Ganesh Chaturthi Special Photo Story
Ganesh Chaturthi Special Photo Story
Adi means the beginning. Adi Pujya means the One who is worshipped in the very beginning. But from when did man start worshipping the 'Adi Pujya Gananayaka'? Well, maybe from the beginning of all beginnings, as no one has clue of its origin. Ganesha is revered in the Vedas, India's most ancient scriptures. He has been extolled much before Rama, Krishna and any other avatar.
However the vibrant and widespread Ganesha Puja celebrations that we witness in the current times dates back to about 200 years ago. In 1893, when Lokamanya Tilak, freedom fighter and social reformer from Maharashtra, noticed the tremendous appeal of the cute elephant-faced Lord to all classes and sections of society, he transformed the private and domestic celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi into a mass, energetic and well-organised public event. The result was, it united the people of India exhaustively and effortlessly.
What started in Maharashtra in the 19th century quickly cascaded to all states of India and even abroad. There are many stories which tell us how this was beautifully orchestrated by the Divine Himself. For instance, Ganapati Bhatta, an ardent devotee of Ganesha from Maharashtra, once traveled all the way to Puri in Odisha to have the darshan of Lord Jagannath. Being immensely devoted to Ganesha, he expected to see his own Ganesha in Lord Jagannath. However he was terribly disappointed as he had no such special vision of the Lord.
Dejected, as he was leaving Puri, the Lord Himself came to him in the disguise of a priest and persuaded him to stay on and have one more darshan of the Lord. That evening, when Ganapati Bhatta witnessed the Lord, he was lost in ecstasy to see Lord Jagannath with the beautiful trunk, big eyes and in golden complexion! Since then Lord Jagannath in Puri too began to be dressed up as Lord Ganesha on special festive occasions.
This is how in His own mysterious ways Lord Ganesha has seeped into the minds and hearts of the devout in the state of Odisha just like it has happened everywhere else. Sai Saswat Mishra, an enthusiastic photo journalist and a Radio Sai volunteer from Odisha, took the initiative to share with all of us the various facets of Lord Ganesha as He is adored in this land of Lord Jagannath in eastern India. Through his lens, let us too get a peek into the heritage of Lord Ganesha in Odisha.
Asina Ganesha – The Lord Seated Majestically
Many such statues can be seen in temples throughout the state of Odisha. Interestingly, the idols constructed before 9th century are without the Mooshika.
Sthanak Ganesha – The Lord Standing Adorably
The Lord in this position are not common in Odisha. Also among them some are coloured red. The story goes that Lord Ganesha Himself appeared in the dream of a priest and directed that He should be painted red. In fact the vedic hymn Ganapati Atharvasheersham, describes the Lord as 'the One who is blood-red in colour, is smeared with red-coloured sandal paste and is bedecked with red flowers'.
Nruthya Ganesha - The Lord Dancing Delightfully
In Puri, there is a statue of Nruthya Ganesha who is also called as Kanchi Ganesha as it was an idol gifted by the king of Kanchi to King Purushottam of Puri. Such images too are found in many temples across Odisha, with or without His vehicle, Mooshika.
Sarpa Kundali Ganesha – the Lord Adorned with the Divine Serpent
This form of the Lord is found in many temples of Odisha. The serpent, which is a part of Lord Shiva's vesture, is also part of His beloved Son's attire.
Chintamanishwar Temple near Bhubaneswar has a pure black statue of the Lord.