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History[ edit ] Ganesha, Basohli miniature, circa It is unclear when the festival started, it became a major social and public event with sponsorship of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj after Mughal-Maratha wars, and again in the 19th century after public appeal by Indian freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak who championed it as a means to circumvent the colonial British government ban on Hindu gatherings through its anti-public assembly legislation in Ganesha The earliest mention of Ganapati, but not referring to the current Ganesha or Vinayaka, is found in the Rigveda.
It appears twice in the Rigveda, once in hymn 2. Ganesha appears in the medieval Puranas in the form of "god of success, obstacle remover". For example, carvings at Hindu, Buddhist and Jain temples such as at the Ellora Cavesdated between the 5th and 8th century show Ganesha reverentially seated with major Hindu goddess Shakti.
I followed with the greatest curiosity crowds who carried in procession an infinite number of idols of the god Ganesh.
A crowd, more or less numerous, accompanies the idol, clapping hands and raises cries of joy, while a little orchestra generally precedes the idol. Tilak believed that this effectively blocked the public assembly of Hindus whose religion did not mandate daily prayers or weekly gatherings, and he leveraged this religious exemption to make Ganesh Chaturthi to circumvent the British colonial law on large public assembly.
The Goa Inquisition had banned Hindu festivals, and Hindus who did not convert to Christianity were severely restricted. However, Hindu Goans continued to practice their religion despite the restrictions.
Many families worship Ganesha in the form of patri leaves used for worshiping Ganesha or other godsa picture drawn on paper or small silver idols. In some households Ganesha idols are hidden, a feature unique to Ganesh Chaturthi in Goa due to a ban on clay Ganesha idols and festivals by the Jesuits as part of the Inquisition.
Public preparations for the festivities begin months in advance. Local Mandapa or Pandal 's are usually funded either from donations by local residents or hosted by businesses or community organizations.
The making of the Murti in Maharashtra usually begins with "Padya pooja" or worshipping the feet of Lord Ganesh. The Murti's are brought to "pandals" on the day or a day before the festival begins. The pandals have elaborate decoration and lighting.
At home, the festival preparation includes purchases such as puja items or accessories a few days in advance and booking the ganesh murti as early as a month beforehand from local artisans.
The murti is brought home either a day before or on the day of the ganesh chaturthi itself. Families decorate a small, clean portion of the house with flowers and other colourful items before installing the idol. When the Murti is installed, it and its shrine are decorated with flowers and other materials.
On the day of the festival, The ceremonial installation of the clay murti idol is done along with chans of holy mantras and pooja including bhajans during a certain auspicious period of the day.
In preparation for the festival, artisans create clay models of Ganesha for sale. The festival is held during "Bhadrapada Madyahanaa Purvabaddha". If the chaturthi thiti begins at night on previous day and gets over by morning on next day then the next day is observed as vinayaka chaturthi.
In the consecration ceremony, a priest performs a Prana Pratishtha to invite Ganesha like a guest. This is followed by the step Shodashopachara ritual,  Sanskrit: Shodash, 16; Upachara, process during which coconut, jaggerymodaksdurva grass and red hibiscus Jaswand flowers  are offered to the idol.
Depending on the region and timezone, the ceremony commences with hymns from the Rigvedathe Ganapati Atharvashirsathe Upanishads and the Ganesha stotra prayer from the Narada Purana are chanted.
In Maharashtra as well as Goa, Aartis are performed with friends and family, typically in the morning and evening.
At prominent temples[ edit ] At Varasidhi Vinayaka swamy Temple in KanipakamAndhra Pradeshannual brahmotsavams will be celebrated for 21 days starting from Vinayaka chavithi day.
The processional deity of Vinayaka will be taken in a procession on different vahanams on these days amidst large number of pilgrims across the country.
In Maharashtra the Marathi aarti " Sukhakarta Dukhaharta ", composed by the 17th century saint, Samarth Ramdas is sung. At that time the Murti is ceremoniously brought to a body of water such as a lake, river or the sea for immersion.
In Maharashtra, Ganeshotsav also incorporates other festivals, namely Hartalika and the Gauri festival, the former is observed with a fast by women on the day before Ganesh Chaturthi whilst the latter by the installation of Murti's of Gauris.
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