Ganesha Chaturthi is celebrated on the occasion of birthday of Lord Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati. It is the day when lord Shiva declared his son Ganesha as superior to all the gods. Ganesha symbolizes, god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. Traditionally at the beginning of any new venture/good work/ the start of travel, lord Ganesha is worshiped.
How Lord Ganesha Got Elephant Head?
It is said that Goddess Parvati wanted someone to stand guard at the door, when she was taking bath. She did not find any and from sandalwood paste, which she had applied on herself, created the idol of a child out of it and breathed life into it. Then she told him not to let anyone in and went to bath.
When her husband, Lord Shiva came home, the child refused to let him in, as he failed to recognise him. With this lord Shiva was furious, and severed the head of the child.
When Parvati came to know that the child was dead, she couldn’t resist and asked Shiva to revive him immediately. Shiva ordered his servants to get the head of any creature that was sleeping with its head facing north. And they returned with elephant’s head. Shiva attached elephant’s head to the boy’s body, and child lived again.
The boy was made leader of his armies and hence the name Ganesha, meaning ‘god of the army’.
Don’t See The Moon On Ganesh Chaturthi :
On Ganesha’s birthday, he was going around house to house accepting the offerings of sweets. He had a lot of them and later left the place with his vahan mouse. As the mouse saw the snake on its way it suddenly stumbled because of which Ganesha fell down and his stomach burst open and the food which he had, came out. But he stuffed them back into his stomach and tied the snake around his belly. Moon saw this and couldn’t control its laugh. Furious with such mindless behavior, Ganesha pulled out his tusks, hurled it against moon and cursed it, saying no one would look at the moon on that day, if any does they would get a bad name.
If any does this mistake of looking at the moon on that day he would have to listen to the story of lord Krishna and Syamantaka Jewel, to get free from the curse.
What is the story of Lord Krishna and Syamantaka Jewel?
Here it goes:
Satrajit, a Yadava nobleman and a devotee of Surya (Sun God) had secured a jewel syamantaka from Surya. He did not go with the advice lord Krishna, when Krishna asked for it and said that it would be safe with him.
Brother of Satrajit, Prasena had gone out for hunting wearing the jewel and was killed by a lion. Jambavanth (Ramayana fame) killed the lion and gave the jewel to his son to play.
Satrajit blamed and accused Krishna of killing Prasena for the sake of the jewel. In order to come clean Krishna went out in search of jewel and found it in Jambavanth’s cave, with his child.
Jambavanth thinking Krishna as an intruder attacked and fought for 28 days. Jambavan’s whole body got terribly weakened from the hammering of Krishna’s fists. He then recognized Krishna as Lord Rama and inorder to repent for his mistake gave Krishna the jewel and his daughter Jambavati in marriage.
Krishna returned to Dvaraka with Jambavati and the jewel. He returned the jewel to Satrajit. Satrajit repented for his false accusation. And then offered Krishna the jewel and his daughter Satyabhama in marriage. Krishna did not accept the jewel but accepted Satyabhama as his wife.
They say, if you have, by mistake, saw the moon, then you can do prayaschit (free from curse), by listen to the song that includes Krishna and Syamantaka story.