The Benevolent Lord- ‘GANESHA’ is the one who commands universal respect. His worship ensures success and therefore he is adulated during all religious and social functions. He is the Lord of wisdom and therefore all activities pertaining to knowledge begin after showing reverence to Him, He is the one who is master of all skills the performers of all forms of classical and folk art bow and offer their prayers before their performance to show their humility to him. ’Shri Ganesha’ this epithet is synonymous to a beginning.
Ganpati is not only the triple-form of the Creator-Sustainer-Destroyer, but also the embodiment of four stages of speech. He is the cosmic energy that lies finite as well as infinite. Ganesha has been revered from the time immortal. He has referral in Vedas, Upanishads, Smruti, Granthas, Puranas, Ramanayas and Mahabharta. His existence in Sanskrit literature and all of the saints and sages pray to him for welfare of humanity. Vedas are claimed as the first human literature of the world. Vedas narrates truth of knowledge of the Almighty. This truth is compiled by Rishi Veda Vyasa which was written by Ganesha. This might be one of the reasons why he is called as the ‘Buddhi chi Deavata’.
His workship may have begun between the 5th century to the end of the 8th century. Like Siva, Ganesha was popularly worshipped impersonated by a formless stone sprung into existence spontaneously. The stone was painted red and set open under a tree or near the bank of the river. The rise of Ganesh to pre-eminence in the orthodox Hindu pantheon, as one of five pauranic gods is truly remarkable his origin can be traced to the four Vinayakas. These Vinayakas are folk deities who were amalgamated into one. In the first step towards Brahmanisation of Vinayaka, he was declared as the son of Ambika, Siva’s Spouse. In Puranas in the Post-Gupta period, he becomes the son of Siva and Parvati. He was appointed as the leader of Siva’s rudraganas. So Vinayaka becomes Ganesha, the Lord of the ganas, a Brahamana god of high status, being the son of the greatest gods of Hinduism “Siva and Parvati”.
Later in the tenth century, a sect ‘Ganapatya’ who were staunch believers in Ganesha came into existence.
According to the tradition, Ganesh idol had to be made with Mud collected from the banks of a river, lake stream or nay other water body. This was then kneaded into a lump and moulded into Ganesha. The idol then would be kept in the house for worship and was to be immersed in running water before it developed cracks, thus that what was taken from nature has to be returned to it. In a way signifying the universal truth of life that everyone has to unite with the infinite someday, may be to be born again or to be absorbed in the cosmic reality. In our social tradition we perform puja with the help of flowers, leaves, coconut, etc. In ancient times all these material was available from surrounding areas. Their plantation also helped to keep the atmosphere, air healthy and as balance between human beings and nature. Our lifestyle is changed with the passage of time, we should preserve the creativity and imagination of our rishi and sages. Ganpati festival ‘let us pray to honour them’.