As we bid adieu to Lord Ganesha today, let’s drip ourselves in the lessons he teaches us before we immerse the idols in water on the eve of Anant Chaturthi.
Our beloved Ganpati Bappa teaches us a lot of lessons. Some of them are the lessons of wisdom and knowledge. However, the five lessons below are in context of the 21st century. Since today is also teacher’s day, Bappa has been a teacher for us in innumerable ways. This is an interpretation of his life while relating to our lives today:
1. Being proud of who we are, how we look:
Ganpati Bappa is the only God who is portrayed with a tummy. He is often depicted in various ancient tales to have a love for food. But has the belly, stopped him from getting the love from his devotees? No. In fact, that makes him the most loved deities amongst people.
In the 21st century, a lot of emphasis is laid on how one looks and how one’s body shape is. There is a constant conditioning of the human mind about having ‘abs and curves’. It is one thing to stay fit and another thing to stress over your body image, simply because there is a mentality that ‘thin is beautiful’ and ‘fat is ugly’. Ganpati Bappa teaches us to shun that mentality and love ourselves, exactly the way we are!
2. Understanding that there is a time for everything:
Every year, we follow a tradition. The tradition of getting bappa in our homes for a maximum of 10 days and then letting him go. No matter how bad we feel when he is immersed in the oceans (we hope that eco-friendly immersion becomes a trend), we respect time. We value that it is time to let go and there will come yet another time to welcome him again.
In our era, we waste time. We want everything ahead of our age, we are impatient and we find it almost impossible to let go. So before we bid adieu to bappa, let’s inculcate this in our souls.
3. The values of respecting or loved ones and elders:
Do you remember the story where Kartikeya and Ganpati were racing to know who comes first after touring the entire world? Remember how Ganpati Bappa circled his parents? His parents are his world. And he teaches us to not only love but also respect our loved ones.
Today, we hear so often about cases were children throw parents out of their homes just because they are ‘old’. We often insult and abuse our loved ones, and de-value our family. Finding time to have dinner together has become impossible! When we remember Bappa’s act of circling around his parents, we learn that we are in this world because of our parents and we are happy because of our loved ones, family and friends. Let’s value them again.
4. To curb greed and the evil in each of us:
Mooshak – the mouse symbolises evil and greed in the world. And Ganpati Bappa sitting over Mooshak symbolises victory over greed and evilness.
Every one of us has two sides – one that is good and one that is bad. It is all inside us, nothing is outside. Lord Ganesha teaches us to triumph over the evil parts of our minds and emerge victorious. He teaches us that greed is a vice we need to get rid of.
5. Perfection is not necessary:
We do not embrace our inner beauty while striving for perfection. Ganpati Bappa teaches us to embrace our imperfections. Known as ‘Ekdanta’, it is a known fact that Lord Ganesha has one broken tusk. This fact has never been hidden or looked down upon. Instead, he proudly is given the name of Ekdanta, embracing that imperfection.
Walking in his footsteps, we must too!
This teacher’s day, let’s attempt to imbibe these qualities in ourselves. It is time for change. For one last time, let’s say Ganpati Bappa Morya!