Vinayaka Chathurthi - 15 interesting facts!!

It is a known fact that  among the various gods and goddesses in the Hindu pantheon  no auspicious ceremony, be they temple related or family related, invocation of god Ganapahy is first and foremost so that the function will ahead as planned without any hitch.

The following are the important facts about Vinyaka Chathurthi: 

01 Vinayaka goes by different names - Ganapathi,  Vigneswara, Ayenkaran (meaning one who has five arms including his trunk) etc.  As a matter of fact he is known by 108 different names like Gajanana, Vinayaka, Vighnaharta (remover of obstacles)  among others.

.Vinayaka Chathurthi 2021.

02. In Tamil Nadu Ganapathi is commonly called Pilliyar  (in Tamil Pilli means son) because  he was created by Goddess Parvathi (consort of God Shiva) from a dirt to guard the place while she was bathing,  Why  does he have the  head of an elephant on a human body? When God Shiva was denied entry to the bathing Ghat By  guard, he killed him. To pacify  furious Parvathi  over her guard's death  Shiva's Ghanas could get only elephant so Shiva fixed the head of an elephant on the guard and breathed life into him. Later Parvatthi adopted him as her son. This is the reason why he is elephant-headed. 

Eachanari Vinayagar Temple, near Coimbatore. Justdial

03. He is the head of all ghanas  according to the Narada Purana and is the very first God used for invocation at any auspicious function or ceremony as he is known to remove obstacles in our lives (in Tamil he is known as Vinai Theerpavan meaning remover of road blocks in our endeavor)..

Mukuruni Vinayagar Madurai Meenshi temple.TN  Indusladies

04. Ganesha is known as the God of wealth, knowledge, wisdom and prosperity, hence  Hindus never fail to seek  his blessings before starting any important work.

05. In the conduct of  primary Hindu rituals at home or temples, the priests first dedicate the prayer to Ganapathi before starting other rituals. Conduct of Ganapathi homam is a must. 

06. When sage Vyasa wrote the  great epic Mahabharata he sought the help of Ganapathi as  he is the god of wisdom and knowledge. Knowing  his agility Vyasa asked Ganapathi to understand  the meaning of every  sentence being dictated by him and then write. This was done to buy time  form the next segment of his story line because Ganapathi's writing flow could not be stopped midway. The dictation had to be continuous.

Manakula Vinayagar, Pondicherry.

07. To write the Mahabharata he used the sharp part of his ivory tusk, hence in all idols of Vinayaka  you  can see a broken tusk.

prasadam (Kozhakattai and appam

Above image:  Special dishes like Lord Ganesha's favourite  Modak (in Tamil Kozhakattai), Pooran Poli, and Karanji are prepared to be distribute among devotees  friends, family members, etc.

08. Every year his birthday is celebrated  on the Vinayaka Chathurthi day - 10 day festival that falls between August  and September.  He descends to earth with his mother Parvathi and on the final day after the immersion of his clay idol in a water body, he leaves for his home.   

09. The four main rituals performed during the 10-day long festival are namely: Prana pratishhtha (infusion of life to the idol by chanting mantras), Shhodasho pachara (16 ways of upachara/prayers  to please him) , Uttar puja  (bidding farewell to Ganesha with deep reverence)  and Ganpati Visarjan (immersion of his clay idol in water). 

Rockfort Ucchi Pillaiyar Kovil, Thiruchirappali, TN

10. On the 10th day the idol of Ganapathi is taken to the nearest water body or sea for immersion. The moral behind immersion is when the clay idol of Ganapathi is dissolved in the water, along with him re dissolved our worries and obstacles  so that we can begin our life afresh on a positive note. We pray to him to be  free of sins and  move forward  on the path of knowledge and wisdom.

Gor Ganapathi, remover of obstacles and worries.

11. Worship of Vinayaka at any time will instill confidence and create positivity. Even today office goers and students, particularly, those who take exams bow before Vinayaka before moving on. 

12. Mostly Vinayak Chathurthi  was a domestic festival in which  a clay  idol of the God is worshipped  and on the final day will be immersed in the well behind house or in the nearest body. 

13. Since 1893 it had become a public function through the efforts of  freedom fighter  Lokamanya Tilak  to circumvent the British govt. rule Introduced in 1870)  not to hold public meeting with more than 20 people. He used the public function to spread the message of  freedom from the foreign rule, political activism and patriotism.   Thus the  Father of Indian Unrest'  was the man behind turning a private, household Ganesh Chaturthi celebration to a gala public event. It also brought together people from various castes under one roof.   As for Tamil Nadu and other states, it became more popular in the last couple of decades. 

14. For the first time ever Vinayak Chathurthi function was held  under a pandal in public places way back in 1893 in cities like Pune and Mumbai. 

15.  The following are famous Ganesha temples in India: Shree Siddhivinayak Temple, Mumbai, Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Temple, Pune,  Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple, Chittoor,  Manakula Vinayagar Temple, Pondicherry,  Madhur Mahaganapathi Temple, Kerala,  Ranthambore Ganesh Temple, Rajasthan,  Moti Dungri Ganesh Temple, Jaipur,  Sasivekalu & Kadale Kalu Ganesha Temple, Hampi, Karnataka,  Ganesh Tok Temple, Gangtok, Ganpatipule Temple, Ratnagiri, Maharashtra Rockfort Ucchi Pillayar Koil Temple, Tamil Nadu and  Karpaga Vinayagar Temple, Pillaiyarpatti,TN.