Ganesha Chaturthi

Ganesha Chaturthi

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Ganesha Chaturthi, the great Ganesha festival, also known as ‘Vinayak Chaturthi’ or ‘Vinayaka Chavithi’ is celebrated by Hindus around the world as the birthday of Lord Ganesha. It is observed during the Hindu month of Bhadra (mid-August to mid-September) and the grandest and most elaborate of them, especially in the western India state of Maharashtra, lasts for 10 days, ending on the day of ‘Ananta Chaturdashi’.

The Grand Celebration

A life-like clay model of Lord Ganesha is made 2-3 months prior to the day of Ganesh Chaturthi. The size of this idol may vary from 3/4th of an inch to over 25 feet.

On the day of the festival, it is placed on raised platforms in homes or in elaborately decorated outdoor tents for people to view and pay their homage. The priest, usually clad in red silk dhoti and shawl, then invokes life into the idol amidst the chanting of mantras. This ritual is called ‘pranapratishhtha’. After this the ‘shhodashopachara’ (16 ways of paying tribute) follows. Coconut, jaggery, 21 ‘modakas’ (rice flour preparation), 21 ‘durva’ (trefoil) blades and red flowers are offered. The idol is anointed with red unguent or sandal paste (rakta chandan). Throughout the ceremony, Vedic hymns from the Rig Veda and Ganapati Atharva Shirsha Upanishad, and Ganesha stotra from the Narada Purana are chanted.

For 10 days, from Bhadrapad Shudh Chaturthi to the Ananta Chaturdashi, Ganesha is worshipped. On the 11th day, the image is taken through the streets in a procession accompanied with dancing, singing, to be immersed in a river or the sea symbolizing a ritual see-off of the Lord in his journey towards his abode in Kailash while taking away with him the misfortunes of all man. All join in this final procession shouting “Ganapathi Bappa Morya, Purchya Varshi Laukariya” (O father Ganesha, come again early next year). After the final offering of coconuts, flowers and camphor is made, people carry the idol to the river to immerse it.

The whole community comes to worship Ganesha in beautifully done tents. These also serve as the venue for free medical checkup, blood donation camps, charity for the poor, dramatic performances, films, devotional songs, etc. during the days of the festival.

Swami Sivananda Recommends
On the Ganesh Chaturthi day, meditate on the stories connected with Lord Ganesha early in the morning, during the Brahmamuhurta period. Then, after taking a bath, go to the temple and do the prayers of Lord Ganesha. Offer Him some coconut and sweet pudding. Pray with faith and devotion that He may remove all the obstacles that you experience on the spiritual path. Worship Him at home, too. You can get the assistance of a pundit. Have an image of Lord Ganesha in your house. Feel His Presence in it.

Don’t forget not to look at the moon on that day; remember that it behaved unbecomingly towards the Lord. This really means avoid the company of all those who have no faith in God, and who deride God, your Guru and religion, from this very day.

Take fresh spiritual resolves and pray to Lord Ganesha for inner spiritual strength to attain success in all your undertakings.

May the blessings of Sri Ganesha be upon you all! May He remove all the obstacles that stand in your spiritual path! May He bestow on you all material prosperity as well as liberation!

With thanks to: Mr. Subhamoy Das, – Hinduism

 Ganesha Lord of Success:

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Kubera-The Lord of Wealth

Kubera Money Mantra (God of Wealth)  
With Thanks to by LilaSakura

Kubera, according to Hindu mythology, is the Lord of Wealth and is also considered to be the god of Yakshas who are semi divine beings. He is also considered to be one of the ashta Dikpals or the regent of the North direction. He is also called Dhanadhipati, God of Wealth and Dhanada, Giver of Wealth. Kubera is the son of Sage Vishrava and is called Vaisravana, which can be described as the son of Fame. He is Nara-Raja, the king of men, he is also Yaksharajan, king of Yakshas who are benevolent spirits that protect the natural treasures hidden in the earth.
Kubera in Sanskrit means the deformed one and is generally shown as a dwarf having three legs, eight teeth, one eye and a big belly though he is always decked with jewelery. He always carries a money bag and a club. He was supposed to reside in Lanka, that is, today’s Sri Lanka which was taken away by Ravana. When Ram defeated Ravana, Lanka was returned to Kubera. Meanwhile he resided at a palace at the city of Alaka in the Himalayas. It was Brahma, the God-Creator who gave Kubera the status of God as well as the ‘nidhis’ that is the nine types of wealth of the world, along with the pushpak viman or flying chariot. He is often shown as riding over a man though it is prescribed that when he is installed in a temple he should be seated on a goat.

Kubera is the treasurer of the world’s treasures and is worshiped as such. Whereas Goddess Lakshmi creates wealth, Kubera distributes wealth. Like Goddess Lakshmi he is also worshiped at Diwali by the traditional trading and merchant families of India. He is the God of money and wealth and it is said that he credited money even to the all powerful Lord Venkateshwara, an reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. In fact Kubera is also recognized and accepted as God in Jainism and Buddhism.

There are several tales associated with Kubera and according to one of them, Kubera was filled with pride regarding his wealth. He claimed that no one would go unsatisfied from his feast and Lord Ganpati decided to teach him a lesson. He gulped down all the food cooked, then ate up all the uncooked food and the utensils and was about to eat his palace when Kubera realized his mistake and begged forgiveness. There are other stories as to how he protects the mineral wealth of the world by punishing the greedy with a wheel that turns on his head till the next greedy person arrives.

It is said that if both Kubera and Goddess Lakshmi are worshiped then there can be no shortage of wealth and prosperity for the devotee. The Shri Lakshmi Kuber Mantra is as follows:

Om Sreem Hreem Cleem Maha Ashta Iswarya Sampathu Aadhi Dhiyudha
Maha Kubera Mangala Sarv Bhagya Sudharsana Sanka
Chakra Padma Ghadhayudha
Sree Lakshmi Narayana Dhevaya Namaha

Mool Mantra —
Om Sreem Hreem Im Kubera Lakshmiai
Kamaladharinyai Dhana Akrashinyal Swaha

Shri Gayatri Mahalakshmi Kubera Yantra