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Vinayaga Chathurthi or Ganeshotsavam is celebrated in August/September. Vinayaga Chathurthi falls on the fourth day of the bright fortnight of the month. Lord
Ganapati is also known as Gajaanana, Heramba, Lamba Karna, Vignaraja, Vinayaka and Vignahaari. He is one of the six major deities of Hinduism.
Lord Ganesha is depicted as short and fat with a protuberant belly, four hands, and an elephant head. The elephant is noted for its might and sagacity and so the giver of Gnyana with an elephant head is worshipped.
His four hands stand for His immense power. The noose and the (club) goad borne in His two hands stand for His all – pervasiveness and grace. His broken tusk held in the right hand shows that He is the refuge of all. His huge belly is indicative of tolerance signifying the entire universe is contained in Him. His feet stand for the bestowal of Siddhi and Buddhi attainment of desires and knowledge. The modaka in His hand is symbolic of Gnyana conferring bliss. His mount, the shrew, represents the worldly desires which are to be overcome.
The image of Ganesha takes Him spiritually far above the legends and Puranas by the identification of His form with the “Pranava” the primordial sound “Om”. The Vedas and the Upaanishads speak profusely about this concept. The physical form of Ganapati is just the pictorial representation of the form of the sound. Not only His whole form but the elephant head in particular symbolizes the “Pranava”.
On Vinayaga Chathurthi, devotees rise early, have their bath and make preparations for worship. They collect various articles for the worship of the Lord. They worship the image of God made out of clay with various offerings including modakas (sweet meats).
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