The 10-day Ganesh Festival has come to a close with lakhs and lakhs of devotees bidding adieu to their beloved Lord Ganesh.
The kind of joyous celebrations that go around during the festival and also during the preparation for the festival are so gripping that when the final-day of VISARJAN(immersion) arrives,we tend to feel gloomy at the thought of separation from our 10-day guest....I have felt it every year.....The only thing that raises spirits somewhat are the chants of "Pudchya Varshi Lavkar Yaa"...
In ancient times,the celebration of Ganesh Utsav was limited to being a family affair till Lokmanya Tilak transformed the annual festival into a large, well-organized public event.Tilak suggested the installation of large public statues of Ganesh in pandals(pavilions), followed by the submerging in rivers or sea, the statues of the deity on the day of Visarjan(Immersion).
The statue is taken through the streets in a procession accompanied with dancing, singing, and fanfare to be immersed in a river or the sea symbolizing a see-off of the Lord in his journey towards his abode in Kailash while taking away with him the misfortunes of his devotees.
But,over the years,this event too has acquired a commercial face and is seen by some as an economic activity.
The traditionally used clay for making the idols has been replaced by the cheaper and easy to mould Plaster of Paris.This material does not dissolve easily in water and releases harmful toxic elements in water which harm the marine beings.Even more dis-heartening is the sight of these undissolved idols being thrown out of the water on the shores the next day.
What’s the use of the worship that hurts Lord himself and results in his extreme insult?And if Visarjan symbolises taking away the misfortunes of the devotees,won't those be back with the statues??
Reacting to such a scenario,many govermental and non-govermental organisations have introduced the concepts such as Green Ganesha and Eco-Friendly Ganeshas.
These ideas are slowly but surely being adopted and lets hope that in the coming years,the festival will be celebrated with the same enthusiasm and lesser of adverse effects....
For now,I am leaving you with a few images that capture the spirit of Ganpati Utsav....Enjoy!!
|See You Next Year..:-)|