Now let’s discuss about Ganapati…
Before Shaivam & Vaishnavam merged to form Hinduism (say 1000 years ago) Vaishnavas use to have an equivalent God – Vishwaksena!
Now you can see prayers to Vishwaksena only in Vaishnav temples that carry heritage more older than 1000 years – example Tirupati.
Somehow Indians/Hindus loved Ganapati so much that one less God on the whole didn’t mean much!
Even the original Vaishnav prayer
“suklam baradharam VISHNUM” became a de-facto Ganesh prayer.
This is a fascinating beauty of Hinduism!
It keeps evolving… (Like we all know how 100 year old Sai-ism is now an integral part of Hinduism)
Coming back to Vinayaka Chaviti-
As a rationalist, I hate the blackmail tied to the mythology.
“If you don’t pray you are screwed up ”
“If you don’t recite mythological story you are cursed”
& the various back doors to avoid the curse appear more funny to a logical thinker.
As an ardent Hindu, I love the hidden philosophical beauty.
– appreciation to animals become core part of the society.
– connecting to God with basic things of nature- flowers, leaves, fruits which we don’t appreciate in every day life.
– there by connecting to nature.
– appreciating the deformities of mortals which we make fun of; in common life but find hidden meanings on this festive day in the name of Ganapati’s big belly, large ears , long nose, broken tooth, ridiculous vehicle etc.,
It is also easily noticed that Ganapati made the common Hindu’s life easier. While the rich are making him with gold, the poor sees God in dough, mud and what not..
At the end of the day, as a super fan of Ganapati my suggestion to all the fellow fans of Ganapati-
please encourage/appreciate Ganapati’s philosophy more than Ganapati’s mythology.
Philosophy is the root of the Hindu religion ; Mythologies are designed for taking the philosophy to lay-men.
Suggestions to a common devotee:
To start any activity on his name shall not be programmed meaningless ritual.
It is another reminder that we follow the philosophy and be truthful & nature friendly in our activity.
Asking Ganesh in native language or reciting words in ancient language will not help.
But taking Ganesh as a role model will help: to be a good son; to be creative; to appreciate nature ; appreciate our cheap vehicles; to be fun ; to enjoy imperfections; food ;
Literally celebrate life…..