Celebrating eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturthi amid Covid protocols
India is a diverse country with a wide variety of cultures and traditions present in every part of the country. From north to south and east to west, one can experience diverse cultures with more than 19,500 languages being celebrated in the country. Thus, with such a wide colorful population, it’s not odd for India to be a cultural hotspot of the world.
Lord Ganesh also called Ganapati is an elephant-headed Hindu god of beginnings, who is traditionally worshipped before any major events to bring prosperity. To celebrate the legacy of Ganesh, a holy festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated every year with great fervor by thousands of devotees in and around India. Here is how you can celebrate an eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturthi.
The Myth Behind Ganesh Chaturthi
Lord Ganesh is the son of Hindu deities Parvati and Shiva. One day, Devi Parvati was preparing to take a bath on Mt. Kailash. In order to bathe peacefully, she asked Nandi, Lord Shiva’s bull to guard the door and let no one in. Nandi did guard the door but when lord Shiva arrived, being his loyal, Nandi let him pass. Devi Parvati was naturally very angry and wanted someone to be as loyal to her as Nandi was to Shiva. Thus, she took out the turmeric paste from her body and breathed life into it, creating Lord Ganesh. She declared him her own loyal son.
The next day, when Devi Parvati went to take a bath, she asked Ganesh to guard the doors. When Shiva came home, Ganesh refused him to enter into his own home. Lord Shiva was puzzled seeing a strange boy guarding the door and so asked his army to keep the boy aside. However, much to his surprise Ganesh defeated his whole army. Now furious Shiva himself came to fight Ganesh and in his divine fury severed Ganesh’s head, killing him instantly.
When Devi Parvati came to know about the incident, she was heartbroken and also enraged. In her anger, she decided to destroy all the creations. This decision troubled Lord Brahma, the creator and he asked her to calm down. She responded that only if her two conditions are met, she would reconsider her decision. She first asked to bring back Ganesh to life and second that he shall be worshipped before any other gods. Now calmed Shiva agreed to the demands. He asked his men to bring back the head of the first living creature that lies with his head facing north. They returned with the head of a strong baby elephant and Shiva placed that head on Ganesh’s body. Reviving Lord Ganesh, Shiva declared him as his first son.
Significance of Ganesh Chaturthi
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with great joy across the country. Devotees bring home idols of Lord Ganesh to worship the deity, eat good food, enjoy with friends and family, and in the end, immerse the idols. People cook special dishes like modaks and distribute them among relatives and friends. The festival is marked to celebrate the birth of Lord Ganesh, the god of wisdom and prosperity. Ganesh Chaturthi also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi falls in the Bhadrapada month of the Hindu calendar.
With the festival just around the corner, here are few ways by which you can celebrate an eco-friendly festival amid covid protocols.
Buy clay idols: Always opt for clay idols that are 100% biodegradable. These idols completely dissolve in water and do not settle down for years to decompose.
Go for small idols: Try buying small idols this year as the smaller the mass the less the pollution. Also, immersing a big idol following covid protocols will be tougher. A small idol can easily be immersed in water at home.
Make your own idols: This is one of the best and cheapest ways of celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi. People with artistic senses can create idols at home using recyclable materials. Thus saving the initial cost of buying the idols as well as having a customized idol at home!
Artist Dattadri Kothur from Mumbai has come up with a brilliant idea of creating idols that grows into a tree. The 31-year-old makes such idols to tackle water and air pollution. The idols are made out of red soil, organic fertilizer, and natural color along with a seed at the bottom. Thus at the time of immersion, people can simply place the idol in a pot and water it regularly.
Artist Nilesh Tupe from Maharashtra makes idols out of cow dung. Thus when immersed in water it produces oxygen and manure. Also, it is absolutely harmless for marine animals. Similarly, the company Green Practices also provides a wide range of eco-friendly idols.
Thus adopting Green Ganesh idols is very important in the 21st century when global warming is at its peak. Because there are many benefits of using a green Ganesh, it is 100% biodegradable and can easily get dissolved when immersed in water hassle-free.