Bearing all problems and difficulties with a smile, we Indians never cease to celebrate our festivals with much fanfare. Perhaps, the festivities are the only way we find ourselves rising from our mundane situations and purging our souls of existing worldly woes.
The current festive season just began with Ganesh Utsav. The entire country is in the mood for festivity, which has seemingly doubled with the visarjan ceremonies held of the deity. But have you ever wondered why these idols of Ganesha are immersed after being created for months amid much hardship and worshiped with so much zeal and energy? Well, if you don’t, let us tell you that there are two beliefs related to the ritual held every year –
Hindu religious literature has us believe that saint Ved Vyas verbally narrated the story of ‘Mahabharata’ to Lord Ganesha over a period of ten days straight – starting from Ganesh Chaturdashi to Anant Chaturdeshi.
While narrating the ‘Mahabharata’ story, Ved Vyas had his eyes closed. So, he could not see the effect of listening to the entire epic on Ganesha for ten consecutive days, without any break. When , at last, he opened his eyes, he noticed Ganesha was burning with fever. To give Ganesha instant relief, Ved Vyas took him to the nearby pond and asked him to take a few dips.
This tradition continues to date. After staying on the earth for ten days – from Ganesh Chaturdashi to Anant Chaturdashi, Lord Ganesha makes his way to his divine home in the Kailash Mountains.
According to another belief, water is the sole creator of all things on earth. Water is known to be the purveyor of wisdom, while Lord Ganesha is the master of wisdom. Furthermore, the idols of Lord Ganesha are made of soil from the rivers. This is the reason Lord Ganesha idols are immersed in water on the occasion of Anant Chaturdashi – the soil-made Lord Ganesha returns to his home in the holy water after being worshiped on earth for ten consecutive days.