Legends Of Ganesh Chaturthi
The History And Legends Associated With The Celebration Of Ganesh Chaturthi
The 10 day long festival of Ganesh Utsav is celebrated in a grand and zealous manner during the Hindu month of Bhadra. There are two main legends associated with the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi, stated in the two major Hindu scriptures, namely the Shiva Purana and the Skanda Purana. The basic details of both these legends are as follows.
Story From Shiv Purana
Godess Parvati once became infuriated by the fact that the Shiv ganas, give priority to his orders over hers. It was then that she decided to create her own gana, who would obey only her commands and prevent anyone from intruding on her privacy. It was thus, that she created a human shaped doll from the dough that she used for her bathing and breathed life into it. The day on which she created this human doll, came to be known as the birth day of Lord Ganesha and which is now celebrated as Ganesh Chaturthi.
Story From Skanda Purana
At a feast organized by Chadradev for Lord Ganesha, the latter ate numerous laddoos, making him incapable of walking straight when he got up. As he walked he lost his balance and slipped which caused all the ladoos to roll out of his huge stomach. This amused Chandradev immensely and he couldn’t help laughing, which in turn angered Lord Ganesha. The latter then cursed Chandradev to vanish from the universe, and this caused the world to wane. The Gods got together and sought the help of Lord Shiva in changing Ganesha’s mind and forgiving the Moon God. Lord Ganesha withdrew his curse to extent that the Moon became invisible only for a single day and could be seen partially on Ganesh Chaturthi.
Lord Krishna once saw the reflection of moon in a vessel on the day Badhrapad Chaturthi, which was considered to be an evil omen due to a curse of Godess Parvati. Soon Krishna was accused of stealing a very precious gem named Samantak Mani, which was in fact taken by a bear called Jambavant, after he saw its owner Prasen being killed by a lion in the forest. To prove his innocence, Krishna goes into the forest in serach of the Gem and manages to find it and take it out of Jambavant’s home. Upon learning this, the bear challenges Krishna and a 10 day long fight ensues between the two, at the end of which time Jambavant realizes that Krishna is actually yet another avatar of Lord Rama. Later, Godess Parvati also retracts her curse to prevent the evil effects of seeing the Moon on Bhadraphad Chaturthi for people who worship Lord Ganesha on this day.