Ganesh Chaturthi-Ganesh Utsav-The Story of Lord Ganesha-Lord Ganesha Sixteen Names

"Vakratunda Mahakaaya Suryakoti Samaprabha,
Nirvighnam Kuru Mey Deva Sarva Kaaryeshu Sarvada"
Meaning:The Lord with the curved trunk and a mighty body, who has the luster of a million suns, I pray to thee Oh Lord, to remove the obstacles from all the actions I intend to perform.

About Ganesh Chaturthi-Ganesh Utsav

Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chaturthi is dedicated to Lord Ganesh(Son of Lord Shiva) , the elephant-headed god, as the remove of impediments.The Ganesh Chaturthi festival is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha, held annualy all over India, especially with great fervour in Maharashtra.It is a ten day long event.On the occasion of the Ganapati festival, a large number of idols are made of clay ormetal, in all possible sizes, sometimes even up to twenty feet.Ganesh Chaturthi is a highly preferred and most popular festival of the Hindu religion. It is celebrated annually in the month of August or September with big enthusiasm.
People install the idol of Lord Ganesh in their houses and worship them for ten days, after which the idols are taken out ceremoniously, and immersed into the river.sea, pond or well.A cultural  feast is held to concide with Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra especially at Pune.Classical dance, music performances, poetry recitations, folk dances, theatre and film festivals are the main features of this festival.On the 4th day of the bright half of Bhadrapad, the great festival of Ganesh or Ganpati is celebrate.This festival marked the birthday od Lord Ganesh.Ganpati is one of the most popular deities as , both Shaivites and Vaishnavities worship him.Even Buddhists and jains have respect for Ganpati who is considered to be an incarnation of both Shiva and Vishnu.

The Story of Lord Ganesha

The Story of how Lord Ganesha came to have an elephant's head is well known.parvati's motherly instincts
made her yearn for a son and Shiva's long absence from home intensified her yearning due to loneliness.One day, a bright idea occurred to her.She decided to mould a statue of clay in the form of a son.She used her divine power to have the company of a son, she went about her chores, often leaving the boy in charge of the house.
One fine day , while Parvati was busy with her daily ablutions, Shivaturned up and saw Parvati's son Ganesha,  guarding the entrance to his house.Strangers as they were to each other, the son(Ganesha) refused to allow Shiva to enter the house.Taken aback at being prevented fron entering his own house ,Shiva asked this tiny sentinel who he was.On being told that he was parvati's son, Shiva was enraged.
In a fit of anger, Shiva chopped off his head and threw it away. When Parvati heard about this outrage, she lost her temper and demanded that Shiva restore her son to life immediately.Compelled to appease Parvati, Shiva set out to find the head of her son.Hard as he tried, he could not find the heard he wanted , he thought of fitting the headless body with the head of any living being that he would come across.Having so resolved he came across a baby elephant and true to his word, Shiva chopped off the elephant's head, and fitted it to the lifeless body of Ganesha and revived him.This was how Lord Gajanana or Gaja-Mukha came into being.

Lord Ganesha Sixteen Names

Those who recite, read or listen to the above mentioned sixteen names of Lord Ganesha will not face any obstacles at any time be it initiation to schooling, performance of marriage, Grihapravesh, setting out on  a journey, or meetings.These names are also used in the prayers addressed to Ganesha during his worship. The 16 names of Ganesha are:

Sumukha, Ekadanta, kapila, Vighnaraja,Vinayaka, Dhumaketu, Ganadhyaksha, Phalachandra, Gajakarna, Lambodara, Vikata, Vakratunda, Surpanakha, Heramba, Skandapurvaja and Mahaganapathi.

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