Here’s how Georgia State University, Atlanta students celebrated Shri Ganesha Festival!

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“I realized that the Shri Ganesha festival celebration is not just about spending the day; it’s about people, emotions, and the importance of new beginnings in life. !!Ganapati Bappa Morya!!”Tushar Ravan, Georgia State University

Here is an article, which shares the symbolization of the Shri Ganesha festival, and the personal experience of one of the students of Georgia State University, Atlanta.

People in India celebrate many festivals for spirituality and wisdom. The nation has a free culture for creating God through the symbolism of scientific, and moral advancement in human nature. One of the most important festivals of all is Shri Ganesh Chaturthi. Human intellect is symbolized by Lord Ganesha. The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi commemorates Ganesha’s rebirth and symbolizes a new beginning. Before beginning any significant task, devotees worship the god of knowledge, wisdom, and prosperity during this 10-day festival.

Pankaj Jagannath ayswal
Author: Pankaj Jagannath Jayswal

Ganapathi, the chief of Ganas, an intelligence from the beyond. He is a message that above all, intelligence is the one that breaks all obstacles and hence Vigneshwara. For thousands of years, Ganesh Chaturthi has lived on, and Ganapati has become one of the most popular and most exported gods from India. He is very flexible. He takes on many forms and poses. He is also the god of learning. He was supposed to be a brilliant scholar. Ganapati is always shown with a book and a pen, to show his scholarly capabilities. His scholarship and intellect was beyond normal human capabilities.

photo of people standing in front of the Ganesha statue
Photo of people standing in front of Ganesha statue

The festival, observed worldwide, honors Ganesha as the God of New Beginnings, the Remover of Obstacles, and the God of wisdom and intelligence. This festival spreads the message that “Life is a celebration and joy.” Sanatan Dharma festivals are held throughout the year and have several dimensions. Nature/God provides us with everything we need to make our lives meaningful and comfortable; our highest duty is to express our gratitude wholeheartedly through worship and celebrations. Peace and joy are dependent on everyone’s physical, mental, and social health; every ritual performed during these days has some connection to our mind, intellect, memory, ego, and soul. It has deeper scientific roots and positively impacts everyone’s psychology.

The inner aspects of happiness and peace are more realistic and long-lasting than the external materialistic world’s fleeting joy, which usually ends in misery. These remarkable aspects of Hindu Dharma festivities have captured the world’s attention and are widely celebrated worldwide. Because these festivals are celebrated for the betterment of all while respecting the environment, all religious beliefs are welcome to participate, as Sanatan Dharma never forces anyone to abandon their religious beliefs to follow Sanatan Dharma practices.

Tushar Ravan shares his experience from Atlanta, USA.

I am a student at Georgia State University with my major in Master of Science in Data Science and Analytics. Last year was a wild ride of emotions. Every year, at the end of August, I prepare for Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai; the previous year, I was preparing for classes for my master’s degree. So a festival that I celebrate with so much joy and enthusiasm disappeared for once in my life. “But this isn’t the end, mate,” I thought to myself.
Classes started for Fall 2022, and as usual, I have a few friends in my room along with my roommates. I didn’t want to repeat a situation that I faced last year. “Let’s organize and celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi for one whole day at my place!” I exclaimed to all my friends. A moment of silence followed, with everyone matching my emotions and enthusiasm. This is all good, so I planned a meeting with all my friends who would be interested in organizing alongside me. We got funds for the occasion and took out a few rides to Patel Brothers (Indian Store) and a few other places where we could gather all the required items and the clay idol itself. With a great effort from all my peers, we made a mandap whose beauty is enigmatic.

Students of Georgia State University
Students of Georgia State University

The day of Ganesh Chaturthi started with us preparing sweets and all the delicious foods Lord Ganapathi adores. When the clock struck noon, we were in full swing and started with bhajans and Aarti with all our friends from diverse cultures in the hall. Preparations and Aarti were exhausting, which made everyone hungry. We had an arrangement with the BAPS Swaminarayan mandir to cater food to all our guests, and by 2:30 pm, my friends managed to bring all of the food to our place. Lunch was served to more than 50 people, but the main celebration was due at 7:00 pm as planned. My roommates and I made another trip to get samosas as many people would be craving them. We started the final Aarti at 8:30 pm, which everyone sang with great energy.
And then the time comes for us to say Goodbye! to our beloved Bappa, who came to our home with great positivity and took away all our problems with him on Visarjan.

Our hearts were filled with great emotions, and only tears remained in our eyes. Everyone was chanting Ganpati Bappa Morya loudly! Puddhchya Varshi Lavkar Ya! At this moment, my friend from Saudi who joined us asked me Why are you guys crying? I replied It’s just not a statue but a soulful idol for us who is the source of my inspiration. He was so amazed to experience such a celebration where people came together and prayed together with Aarti, sweets, and a kind of enthusiasm.

In the end, everyone thanked us for hosting the celebration, and the kind of bond we developed with each other got more robust. Everyone then started to wrap up everything; some began with cleaning the kitchen and helping each other arrange the house properly. My roommate’s parents called at the end of the event, and I started explaining the celebration with a constant smile that didn’t take an opportunity to fade. They were surprised to see how we made all these arrangements, and more than this, they were shocked to see the kind of energy we all have that kept us connected to our culture and teachings.
So, in the end, what I realized is that the celebration is not just about spending the day; it’s about people, emotions, and the importance of new beginnings in life. !!Ganapati Bappa Morya!!

The students are participating in the Shri Ganesha Festival
The students are participating in the Shri Ganesha Festival

The festival includes cultural activities such as singing, theatre, and orchestral performances, as well as community activities such as free medical checkups, blood donation sites, and charitable donations. In addition to its religious significance, Ganesh Chaturthi is a significant economic activity. The festival serves as a platform for emerging artists and supports many artists, industries, and businesses. Other religions are also represented at the celebration.

Golden Ganesha beside lighted candles on a wooden surface
Golden Ganesha beside lighted candles on a wooden surface

The Significance of Ganesh Chaturthi by Sadhguru

Humanity has always made the serious mistake of working towards producing good people. We do not need good people; we need sensible people. If you have sense, you will do the right thing. People do idiotic things only because they do not have sense.

Intelligence is not shrewdness. Intelligence is not about being clever. If you are truly intelligent, you would be 100% in tune with existence because there is no other way to be intelligent. The sign of intelligence is that you are absolutely in tune with everything around you, you are going through life with the least amount of aberration within and outside of you.

Ganesh Chaturthi is a day to at least start striving to multiply your intelligence. If you work for a boneless limb by doing asanas in the morning, it may happen!

To know more about this festival’s significance, please follow the link

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