaturthi is celebrated as the appearance day of Lord Ganesha. It falls on the Shukla Chaturthi (4th lunar day of bright half) of Bhadrapada month every year. Ganeshotsav (festival) ends after 10 days on Ananta Chaturdashi (14th lunar day) with immersion of Ganesha statues in flowing water. Here are Timings for Ganesha Chaturthi, 2020:
- US Pacific: Aug 21 (Fri) 10:34 AM till Aug 22 (Sat) 7:30 AM
- India: Aug 21 (Fri) 11:04 PM – Aug 22 (Sat) 8:00 PM
- Australia AEST, Sydney: Aug 22 (Sat) 3:34 AM till Aug 23 (Sun) 00:30 AM
Ganesha was born on Chaturthi. So Chaturthi Tithi represents obstacles as well as removal of obstacles if we surrender to Ganesha. If we start some new project or journey on Chaturthi for example, we may face obstacles but we could turn those obstacles around into the biggest of blessings if we keep Ganesha in our minds and in our hearts. Every Chaturthi (4th lunar day) belongs to Ganesha and is auspicious for fasting and chanting Ganesha mantras.
Mythology: Once up on a time, baby Ganesha was hanging out under the sky at night. It was the Chaturthi Tithi. Chandra (Moon) saw this baby with elephant head and made fun of his appearance. Chandra was immensely proud of being very beautiful himself. Lord Ganesha cursed Chandra that whoever looks at him on this day (Chaturthi), will have some Mithya Dosha or false accusation against them. So it is advised never to look at Moon on Chaturthi Tithi. Instead, it is highly recommended to worship Ganesha on Chaturthi. It is also very beneficial to chant 11 or 21 or 108 names of Ganesha.
21 Names of Lord Ganesha
ॐ सुमुखाय नमः / ॐ गणाधीशाय नमः / ॐ उमा पुत्राय नमः / ॐ गजमुखाय नमः / ॐ लम्बोदराय नमः / ॐ हर सूनवे नमः / ॐ शूर्पकर्णाय नमः / ॐ वक्रतुण्डाय नमः / ॐ गुहाग्रजाय नमः / ॐ एकदन्ताय नमः / ॐ हेरम्बराय नमः / ॐ चतुर्होत्रै नमः / ॐ सर्वेश्वराय नमः / ॐ विकटाय नमः / ॐ हेमतुण्डाय नमः / ॐ विनायकाय नमः / ॐ कपिलाय नमः / ॐ वटवे नमः / ॐ भाल चन्द्राय नमः / ॐ सुराग्रजाय नमः / ॐ सिद्धि विनायकाय नमः
Om Sumukhāya Namah / Om Ganadhishāya Namah / Om Umā Putrāya Namah / Om Gajamukhāya Namah / Om Lambodarāya Namah / Om Harasunavey Namah / Om Shurpakarnāya Namah / Om Vakratundāya Namah / Om Guhāgrajāya Namah / Om Ekadantāya Namah / Om Herambarāya Namah / Om Chaturhotrai Namah / Om Sarveshvarāya Namah / Om Vikatāya Namah / Om Hematundāya Namah / Om Vināyakāya Namah / Om Kapilāya Namah / Om Vatave Namah / Om Bhāl Chandrāya Namah / Om Surāgrajāya Namah / Om Siddhi Vināyakāya Namah
On Ganesha Chaturthi, people make statue of Ganesha with clay and do Prana Pratishtha of this statue. Prana Pratishtha means invoking the Divine energy to enter into this statue and turn this piece of clay into a living deity. Then worship this deity (which is not just a statue anymore) for the next 10 days and then immerse it in flowing water on the 10th day. This process of immersion is called Visarjan. We create beautiful things and then let them go. No attachment. That is the law of nature. Here is complete Puja Vidhi for Ganesh Chaturthi: Here.
Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha!!! Ganapati Bappa Morya, Mangala Murti Morya!!!