Though Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the symbolism behind the festival is much deeper. The essence of Ganeshji is brought out beautifully by Adi Shankara. Though Ganeshji is worshipped as the the elephant-headed God, the form (swaroop ) is just to bring out its parabrahma roopa. Ganeshji is described as Ajam Nirvikalpam Niraakaaramekam. This means that Ganeshji is never born. He is Ajam (unborn), he is Niraakaar (formless) and he is Nirvikalpa (attributeless). Ganeshji is the energy which is the reason for this universe, from which everything is manifested and it’s the same energy in which the whole world will be dissolved. 

Ganeshji is not somewhere outside of us, but the very centre of our life. But this is very subtle knowledge. Not everybody can perceive the formless without the form. Our ancient rishis and munis knew this; so they created the form for the benefit and understanding of people at all levels. Those who can’t experience of the formless, over a period of sustained experience of manifested form reach the formless Brahman. 

Ganesh Chaturthi marks a unique art of reaching formless Paramatma called Lord Ganesh by repeated worship of the manifest form of Ganesha. Even the Ganesh Stotram, the prayers recited in the praise of Ganeshji, conveys the same. We pray to Ganeshji in our consciousness to come out and sit in the idol for us for a while so that we can play with him. And after the prayer, we again ask him to go back to where he comes from; that’s our consciousness. 

Experiencing the omnipresent in the form and deriving joy out of the form is the essence of the Ganesha Chaturthi festival. Click To Tweet

While he is in the idol, we offer back whatever God has given us through the puja of the idol. The ritual of immersing ( vis arjan ) the idols after few days of worship reinforces the understanding that God is not in the idol, it’s inside us. So experiencing the omnipresent  in the form and deriving joy out of the form is the essence of the Ganesha Chaturthi festival.

In a way such organised festivity and worships lead to an upsurge in enthusiasm and devotion. That consciousness has to be awakened and the presiding diety of consciousness is Ganeshji. That’s why before every puja , the Lord Ganesha is worshiped to awaken the consciousness. Therefore, install the idol, worship it with infinite love, meditate and experience Lord Ganesha from within. 

Wishing all Happy Ganesha Chaturthi!