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Published in History & Culture

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Published in History & Culture

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Ganesh Utsav in India | 1 Early truth about its origin

In India, especially in Maharashtra, Ganesh Utsav is celebrated widely. Almost every alternate house you could find a little Ganesha in the corner with a well decorated shed and lighting. This is a celebration for kids and adults, and most of the devotees arrange dinner at their home and invite their colleagues, relatives, and friends to join them. However, there ...

In India, especially in Maharashtra, Ganesh Utsav is celebrated widely. Almost every alternate house you could find a little Ganesha in the corner with a well decorated shed and lighting. This is a celebration for kids and adults, and most of the devotees arrange dinner at their home and invite their colleagues, relatives, and friends to join them. However, there were motives behind the festival of Ganesh Utsav.

I can remember, when I was a kid, going to my friend's house for decorations the day before the welcome of Ganesh utsav. We used to spend a whole night in decoration. My village was small , consisting of around a thousand houses, with a big temple at a corner near the river. The temple was the main attraction of our village, and many other people used to come for rituals at the river. When I was in high school, I asked my father, ``Why does our village ever attract so many people who travel from miles to do rituals?" My father patted my back and told me that our village river has a special place. It has uttar vahini (the river flows in the north direction), which helps complete the rituals as per the Indian vedas.

Ganesh Utsav | photo of people standing in front of ganesha statue
People celebrating Ganesh Utsav | Photo by ??Amol Nandiwadekar on Pexels.com

Thus, due to the temple and river, our village was considered one of the best in the nearby area. Hence, it was also considered a place of devotees where the cultural celebrations, including Durga Puja in Navratri, idol Ganesh Utsav, and many other celebrations happened. I also got another opportunity to ask my dad why we celebrate Ganesh Utsav. However, that question was partially answered by my dad. Therefore, I got the perfect answer when I read about history and culture in my school.

Ganesh Utsav in India had started by Bal Gandhar Tilak

Bal Gandharva
Bal Gandharva

Ganesh Utsav was started in Maharashtra by Bal Gandhar Tilak. The reason behind it was to bring people together to share important things and unity among them. However, the festival has been celebrated across the country during the season. It is a primarily Hindu festival but is celebrated by almost all religions, as India has been a secular country for many years. On the first day, the clay murti of Ganesha gets installed in the house. However, prior to the day, decoration is being done by selecting a proper place in the house as per the Vastu Shastra. Mostly the murti installation is setup facing east or north, which is considered the best direction as per the Hindu veda.

The welcome of Ganesha is done with music, bands, and firecrackers, and the same is repeated while sending off on the 10th day. The great Indian saint, Osho, said that devotees should not be bound to God to achieve primordial self. He gave us a fine example of Ganesha. The moral of the story is simple. Whatever the rituals are, use them. Don’t stick to them too long. Do not be bound to it. Ganesh utsav celebrations have historically only lasted ten days. There is a story behind it.

The ten long days of celebration are followed by a visargan in the river on the final day. Thus, people use traditional rituals, prayers, aartis, and all are gone with Visarjan after ten days of worship. In short, Osho says, dance, pray, meditate, and worship, but do not indulge in it for long. "It is a way; it is a path but not a destination in life."

Begining of the Festival Ganesh Utsav from Kasaba Ganapati

Kasba Ganapathi is an ancient deity, a murti of God Ganesha, present even 400 years ago. It was found by the mother of Shivaji Bhosale. It was Dadaji Konddeo who was the first person who discovered the murti of Kasba Ganpati and he reported it to Jijau in 1630. Since the Bhosale family started celebrating and following Kasba Ganpati, Peshawas and the entire Pune city have been witness for years to Lord Ganesh's celebration in Shaniwar Wada.

However, later in Pune, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, who told the story of the temple of Kasba, said that it is a premier murti of Ganesh and the first respect should be given to Kasba Ganpati only. Hence, every year on the 10th day, Kasba Ganpati gets Visarjan first and then follows the rest of Ganeshas.

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