Talk about Ganesh Chaturthi and the first thing that comes to mind is the celebrations in
Adi Shankaracharya in ninth century AD popularized the panchayatana - the worship of five major deities in Hindu homes. Shiva, Vishnu, Surya, Shakti and Ganesha were the five idols that Adi Shankara asked people to worship at home. In tenth century AD, Ganapataya Sampradaya, a religious movement with Lord Ganesha as the supreme deity, gained momentum among Marathi speaking people. The sect equated Ganapati with Brahman and believed that Ganesha is the visual representation of ‘
The Bhakti cult that revolved around Ganesha produced several famous saints like the Moraya Gosavi who lived at Morav near Pune in early seventeenth century. These saints made Ganesha cult famous and this was followed by the formation of Ashta Vinayaka Temples. During the same period numerous sacred literatures dedicated to Ganesha was produced. Poet Ramadasa composed several songs dedicated to Vinayaka. These bhajans gave Ganesha the position of the bringer of happiness and remover of obstacles. And this is what common people wanted from the Gods.
In the seventeenth century, Peshwas made Ganesha their family deity. Maharaj Chhatrapati Shivaji’s mother built the famous
In modern times it is a well known fact Bal Gangadhar Tilak, freedom fighter, used Ganesh Chaturthi puja to forge unity among Maharashtrians and there by he gave a new surge to the Indian independence movement. In late 19th century, Tilak initiated a community festival of Ganesha in Pune and it was soon adopted in other parts of