Published On: Sat, Aug 19th, 2017

Significance of the Clay Idol Ganesha

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As we all know that Ganesh Chaturthi falls in the midst of August and
September (i.e. the early rainy reason). So the clay is extracted from the
ponds, lakes and rivers beforehand. Hence there need not be any separate
process of extracting the clay from the water bodies. In this process the
water gets properly settled and these water bodies can store the water of
seasonal showers in abundance. This minimizes water scarcity.

After the pooja, the clay idol of Ganesha is submerged into the water so that
this clay gets settled in the water bodies which avoids Mire Formation in the
riverbeds.

While worshipping Ganesha on Ganesh Chaturthi, people offer 21 varieties
of medicinal leaves in pooja. These leaves are carried to the water bodies
along with the idol and are submerged. Hence these leaves act as organic
manure in making the water pure and fit for drinking and irrigational
purposes.

Water pollution is a burning issue nowadays. If we take a look at the Hindu
Mythology, ages ago, we come across a legend of Lord Krishna who
rebelled against the water pollution while pounding upon Kaliya the giant
serpent, whose poison killed thousands of people and animals. Hence he
banished him from the river Yamuna and commanded him to get back to his
native Island, “The Ramanaka Dweepa” which is geographically known to
be in the Fiji Islands at present.

This gesture of Lord Krishna proves that we do not have the right to pollute
the god-gifted natural resources.

It also shows that the purgation of water which is one of the five elements
i.e, “The Pancha Bhootas” namely, the Sky, Water, Earth, Fire and Air was
prevalent even thousands of years ago. This is the very underlying
philosophy behind the making of the clay idol of Ganesh.

One cannot reach the divine source through pompous offerings and
grandiose oblations. Because He is divine, simple and unostentatious. We
can reach him only through simple living, belief, faith and ardent devotion.

Offering the leaves, flowers and fruits to the Divine, and making a water
extracted clay idol is yet another form of worshipping the Earth and Water
which are one of the Pancha Bhootas. The Hindus worship them as they
provide the sources of existence to all the living beings.

When it comes to Agni, the fire, it not possible to cleanse it. As each and
every element is interrelated, the purgation of water and earth makes the soil
fertile which helps the trees grow properly and through this process, more
no. of trees purify the air through the release of opulent amount of oxygen.

Therefore, if all the five elements are purified, all the human beings and the
flora and fauna can lead a happy and peaceful life.

Usually any festival is confined to a particular family or a locality. But
when it comes to Ganesh Chaturthi, there is something interesting behind it.
This festival is celebrated in trellises that are decorated with creepers and
flowers. This is not simply confined to one family, but to a group of families
thereby imbibing a spirit of unity and making each one of us associate with
each other and prosper day by day. This carnival involves each and every
member of the society not only in the Pooja but also in the process of
immersion of the idol in the water.

Last but not the least, the most important philosophy behind the celebration
of Ganesh Chaturthi and the immersion of the idol is that the man begins
with nature and ends in nature.

____J.V.Srividya

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