Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most important Hindi Festival. This festival is celebrated in the honor of Lord Ganesh- an elephant head God who is a symbol of wisdom, prosperity and good luck. He is son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. Lord Ganesha is also worshipped in Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan and Nepal.
There is an old belief and practice that on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi, one should not see the moon or else would face criticism and false allegations shall come over to the person in the next year. But a cure is also mentioned in case someone sees the moon by mistake. In our Puranas, it is written that if any person looks at the moon by mistake then he can rectify the curse by listening to the story on Ganesh Chaturthi. There are two different stories revolving Ganesha Chaturthi which is being narrated to our next generations since ancient times. There are Puranas which are exclusively dedicated to Lord Ganesha namely Ganesha Purana, Mudgala Purana and Ganapati Atharvashirsa.
Lord Ganesha, the Moon Curse and Ganesh Chaturthi
Once Lord Ganesha was going sitting on his mouse. Looking at this, the moon made fun of Lord Ganesha and laughed over this. This made Lord Ganesha very angry and her cursed the moon that no light shall ever fall on him as moon gets its light from the Sun and shines bright in the sky.
Soon, moon disappeared from the sky and was not to be seen. Moon regretted on his deed and all his pride went away. He realized it’s mistake and asked forgiveness from Lord Ganesha. Since it was curse, hence Lord Ganesha could not take it back completely but modified it. He said that anyone seeing the moon on the fourth day (Chaturthi) of the Bhadrapada month would face blame and unjust criticism. He further added that moon will not shine as crystal-clear but will have marks which would always make him realize his mistake and will never make fun of others.
The Krishna Story: Syamantaka Jewel
It is believed that Satrajit got a jewel called as ‘Syamantaka’ from Lord Surya. Krishna offered to Satrajit to give the jewel to him for a safer custody but Satrajit declined Krishna’s offer. Prasena was Satrajit’s brother who was wore the jewel and went for hunting but unfortunately was killed by a Lion. Jambavan (a character from Ramayana) got successful in killing the Lion and gave that jewel to his son.
His son used to play with the jewel not knowing its worth. Satrajit later accused Krishna for the murder of his brother, Prasena in order to obtain that jewel. Krishna denied his claims and went in the search of the jewel to prove his innocence. He came across Jambavan son who was playing with the jewel. Jambavan attacked Krishna sensing danger to him and his family. The fight went on for about a month and Jambavan was badly injured. It was then when he realized that Krishna was no one else but an incarnation of Lord Ram. Realizing that, he gave off the jewel to Krishna and also his daughter Jambavati in marriage with Krishna.
Krishna finally returned to Dwarka along with the Jewel and Jambavati. Satrajit realizing his mistake seeked forgiveness and offered him the jewel along with his daughter Satyabhama in marriage. Krishna declined to accept the jewel but accepted Satyabhama as his wife. Since Krishna saw the moon on Ganesha Chaturthi, the curse of false allegation fell on him. Lord Krishna further said that whoever listens to his story post seeing the moon on Ganesha Chaturthi than the moon curse shall not fall on that person any more.
Lord Ganesha and his brother
Another story which is believed is that Ganesha and his brother Lord Subramanya had an argument regarding who is elder among them. The dispute reached to Lord Shiva who said that out of the two who will complete the entire tour of the world and will return first back to Kailasha shall be declared as elder brother. Lord Subramanya immediately left for the world tour on his peacock. But, Lord Ganesha made an entire one round around Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. When Lord Shiv asked him why he is doing so and not leaving for the world tour.
Lord Ganesha being wise and clever replied that the entire universe revolves around his parents and thus he completed his tour. Lord Shiva was very happy with his answer and wisdom. He declared him as elder brother. He also said that in case of any new beginning, Lord Ganesha shall be worshipped first among all the Gods for the successful completion of that task.
Thus, festival of Ganesha Chaturthi always reminds us that we should respect everyone and shall always work with wisdom and in harmony.