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The Story Behind Vinayaka Festival

In India we have plenty of festive celebrations going on throughout the year and each festival comes with a concrete history, logic and an enticing mythical story behind it.

Today Let me take you through the story of Vinayaka Chavithi. We all know it is the birthday of Lord Ganesh. Well his birth is quite an interesting occurrence. Lord Shiva, impressed by the serious meditation performed by an asura(demon) named Gajasura(A demon who can take the form of an elephant) bestows a boon upon him and taking the situation to his advantage Gajasura asks Shiva to live inside his stomach so that he would be hailed as an exceptional devotee in the world. As a consequence, Shiva gets trapped inside the stomach of the asura while the world suffers the absence of the Lord. All the Devas(Divine Beings) worried of the imbalance in the universe pray to Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma to grant a solution for the situation and they formulate a plan that can bring Shiva out of the stomach of Gajasura thus reviving the balance of the universe.

Goddess Parvati begins preparations to welcome Lord Shiva in all the glory. As the
preparations come to an end, tired Parvati retreats to a bath and while her thoughts are devoted to Lord Shiva she ends up making an idol of a small boy with the bath powder. Marvelling at her own creation she bestows life force upon the idol thus turning it into a living boy. She takes him as her son and names him Ajaanana. She then requests him to guard the door while she is having her bath. Unknown to all these and in a fit of rage Lord Shiva kills the boy by decapitating him when the boy stops him from entering the house as Shiva feels like a stranger to him.

A sorrowful Goddess Parvati then explains her husband the other devas with him about the boy. Regretful of his rage and hurtful actions Shiva then consults with other devas and orders his men to search for an Elephant lying with its head facing North and to bring him the head of it (Which would then fulfil the dying wish of GajaSura to be his child) so that they can operate and attach the head of the elephant to the body of their son. On successful attachment of the head and the body the boy is alive once again and this time he is named Gajaanana(One with the elephant head). He is then crowned as head of the Ganas thusngiving him another title “Ganapati”.

This happened on the 4 th day of the fortnight (Chavithi, meaning fourth) in the month of Bhadrapada. So every year on the fourth day of Bhadrapada Maasam we in India celebrate Vinayaka Chavithi.

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Village Life By Syam Kumar