September 11, 2022
Thank you for a wonderful program!
We thank you for making it a wonderful program for everyone, especially MMKC Youth. We’re so excited for our next program with all of you! At the bottom of this newsletter, we’ll have links to a few Google forms for any of you readers to use. The first Google form will be to suggest an activity for MMKC Youth to do for the Diwali program, and the second one will be to submit an article for our Diwali newsletter! Speaking of which, this newsletter has one article which was written and submitted by our very own, Nandini Desai! We just had to share her amazing article here. If you’d like to be featured, submit a Diwali-related article yourself!
The Origins of Ganpati
by Riddhi Patil
Ganesha is the son of Shiva and Parvati, he has an older brother named Karthikeya (the god of war). Ganesha was created by his mother who had used earth to mold the shape of him.
While Shiva was off to relax and do meditation, Parvati had set her son, Ganesha, to guard their house. Shiva had then come back to see his beautiful wife but saw that Ganesha was guarding the home. Shiva got so angry that they fought and he had accidentally decapitated Ganesha. Parvati came out seeing her own sons’ head on the ground. She was very miserable, she couldn’t believe that her husband would do such a thing.
Parvati then ordered Shiva’s warriors to go hunt an animal and bring back a head for Ganesha. So, the warriors set off looking for the perfect head. They had been looking all day then they had finally found the animal. The warriors hunted the elephant and took only the head with them and headed back to Shiva and Parvati. The large elephant head symbolizes understanding and wisdom. Parvati was so relieved and sewed the elephant head on the Ganesha.
When Ganesha and Karthikeya got older, they did a competition to be the first one to be married. The challenge was that the one who circled the whole earth first would also find a bride first. Karthikeya set off on his peacock vehicle to go around the world first, he was very determined. But on the other hand, Ganesha had walked down to his parents’ house, embraced them, and quoted the line from the sacred Vedas. Ganesha married the two daughters of Prajapati, Buddhi and Siddhi. They had two sons named Kshema and Laabha. Ganesha is now known as the remover of obstacles.
By Nandini Desai
What do you think is everyone’s favorite part of Ganesh Chaturthi? The food of course! There is a variety of delicious sweets prepared during all days of Ganesh Chaturthi, the most popular being modaks. According to Hindu mythology, another name for Lord Ganesha was ‘Modapriya,’ named for his great love of modaks. It is also presumed that modaks are Lord Ganesh’s favorite food. In fact, it is believed that offering twenty-one modaks as a bhog, or food given to please the Gods, can satiate Lord Ganesha and Lord Shiva at the same time. This is why devotees prepare several sweet delicacies in these ten days to seek Lord Ganesh’s blessings. However, there are some other yummy foods that are believed to be his favorites as well.
Motichoor ladoos are one example of this. Lord Ganesh’s love for ladoos is recorded in mythology stories themselves, even pictures of Ganesh are not complete without a plate of these sweets! And of course, Lord Ganesh, sticking with the theme of ladoos, also loves puffed rice ladoos, which are also called murmura jaggery ladoos. Ganesha's love for good food was so insatiable that when Kubera invited him for a meal, Lord Ganesha wasn’t happy with the food and wanted to eat more. It was believed that Lord Shiva suggested offering Ganesh some puffed rice with devotion. Right after eating the ladoos, his hunger was satisfied. This is the reason why these ladoos are offered to Lord Ganesh during Ganesh Chaturthi.
Broadening the love of food to other Gods as well, obviously kheer should also be included. Kheer is believed to be God’s most loved food and this is the reason why kheer is an essential part of almost every Indian festival. There are many different variations of kheer, including vermicelli kheer, poha kheer, rice kheer, apple kheer, dudhi kheer and many others. Panchakhadya is another Maharashtrian prasad that is made for Ganesh Chaturthi. Panchakhadya, as you can guess from the name, is made of five ingredients. It can be made of dry coconut, dried dates, jaggery, poppy seeds, and raisins. The ingredients vary from family to family, but nevertheless, it is a delicious prasad that everyone will enjoy. Coconut is considered a “rich” food and a symbol of prosperity so it is included in many of the prasads that are offered to God. Other ingredients are added to make the prasad sweet and yummy.
There are many more foods that are offered to Lord Ganesh during Ganesh Chaturthi, many having their own stories and reasons. The reason why modaks are usually offered to Lord Ganesh is that there is a mention in mythology that Goddess Parvati's mother, Menavati, used to feed modaks to her grandson, Ganesha. To satisfy her son's insatiable appetite, Parvati also started making modaks to keep his stomach full. And that's why, the tradition of making modaks on Ganesh Chaturthi has become mandatory. Of course, every family will celebrate with different foods, but that’s what makes Ganesh Chaturthi unique in every household! However, what is the same for many people is that Ganesh Chaturthi is a time to celebrate Lord Ganesha, eat delicious foods, have fun, and most importantly, spend quality time with friends and family.
Hope you enjoyed Ganesh Chaturthi this year!
Ganpati Bappa Morya!
Thank you for reading our newsletter! Have a great rest of your month, and we’ll see you in Diwali!
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