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Some Thoughts on Ganesh Chaturthi

On the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi and the beginning of the ten days Ganesh Festival we convey our blessings & best wishes to all our members and devotees.

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How does Ganeshji remove obstacles? 

May Bhagwan Ganeshji help bring about the necessary buddhi & inner strength in all to help them grow over their difficulties & obstacles. The methodology of blessing us is not directly by providing any situations or achievements – without our Karmas. That would amount to interference in the Law of Karma – set-up by God himself. Karma is the basis, so what the gurus or the gods do is to help us overcome our fears & inhibitions so that we can be enthused to face our challenges with greater wisdom & strength. This is what Bhagwan Sri Krishna also tells in the fourth chapter of Gita, that I just help increase the faith & enthusiasm of a person in their aspirations, and then alone great things happen and the obstacles are overcome. One who is aware of these facts will pray for the right things. Praying just for fruits amounts to remaining a weak person for life, but asking for buddhi is true empowerment, a real blessing of God. So let us always remember the Vedic Prayer of Gayatri Mantra that – Dhiyo yo nah prachodayat, O God I pray for the awakening of my intellect.

Sensitivity to Nature:

Traditionally Hindu’s have always been very sensitive to nature – we call it Prakriti – prakushta kruti of God, that which is an amazing creation of God, in fact the more we go into details we realize that God himself has manifested himself as the creation. So many of our Vedic Gods are the the elements & powers of nature:  fire, wind, sun water, earth etc. We look upon stars & constellations as nakshatras, and worship them too. In Gita Bhagwan Krishna manifests as the Viswa-Roopa itself, wherein Arjuna got the eye to ‘see’ the whole creation as the very physical body of God. The Upanishads too declare that ‘Isavasyam idam sarvam – Everything  is pervaded by God’. However, as the decadence of our religion set in we kept going away from these amazingly beautiful values & vision, and today the majority of Hindu’s have become very insensitive to nature & environment. Our festivals have become an environmentalists horror & nightmare. We pollute our rivers, air, sound and what not. If we dont wake up soon, then the world which we shall leave for our children will be literally un-liveable – all the more dirt & polluted. We need to wake up fast before its too late.

Visarjan is polluting our reservoirs: 

In the Ganesh Festival, beautiful idols of Lord Ganesh are made, kudos to the artists who do an amazing job, we bring our beloved God to our homes & localities, worship him, serve him, have cultural & religious programs for all these days thus strengthening the great values – all this is great & good, however, as the festival comes to a close we immerse the idol in a nearby reservoir, and this again has become a big. big problem for our lakes, rivers or beaches. Celebrations should never be at the cost of our precious & common natural resources. It is this same water which the animals drink, the fishes live there, and so do so many plants. Many a times we drink water too from these reservoirs. Real dharma is to be aware of the well-being of all.

The Better Way: 

The tradition of bringing Gods to our homes is a great one, we give the message that the Gods can & do come to their own people – to bless their children, but in this process it would be good if we don’t pollute the environs, which has all been so lovingly made by our Gods himself. Whether it is sound-pollution, air-pollution, water-pollution or earth-pollution, it is our own land, these are our Gods, our Mother Earth. So we need to go back to the roots and find the way out. There is a system of doing Parthiv-Linga Pooja of Bhagwan Shiva. The idol is made from nice & pure mud – brought from a lake, we make shiv-linga out of that and later do visarjan into the very earth – in pure form. No paints or non-bio-degradable things like polythene or plastics. Can we do that here also? Invoke your creativity, do some hard work, get good mud from a nice clean place, make your own mud-idols, make the best of celebrations, and then do the visarjan of the idol either back into earth somewhere – preferably the same place, or even get a tub of water, invoke all the tirtha’s in it and then immerse the idol there itself – in your own house, we can make that also a great occasion.

Om Sri Ganapataye Namah !

 

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