Community plans grand Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations

Auckland residents and visitors can draw religious inspiration by participating in the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations scheduled to be held on August 31 at the Malaeola Community Hall, located at 16 Waokauri Place (Off Tidal Road) in Mangere, South Auckland.

Soni Mudaliar of 0800 Mandap (Events & Hire) is organising the event in association with Humm Radio (106.2 FM) and Sri Ganapathi Food & Spice and the Hindu religious programme will be held from 10 am to 2 pm.

“The success of Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations held over the past years has encouraged us to make the event bigger and better this year. The programme will comprise Abhishekam of the Deity, Pooja, religious songs, Aarti, Dhol, Bhangra and Garbha, followed by Maha Prasad,” Mrs Mudaliar said.

Humm Radio Director Roshila Prasad said that she and her Company were delighted to support and participate in the Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations.

“We are keen to be involved in community events that promote our religions, culture and fine arts,” she said.

Further details can be obtained from Soni Mudaliar on 027-4766454, Ella Kumar (021-0477642), Shila Sharma (021-479288), Ameeta Naidu (021-664252) or Bhavisha Pala (021-2515036). Email: info@mandap.co.nz; www.facebook.com/GanapatiFestival

Hindu Temples and organisations will also organise special Poojas with songs, Bhajans and Kirtans to mark the Birthday of Lord Ganesha, although on various days to suit the convenience of their devotees and members.

Papakura Temple

Sri Ganesha Temple in Papakura (4, Dent Place) will witness hundreds of devotees participating in a marathon, daylong festivities on Friday, August 28, the actual day of the occurrence of Chaturthi.

Details of the programme were not available at press time, but the festival will include Vigneswara Pooja, Puniyaha Vachanam, Kumba Alangaram and Kalasa Sthapanam, Homam, Rudrabishekam, Kaala Pooja, Vigneswara Pooja, Swasthi Punniyaham and other Poojas. More information can be obtained from Chief Priest Parameswaran (Chandru) on (09) 2989858 or 021-0458168.

The Beginning

According to ‘exoticindia.com’, Lord Brahma (the Creator) unable to command unruly ‘Ganas’ (cosmic elements), ‘Pramatha’ (the innumerable), ‘Bhuta (the unfathomable), ‘Yaksha’ (the unending), and ‘Rakshasa’ (the imperishable), invoked Lord Ganesha for containing them.

The ‘Remover of Obstacles’ helped Brahma to create out of innumerable, unfathomable, unending, and imperishable, a world that was numbered, spanned, born to die, and decayed.

Lord Vishnu (the Protector) and Lord Shiva (the Destroyer of Evil) are also believed to have sought the help of Ganesha before vanquishing respectively Demon King Bali and ‘Tripura,’ the three cities of demons.

In initial textual allusions, Lord Ganesha is perceived as the God who subdued detrimental forces variedly named ‘Ganas’ or ‘Vighnas.’

“The Yajur Veda lauds Him (Hymn 23/19) as ‘Gananama twa Ganapati,’ the Lord of ‘Ganas’ (Ganapati). In other early texts, He is worshipped as ‘Vinayaka’ and ‘Vighnesha,’ the Commander or Lord of ‘Vighnas.’ The Brahma Vaivarta Purana delineates him as ‘Parameswara,’ the Ultimate God, but this adulation is primarily to state that He is the ‘Vighna Nighna Karam’ (one who eliminates obstacles).

“The Brahma Vaivarta Purana hence commands that Ganesha be invoked before any other God, which would assure a smooth beginning and unimpeded accomplishment of an act. It quotes Lord Vishnu as declaring: ‘Sarvagre Tawa Puja … Sarva Pujyashcha Yogindra Bhava’ (You are the first I have worshipped, O Conqueror of Passions. You would hence be worshipped by all (13/2),” Nitin Kumar, Editor of ‘Exoticindia.com’ said.

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