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Ganesha and the moon

Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati is the god of prosperity and well-being. To mark the birth of Lord Ganesha, Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in many parts of the world. Lord Ganesha is also popularly known as Vighanharta and Ekdanta. It was on the auspicious day of Ganesh Chaturthi, that Lord Shiva declared that his son, Lord Ganesha is superior to all gods and shall be worshipped before any of the gods are worshipped. It is from here that the practice of worshipping Lord Ganesha before beginning any new venture started. In India it is commonly said, “Shree Ganesh karo”. This phrase means that we are seeking the blessings of the supreme god for prosperity.
In this article particularly we shall be focusing on a different angle of the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. We shall be talking about the connection between Lord Ganesha and the moon. Also the article would talk about why one should not see the moon on the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. It is believed that if one sees the moon on this festival, he/she will become prey to false allegations for the rest of the year. There is an interesting story that has its roots deep in the Indian mythology which describes why we shouldn’t see the moon on this day. The story also gives a solution to redeem this curse.
Lord Ganesha is very fond of sweet dumplings or modaks as they are popularly known as. On one of his birthdays, he was roaming all over his house accepting the sweet dumplings offerings. After having a large number of dumplings he set out on his vahana – the mouse. On their way, a snake appeared suddenly on the path and scared the mouse. As a result the mouse stumbled and Lord Ganesha fell. His stomach burst open and all the dumplings came rolling out. Lord Ganesha collected all the dumplings, filled them into his stomach and tied the snake around his waist.
On seeing this sight, the moon in the sky started laughing out loudly. Lord Ganesha became very angry. Since he didn’t have any weapon, he pulled out one of his tusks and hurled it towards the moon. He also cursed the moon that nobody would watch him on the auspicious day of Ganesh Chaturthi. If anyone does so, he/she would earn a bad name and would be surrounded by false allegations and ill-reputation. But just in case you see he moon unknowingly, you can be freed from the curse by listening to the story of how Lord Krishna cleared his character regarding the false allegation of stealing Syamantaka jewel.
So here goes the story of Lord Krishna!
King Satrajit secured the Syamantaka jewel from Lord Surya after a great deal of meditation. He did not part with the jewel even when Lord Krishna assured him that the jewel would be safe with him. Once King Satrajit’s son, Prasena wore this jewel and went to the jungle. Unfortunately he was killed by a lion in the jungle. On seeing this, Jambavant (of the Ramayana fame) acquired the jewel by killing the lion. He gave the jewel to his son so that he could play with it. When Presana did not return, Lord Satrajit blamed Lord Krishna of killing Presana in order to acquire the jewel.
Lord Krishna was determined to remove this stain from his character. He decided to find the jewel. On his search, he found the jewel in Jambavan’s cave. Jambavan thought that Lord Krishna is some intruder and he attacked Lord Krishna. The war went on for 28 days. After 28 days, Jambavan’s body was terribly weakened from the hammering he got from Lord Krishna. It was then that he recognized him as the mighty Lord and offered the jewel to him. In addition to the jewel, he also married his daughter, Jambavati to Lord Krishna. They happily returned to the kingdom and the jewel reached King Satrajit, who repented his false allegation. When King Satrajit realized his mistake, he offered his daughter Satyabhama to Lord Krishna for marriage and also the jewel. Although Lord Krishna married Satyabhama, he never accepted the jewel.

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