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Report: Sri Ganesha Chaturthi

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Sri Ganesha Chaturthi, the birthday of Lord Ganesha, is one of the most popular of Hindu Festivals. Divine Life Society of South Africa celebrated this auspicious event online on Saturday, 22 August 2020. Our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda wrote, "Lord Ganesha is worshipped first in any kind of prayer. His Names are repeated first before an auspicious work is begun, before any kind of worship is begun. Without the blessings and Grace of Lord Ganesha, nothing whatsoever can be achieved. No action can be undertaken without His support. Lord Ganesha is an embodiment of wisdom and bliss. He is the Lord of Brahmacharins. He is foremost amongst the celibates".

Sages say that Lord Ganesha removes all the obstacles on the path of the spiritual aspirant, and bestows upon him worldly as well as spiritual success. So, He is called Vigna Vinayaka.

Our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, explains in Hindu Fasts and Festivals, how it came about that Lord Ganesha cursed the moon. On one of His birthdays, He was proceeding from house to house accepting the offerings of sweet puddings, of which he is very fond. Having eaten a good number of these, He set out on His vehicle, the mouse. Suddenly, the mouse stumbled ‒ it had seen a snake and became frightened ‒ with the result that Ganesha fell onto the ground. His stomach burst open and all the sweet puddings came out. But Ganesh stuffed them back into His stomach and, catching hold of the snake, tied it around His belly. Witnessing this, the moon laughed heartily. This unseemly attitude of the moon annoyed Ganesha greatly. So, He pulled out one of His tusks and hurled it at the moon, and cursed that no one should look at the moon on the Ganesha Chaturthi Day. If anyone does, he will surely earn a bad name, censure or ill-repute. However, if by mistake, someone happens to look at the moon on this day, then the only way he could be freed from the curse would be by repeating or listening to the story of how Lord Krishna cleared His character regarding the Syamantaka Jewel.

This intriguing story, which is quoted in the Bhagavatam, was read at our online Satsang.

Our Divine Master concludes, "Remember not to look at the moon on that day as it behaved unbecomingly towards the Lord. This really means avoiding, from this very day, the company of all those who have no faith in God, and who deride God, the Guru and religion.

"Take fresh resolves and pray sincerely to Lord Ganesha for inner strength to attain success in all your undertakings".

"May the blessings of Sri Ganesha be upon you all! May He remove all the obstacles that stand in your spiritual path! May He bestow on you all material prosperity as well as liberation".

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