While it was Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak who started the movement of Sarvajanik Ganesh Chaturthi in India, this credit goes to Shri C. J. Kamathmam for initiating Ganesh Chaturthi for the गौडसारस्वत populace of Ahmedabad, way back in 1994.
2019 is the Silver Jubilee Year of the installation of the विग्रह of Lord Ganesh by the गौडसारस्वतसमाज of Ahmedabad!
Lord Ganesh is considered as “विघ्नहर्ता” (one who removes obstacles) and “बुद्धीप्रदायक” (one who grants intelligence).
Earlier we used to install the विग्रह made from plaster of paris (PoP), but once we realized the hazards of PoP and its deleterious effects on Mother Nature, we moved away to clay idols.
Full marks to Gopalkrishna Bhatmam, Baba Paimam, and Vilas Kenny for initiating this wonderful change!
Eco-friendly clay विग्रह are not available easily in Ahmedabad. Gopalkrishna Puranik Bhatmam arranges eco-friendly clay required for the विग्रह. The idol maker from कोडियाल (दक्षिणकन्नड) is invited to carve out this beautifulविग्रह.
Using eco-friendly colors the विग्रह is brought to life by Dr. Srinivas Mallya, Kanthi Prabhu and our local artisans.
This most auspicious day starts with a प्रार्थना to invoke विघ्नेश्वरand to bless गौडसारस्वतसमाजand the entire humanity.
This is followed by गणहोम to bring good health and prosperity to all. The fragrance spread during the मूडगणपतीपूजा has a purifying effect. The settings of the coconuts in rows are a treat for the eyes. And our Gopalkrishna Puranik Bhatmam does it with grandeur.
Simultaneously, Shantaram Raomam and Vasudha Kamathmayi and the भजनमंडळी sing bhajans with their melodious and euphonious voices. This boosts the mood of the भक्तगणand makes them feel so happy and energized. It is not the melodious voice which matters now. It is the passion and भक्तीभाव behind it.
Soon begins the मध्याह्ना पूजा, or the midday पूजा. मध्याह्ना पूजाis considered the best time for Ganesh worship according to our scriptures. It is now time to offer नैवेद्यto Lord Ganesh.
By then the भक्तगण too is hungrily waiting for the पवित्रसमाराधना, the eagerly awaited Shri Ganesh Prasad Bhojan. But not before Shantaram Raomam resonates the entire assembly hall with his “एक, दोन, तीन,चार, गणपतीचाजयजयकार” with accompaniment of tabla and harmonium.
अन्नदाता Prabhumam too is now in high spirits. The energy of our भक्तगण preparing the प्रसाद items has also reached its peak. We pray to Lord Ganesh, at least on Ganesh Chaturthi Day to give us a stomach with four rumen’s or thecompartments like the ones which he has given to the cows. Only then the भक्तगण will be able to do justice to the पवित्रसमाराधना and savour the प्रसाद prepared by the भक्तगण at home.
Come evening, and time for the bhajans and the रंगपूजा. The lights are lit. The lighting of the lamps drives away the negative aura. And then the रात्रीमहापूजाfollowed by the evening पवित्रसमाराधना.
By then there are tears in the eyes of the भक्तगण as it is time to bid farewell to the Lord.
However loudly we may cry for his early return, the Lord will keep his schedule and will be back only on the Chaturthi of the month of Bhadrapada.
गौडसारस्वतसमाज Ahmedabad will ever remain grateful to Shri C. J. Kamathmam for initiating Ganesh Chaturthi for the GSBs of Ahmedabad.
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