Ganesh, is one of the most well-known Hindu deities. This joyfully happy, benevolent, elephant-faced God is adored by Hindus and many other spiritual faiths.
Ganesh is the energy that can remove obstacles and obstructions. He is revered and honored before beginning any important or auspicious work. To ensure a safe journey and successful completion, his blessings must be sought prior to embarking on any important or auspicious work.
Many other people in India, celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi which comes on the fourth day in the Vedic month of Bhadrapada (Bhadrapada Shukla Paksha Chaturthi) as the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesh. At the current time, this coincides with the Gregorian months of late August/September. It needs to be noted that the day before, i.e. the third day of the Bhadrapada Shukla Paksha is celebrated as Hartalika- which is a special celebration, where devotes pray to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati for marital bliss and nice progeny.
You can read more at: Spiritual importance of celebrating Haritalika Teej
So, when is the actual birth anniversary of Lord Ganesh- is it in Magha or Bhadrapada?
Honestly, to think of such a divine energy presence in mere human terms of ‘birth’ is quite meaningless!! As we know, Vedic deities are representations of the Cosmic Energy manifestations and indicate various facets of the Supreme God-head.
When we consider the celebrations of Hartalika Teej which is the day before Ganesh Chaturthi (in Bhadrapada), it makes more sense to celebrate Ganesh Jayanti ‘some time’ after it. Also, as indicated in another article, the chronological sequence of Anant Chaturdashi, Pitru Paksha and Navaratri has special spiritual connotation.
You can read more at: The Significance of Anant Chaturdashi- our spiritual transformation can now begin…
And finally, we know that after Uttarayana begins with Makar Sankranti- i.e. the Sun ingress in the sign of Capricorn on Jan 14/15th (as per the Vedic sidereal calculations of Jyotish), the various auspicious activities start.
As per the divine timeline, it is still the dawn phase and then with the start of the month of Magha, it indicates ‘Sunrise’. It is important to note that the nakshatra (star/ lunar-constellation) of Magha is the first nakshatra in the zodiac sign of Leo as per Jyotish (Vedic Astrology). And this is when the festive celebrations of Gupt Navaratri (Nine Nights of the Cosmic Mother Goddess- Shakti) begins, and then we have Maghi Ganapati on the fourth day of this celebration.
When we consider all the above points and keeping in mind the logical order in which the Vedic celebrations are held to indicate spiritual evolution and soul-journey, it makes more sense to celebrate Maghi Ganapati as Ganesh Jayanti!
Spiritually we can think of this as, once we have the Cosmic sunrise with start of the month of Magha, the leader (isha) who governs people (gana) is born...who we love and cherish as Lord Ganesh (Ganesha).
Now, there are some who also indicate that Maghi Ganapati is the time when Ma Parvati (a form of the Cosmic Divine Mother Goddess) created Lord Ganesh and that Ganesh Chaturthi is the instance when he was revived (re-birthed) with the elephant's head. This line of thinking does make sense. Given the spiritual symbolism behind Lord Ganesh getting an elephant's head and his key role on this earth plane (where gana-people dwell) along with the significance behind chronologically celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi, then Pitru Paksha and Navaratri (Fall or Sharadiya)... this theory that the two birth anniversaries, each indicate his original birth day (jayanti) as well as the day of re-birth/ revival does have immense merit.
Interestingly Lord Ganesh governs Buddhi (intellect) which in turn governs the 'vivek shakti' in a person. It is this shakti which gives one the ability to look at information, evaluate, conduct analysis and arrive at the best solution or decision.
With Lord Ganesh's grace and blessings we can evaluate the many reasons behind various conceptions and mis-conceptions behind the two celebrations... but ultimately, the simple truth we need to realize is that- both the days of Maghi Ganesh as well as Ganesh Chaturthi are spiritually very powerful and they provide us opportunities to better tune ourselves with the energy-frequencies of Lord Ganesh and to obtain his blessings for our ultimate wellness.
- Tantric form of Lord Ganesh- Uchchhishta Ganapati
- The two important bija (seed) mantras of Lord Ganesh
- Shri Ganesh Chalisa (in Devnagri- Hindi Script)
- Sankashti Chaturthi Vrat- Understanding the importance of Sankashti Chaturthi
- Vinayaka Chaturthi Vrat- Understanding the importance of Vinayaka Chaturthi (greatest being Ganesh Chaturthi)