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Ganesha Visarjan – Why Do We Immerse Ganesha Idols? Unveiling the Story Behind It
Every year, the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi kicks off, spanning a glorious ten days, with its origins tracing back over a century ago when Shri Bal Gangadhar Tilak initiated this grand festival. The main purpose behind observing this festival was to unite Indians against British rule, and gradually, it became a nationwide celebration.
The Story of Ganesha Visarjan
Now, let’s look into the fascinating story behind Ganesha Visarjan.
According to religious scriptures, Acharya Ved Vyasa narrated the epic Mahabharata katha to Lord Ganesha during the ten days of Ganesh Chaturthi. Lord Ganesha carefully wrote down the entire epic without any pause. However, after ten days of continuous writing, Lord Ganesha’s body temperature began to rise significantly. Witnessing this, Acharya Ved Vyasa quickly take Lord Ganesha to a nearby pond and performed a cooling ritual with cold water. This is why Ganesha Sthapana on Chaturdashi (the 14th day) is associated with cooling rituals.
This story also highlights that to prevent Lord Ganesha’s body temperature from rising, Acharya Ved Vyasa applied fragrant sandalwood (chandan) paste to his body. When this paste dried, it made Lord Ganesha’s body stiff, and it started to fall out. Then Lord Ganesha was immersed in the cool water of the pond. Since then, the tradition of Ganesha Visarjan has been observed.
The Second Belief
Another belief is that during the Ganpati festival, people whisper their desires into the ears of Lord Ganesha. Over the ten days of the festival, Lord Ganesha hears and fulfills these wishes. As a result, by the time Chaturdashi arrives, Lord Ganesha’s enthusiasm to grant these wishes has increased so much that he becomes quite warm. To cool him down, the devotees immerse the idol in cool water.
Moreover, Ganpati Bappa is often associated with the name “Moraya,” denoting his Mayureshwar form. According to the Ganesh Purana, when the gods gathered Lord Ganesha to defeat the demon Sindhu, he chose a peacock as his vehicle and incarnated into a six-armed form. Devotees pay tribute to this avatar with joyous slogans of “Ganpati Bappa Moraya!”
In conclusion, the Ganesha Visarjan is a combination of various traditions and beliefs that add depth and meaning to this vibrant festival. It’s a time when Lord Ganesha returns to his heavenly place, taking with him the wishes and prayers of his devoted followers, and promising to return again next year.
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