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Ganesh Chaturthi: Faith, Worship & Disrespect

Image of Lord Ganesha with the title "Ganesh Chaturthi: Faith, Worship & Disrespect" by Saloni Bajaj
Ganesh Chaturthi: Faith, Worship & Disrespect

God is omnipresent!

God is omnipotent!

God is omniscient!

Most of us who believe in God, believe in these three truths.

It is true there is definitely a creative power who is the cause of this universe and everything around us. If we go by this belief, we realise that an ant, a plant, an animal, a human being, or even a stone has embodiment of God within.

We all are part of that divinity. That divinity is there in a tiny granule of sand. But why am I writing all this?

Are you wondering the same?

The theist or the ones who believe in the existence of God (I am not referring to any religion. By God I want you to understand the True Source of everything.) , goes on by this principle that God or the Almighty is everywhere, He knows everything, He can do anything, He is the Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer.

We worship Him in the form of books, idols, invisible divine being and so on. There is nothing wrong in any of these. The problem rises when we attach ourselves with unreasonable beliefs.

Clearing out the way. I am pointing towards idol worship. I don’t mean that idol worship is wrong or bad or anything negative. I mean to say that worshipping God’s idol as a means to show off and not with faith is wrong.

The motive of this post is to point out the adversities faced by “God” due to unreasonable actions of human beings.

In today’s time, worship has nothing to do with faith. I know this statement is not completely true, but it is not completely false at the same time.

Let me be more specific.

In a few days, Ganesh Chaturthi is approaching. It is the festival that marks the coming of Lord Ganesha on earth for 10 days.

A man is holding the idol of Lord Ganesha in hands ready to immerse it in water.
Ganesh Chaturthi 2021: Ganesh Visarjan (Photo taken from weather.com)

Isn’t God always here?

Isn’t He the one who has been over here since time immeasurable?

Why will God visit us for 10 days, only?

We are dwelling on wrong notions. When God is omnipresent (everywhere) why would He be visiting the plain He created eternity ago?

Every Hindu has idols of gods and goddesses in their homes. They are worshipped every day. However, there comes days when people celebrate the existence of different avatars of gods/goddesses.

Ganesh Chaturthi is a 10-day festival celebrated in India marking the birth of Lord Ganesha. Many households get their personalized idols of Lord Ganesha for the celebration. The idols are worshipped for 1.5, 3, 5, 7 or 10 days. After the completion of festivities, the idol is renounced in the water bodies.

Why is the idol renounced in water on the 10th day?

It is believed that the Lord visits earth for 10 days and after 10 days he goes back via water. It is also believed that the Lord brings with Him prosperity, wisdom and success, and on departure takes away all worries with him.

It is surprising that people have forgotten the whole meaning of Ganesh Chaturthi. It is all about worship and faith. It is not associated with bringing of the idol and renouncing it. It is the time to celebrate victories of good over evil. The festival is all about getting ascended spiritually. It is instructing us to establish a connection with the Lord and pray for the good.

The whole concept of the festival has changed today. It is all about dressing up, meeting friends and family, feast, enjoyment and a celebration on a large scale.

People bring the idols, but don’t care about the environment and respect for the lord. We Hindus believe that an idol is the embodiment of God, but we never respect that god after 10 days. Most of the idols end up in a drain, garbage, under trees and god knows where.

Idols of Lord Ganesha immersed in drain, canal and near beach broken.
Ganesh Chaturthi: Reality of Ganesh Visarjan (photos taken from Urban Update (top) and Qrius (bottom))

If god is everywhere then why do we buy new idols every year?

Isn’t lord Ganesha already there in your pooja ghar or home temple?

Is there any difference between the idol of Ganesha in your home and the new one you get for 10 or less days?

Does the new idol work better?

There are too many questions, but what is the answer?

The answer is humans have everything, but faith. If your faith is strong and you believe that God is everywhere, you’ll never think of such stereotypes of bringing an idol for a few days. The purpose of the festival is to build a strong faith and connection with God, and the same can be done with one idol already there in your home.

Humans are blindly following the beliefs of few and not paying attention to their own discretion.

The Almighty created this world, and humans are trying to conquer it. Not only conquer but also exploit it in an unimaginable manner.

Every year tens of thousands of idols are bought and immersed in water. This pollutes the water bodies, it is harmful for the environment, and majorly it is disrespect of God.

Why disrespect?

Disrespect because you have renounced the idol once your festive spirit settles. Is this even a faith?

Faith comes from the heart and soul. It does not require a new idol every year. It is just an irrational belief.

The festival can be celebrated without a new idol. The omnipresent God will be more happy if you celebrate the festival with love and faith rather than with showing off of faith.

Ask yourself the meaning of God and how you perceive Him. If there are 10 idols of Ganesha in front of you, just point out which of them is the real god.

Worship is done with devotion, and it flourishes with faith. Faith and devotion do not come from an idol. It springs from your heart and soul.

Instead of getting a new idol, irrespective of eco-friendly and other things, make sure you are attuned with yourself. Make sure you are walking the path to be a good human being. Make sure you focus on the God within, more than the idol outside.

Let’s rethink our religious beliefs.

Wishing you a rational Ganesh Chaturthi!

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