Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Kuntis Worship

On the Ganesh Chaturthi day all the ladies desirous of the welfare of their sons and family especially worship Lord Ganesh's symbol, the Elephant The mother of the Pandavas, Kunti, also wanted to worship an elephant and she told her sons, who were still living jointly with the Kauravas in the palace of Hastinapur, to fetch an elephant for her. Similarly Gandhari, the mother of the 100 Kauravs, asked her sons to get an elephant for her. The Kauravas, being more in numbers and hence more resourceful, got the best elephant available in the area.

Meanwhile, the Pandavas also went in Search of a robust elephant but couldn't get the desired one. Since the time of worship was drawing close, Kunti was worried. Then Arjun, her third son and the most renowned archer, offered a solution. He said: "Don't worry, mother? I am sending a message to the chief of gods, Indra, to send his favourite elephant, Airavat, so that you may worship him." Now, this elephant, Airavat is supposed to be the best among the elephants, as this elephant was also one of the gifts that the Ocean gave when it was churned, by the gods and the demons. Kunti was delighted to hear her son's audacious offer. "But, dear son, how will that heavy elephant land on this earth from heaven ?" she asked worriedly. "Don't worry, Mother!" replied Arjun confidently: "I will see to it that Airavat comes here to make you worship him on this pious day."
And then Arjun wrote the message on a piece of paper and fixing that piece to the head of his arrow, he pulled at his bow and sent the arrow heavenwards.Indra, whose psychic son was Arjun, readily agreed to the proposal but sent the message back saying: "There is no ladder by which my vehicle, Airavat, could come down from the heaven to oblige your mother. Arrange a passage."

Getting this message, Arjun saw the elephant peeping through a cloud crack and ready to come down. So with his expertise in archery, he began to form a ladder made by the arrows he was shooting. But the elephant was heavy and his massive step used to crush hundreds of arrows. But Arjun would fill the gap by more arrows than that elephant could break. At last he succeeded in making the huge elephant reach ground Then Kunti, delighted, happily worshipped that grand symbol of Ganesh.
All these tales indicate the great significance attached to the worship of Lord Ganesh on this day, the Fourth Day of the lunar (bright)month Bhadrapada. This day, the Puranas say that Lord Ganesh was born and when Lord Shiv had accepted Lord Ganesh as his son, he celebrated his son's birthday on this day at Kailash Mount, the abode of Lord Shiv. It was on this very day that Lord Ganesh had killed a demon called Sindoor. Hence this day is specially sacred to the devotees of Lord Ganesh. Ganesh Chaturthi is the avowed observance (vrata) of Siddhi- Vinayak. Although on this day the worship lasts for the entire day, the essential worship lasts for one and half hour during each of four or seven days or till even the Anant Chaturdashi (i.e. for 10 days). Thereafter, the image is immersed in the river, sea or tank whichever is nearer. On the day of "Visarjan" (immersion) the image or idol of Lord Ganesh is carried in a procession of the devotees through the streets of the town (especially in Maharashtra) crowded by enthusiastic watchers

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