Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the grandest celebrations in India. Every year, the 10-day festival is celebrated with pomp & splendor, as devotees decorate their homes, welcome statues of Ganesha and immerse themselves in prayer and devotion. This Vinayaka Chavithi festival falls in 2023 to let you mingle with neighbors and family members to offer prayers.
But letâs talk more about the Ganesha statues themselves. Did you know that each statue has numerous symbolisms? For example, do you know what his trunk symbolizes when itâs on the right side, and what it means when itâs to the left? Did you know that even though the statues all look the same, there are subtle differences that mean different things? If you didnât, then youâre at the right place. Hereâs a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know before purchasing a Ganesha statue.
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Letâs start by looking at the history of Lord Ganesha, and how Ganesh Chaturthi came into being. This will help you better understandwhy people feel the need to buy these statues.
Who Is Ganesh?
If you are unfamiliar with the Hindu philosophy, then let us explain it this way. If Hindu Gods were a cricket team, then Ganeshawould be the captain of that cricket team. With the head of an elephant, and a mouse as his vehicle, he is known to be the âRemover of Obstaclesâ and the “God of New Beginnings”.Mainly worshipped by Hindus, you will find a Ganesha symbol of some sort in every devoteeâs house.
It is considered auspicious to pray to Lord Ganeshabefore starting something new. This is why new bikes and cars are often taken to Ganesha temples, and a Ganesha idol is worshipped at the start of every new business. It is believed that that upon worshipping the Lord, you enter a state of peace and calm, which is a great mindset to kickstart your work in.
Heâs also a legendary scribe responsible for writing parts of iconic Indian scripture. As such, heâs got many ties to learning and education. Youâll see a lot of students carrying a symbol of him to their exams.
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Are Ganesh Statues Only For Hindus?
Primarily, yes, Ganesh is a Hindu God – as stated above. However, itâs not uncommon for non-Hindus to have statues of him in their home. The things he represents and stands for are things a lot of people can relate to. Many people like to have statues of him in their home for the assurance of divine protection.
There are also plenty of links between Hinduism and Yoga. So, People who practice Yoga will often go out and buy Hindu deities, like Ganesh, for their home.
You will find no against owning a Lord Ganesha symbol. If you like what he stands for, then that is reason enough to get him established in your space. Even atheists enjoy having a Ganesha statue. This is because of the simple reason that it is more than just a religious act- itâs a spiritual one.
What Does Ganesh Look Like?
As alluded to earlier, Ganesh has a very unique appearance. His main feature is the elephant head on top of a human looking body. But, did you know that this head is representative of something? Itâs meant to symbolize intellect, while the trunk shows his ability to discriminate between things. In Hindu scriptures, Ganesh uses his trunk to help him carry out a variety of tasks too.
Along with this iconic elephant head, there are numerous symbols within his appearance. Ganesh has a trident tattooed to his forehead, itâs used to symbolize the past, present, and future. It is also a nod to his father, Shiva, who is represented by this trident symbol. He also has a rope that represents the ability to pull worshipers to their highest goals. Ganesh is often depicted with a bowl of sweets in his hand too. This is a symbol of the sweetness of life and represents self-enjoyment.
Many Ganesh statues will also show him wielding a small axe. This relates back to him being the breaker of obstacles. The axe is used to retrench pain & suffering, and to prod man towards the path of righteousness. Ganesh is also known to have one broken tusk on his elephant head. Symbolically, this shows his ability to keep whatâs good and throw away whatâs bad. Another key feature of Ganesh is his large belly. This is also a symbol, His belly is used to digest all of the good and bad things in this world.
These are a few of the key features you will see in the depiction of Lord Ganesh. Some people prefer to purchase statues with as many of these symbols as possible. Itâs thought that the more symbols you see, the more protection you get from this God.
What Types Of Lord Ganesh Statues Are There?
Lord Ganesh statues come in a wide variety. You get ones that are quite simple and ones that are more complex and in-depth. Itâs common for Hindus to purchase Ganesh statues that are more detailed and have lots of symbolic messages. Plain and simple ones are more popular for people looking to decorate their home.
However, by different features, we donât just meanthe material of the statue. You will also find some that differ because of the posture of Ganesh. Below, Iâve listed a few different types of Ganesh statue that youâre likely to see:
Perhaps the most common type of statue is one depicting Ganesh sitting down. Itâs highly likely this is the one youâll find when you visit peopleâs people’s homes. While seated, Ganesh is thought to be meditating, this represents calmness. He is sat down and keeping watch over you and your family, ensuring everyone is well protected. Now, you know why these statues appear in homes quite frequently.
Even within this statue-type, you will see a variety. Some sitting Ganeshâs are depicted with cross legs while others have one leg on the ground. The change in leg position isnât a random thing, it holds meaning. Cross-legged will obviously symbolize meditation, as mentioned above. But, when one leg is on the ground, it shows he is concerned. It represents Ganesh being concerned for the lives of those who worship him.
The second most common type of statue is one where Ganesh is standing up. Again, this is another statue that people will have in their home. A standing Ganesh statue is very different to a sitting one – both in appearance and symbolism. You get a true sense of his size when he is standing up and can see the large belly more clearly. When he is stood up, it symbolizes power and attitude.
Not surprisingly, there are different types of standing Ganesh too. Some statues show him with more bends in his body than others. Plus, there are some with both legs on the ground, and others where one foot is resting on a mouse. This mouse Mooshak, his vehicle or mount. Its purpose is to show Ganesh has the ability to “chew” through any problems that present themselves to him.
A dancing Ganesh can easily be confused with a standing one. While they are both upright, there are many differences between the two. When Ganesh dances, it is known as the âDance of Destructionâ. This is why it is not common to use this statue for the purpose of worshipping. However, it is widely used for decoration and gifting.
Itâs common for Ganesh to be stood on his mouse when dancing. This signifies how strong the mouse is, and that no weight can crush it. Through the blessing and power of Ganesh, the mouse too achieves great wisdom and strength. So, these statutes do still have some symbolic meaning to them. But, theyâre to be avoided if you want a Ganesh statue for worship.
A reclining Ganesh statue is used to signify luxury and comfort. Theyâre often used by people to decorate rooms in their house. In this depiction, Ganesh is often seen as royalty and dressed in posh clothes.
Again, this is not seen as a statue that people should use for worship. Theyâre more commonly used for home decor. This is because itâs another creative depiction of Lord Ganesh. Much like dancing, heâs seen doing something creative to add an element of fun to the statue.
Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations culminate into theÂ immersion of huge Ganesha idols into the sea, rivers, and lakes. TheÂ idols are mostly made up of plaster of ParisÂ andÂ do containÂ toxicÂ chemicalÂ which causes considerable harm to the marine life. In a bid to reduce the environmental damage, many devotees have begun installing Ganpati idols that are both innovative and eco-friendly.
They are handmade with love by farmers and made using 100% biodegradable raw material, which makes it more than just eco-friendly. Each idol comes with a seed embedded within it which when put in soil germinates into a plant. This Ganpati is a great way to leave a positive long lasting impact. Even if youâre immersing it in the lake, it only cleanses the water, as it is made primarily with Cow Dung.
You can also gift this biodegradable Ganesh idol to friends and relatives by shopping online. Likewise, you can surprise them with the exclusive collection of trending Ganesh Chaturthi gifts in 2022 that are available online within your budget preferences.
How to make a Ganesh statue at home?
Ganesh Chaturthi is an incredible festival celebrated with joy and prosperity. Carving an idol at home would be fascinating for parents and children who strive to create memories. Especially for kids, crafting a biodegradable idol gives them an idea about the importance of protecting the environment and encourages them to stick to eco-friendly materials in the future.
With the increase in population in India (around 139 crores) and high pollution levels, people are conscious of environmental-friendly measures. In the current scenario, it may not be possible for everyone to go out and buy the idol due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions like maintaining social distance, wearing face masks, etc. So, it is advised to stay home indoors and craft your idol to immerse in water easily.
How to make a DIY Ganesh statue at home? is the biggest challenge that everyone will face. We have given the step-by-step procedure to prepare lord Ganesh effortlessly with organic colors to make things easy for you. Have a look:
Step-by-Step Procedure to Prepare DIY Ganesh Idol
- Terracotta clay
- Acrylic colors
Duration: 1-2 hours
- Firstly, arrange all the items in one place, so you donât have to worry about missing out.
- Split the clay form into multiple chunks and make it in a round shape.
- Take clay lumps and make a pair of legs, hands, ears, stomach, trunk, and head to resemble the body parts.
- Now fix all the body parts using toothpicks (maximum 8 are required) and press gently.
- You can add designs to the crown and allow it to dry for some time.
- Add colors to make it look beautiful and elegant at home indoors.
Your homemade eco-friendly Ganesh idol is ready to be worshipped
What Do You Need To Know When Selecting A Statue?
Choosing the right statue can be much harder than you might think. Firstly, you have to think about all of the information that was just presented to you. What posture do you want your Ganesh statue to be in? If youâre using it for worshipping purposes, then you must choose either sitting or standing. But, if youâre buying one as decoration, then you can choose any.
There is also one key thing to look at when picking your statue; the trunk. The placement of his trunk is very important as it has symbolic meaning. If you intend to keep your statue at home, itâs advised you buy one with the trunk on the left-hand side. This is thought to signify calmness and happiness, making it ideal for your home.
Statues with trunks on the right-hand side are meant to symbolize rituals that must be completed daily. Thatâs why you find them in temples where the rituals can be carried out properly.
Apart from these, you will also find trunks that face forwards. Some consider this to have the highest significance of the three. A statue with a forward facing trunk shows that Ganesh has reached the peak of his powers. Itâs a symbolic feature to show enlightenment. You will often see these statues with the trunk up in the air as well. These make the perfect gift, and can be put in your home or office space.
Where Should You Put Ganesh Statues In The Home?
There are a few rules you should follow when placing a Ganesh statue in your home. Firstly, you should never keep one on the floor. It should always be kept at an elevated level so Ganesh can watch over you and your family.
One of the best places to keep a Ganesh statue is by the front entrance of your home. By doing this, many believe he will help protect your home from evil and bring you good luck. Many people create a place above their front door to place the statue, making him the guardian of their home.
Itâs perfectly fine to keep these statues in a cabinet or case with other ornaments and statues too. But, if you do this, you canât have them touching other items. There should be a gap of around one inch between your Ganesh and anything else.
A popular place to put a Ganesh statue is in your bookcase at home. This relates back to the point of him being associated with books and education. Of course, if you have a dancing or reclining statue then you can place it wherever you want. These arenât used for religious purposes, and there are no rules you must follow.
Different places have statues differently. If you wish to experience the sculpture and offer prayers, head over to the historical places to visit during Ganesh Chaturthi, where you will explore different parts of the country, India.
Significance of Ganesh Visarjan
After 9 days of worshipping the lord with joy and devotion, itâs time to say good-bye. On the tenth day of Ganesh Chaturthi, statues of the Lord are immersed in the river. Legend says that Ganesha returns to Mount Kailash to join his parents, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi.
But thereâs another significance of it too. It is believed that when he leaves your home, he takes away all the obstacles with him, and they are destroyed with the Visarjan.
Hopefully, this article has been informative. You now know a lot more about Lord Ganesh statues and how to use them in your home. While keeping a small statue in your home is veryauspicious, you can also be non-selfish and give them as gifts to someone starting on a new path in life.
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How Do Different States in India Celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi?Â
Ganesh Chaturthi, a vibrant and widely celebrated festival in India, is marked by diverse customs and traditions across the country’s various states. While the central theme of the festival remains the same – honoring Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles – the way it is observed varies from region to region.Â
In Maharashtra, particularly in Mumbai, Ganesh Chaturthi is a grand affair. Elaborate processions with colorful idols of Lord Ganesha, known as “Ganeshotsav,” dominate the scene. The city’s streets come alive with music, dance, and fervent devotion as people carry the idols to immerse them in the Arabian Sea, bidding a temporary farewell to their beloved deity.Â
In Karnataka, especially in the coastal regions, the festival is celebrated with equal enthusiasm. Clay idols are placed in homes, and families gather for prayers and cultural performances. The immersion ceremony takes place in rivers and lakes, creating a picturesque sight.Â
In Tamil Nadu, Ganesh Chaturthi is a more private celebration. Families install idols in their homes, conduct pujas (prayers), and offer a variety of sweets to the deity. The festival is known as “Vinayaka Chaturthi” in this state.Â
In Andhra Pradesh, the festival is marked by vibrant processions and community gatherings. Huge idols of Lord Ganesha are paraded through the streets with much fanfare before being immersed in water bodies.Â
In each state, the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi reflects the unique cultural tapestry and traditions of the region, while collectively expressing reverence for Lord Ganesha’s blessings and the spirit of unity that the festival embodies.Â
Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!