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I adore the spirit behind Ganesh Chathurti, an eleven day celebration of Lord Ganesh, his life and his teachings.

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Lord Ganesh is the God of wisdom, knowledge and new beginnings. He has many names and faces but whichever incarnation, his life – his devotion to his mother and friends, his obedience and his intelligence sets an example and tells us that living a righteous life has its rewards. After all, which other God has Gods and Goddesses seeking his blessings before starting a new endeavor.

I grew up listening to stories about Ganpati Bappa and I adore the spirit of this eleven day celebration but even before Ganesh Chathurti became a big community affair, Ganpati Bappa was a part of our lives. The size of the celebration may have changed but the significance hasn’t.

Every year, during Ganesh Chathurti, we bring Ganpati Bappa into our homes and bow our heads in pray. We seek his blessings to fulfill our objectives in life. By these actions, we profess our faith in his teachings – of obedience, of devotion.

Our world is full of people who are intolerant and manipulative, who think nothing of using another’s weakness to gain the upper hand. As devotees of Ganpati Bappa, we should endeavor not to do harm and stay away from evil be in thoughts or deeds. We should look at this time as a period of self reflection, a time to embrace our faith and a time to start anew. After all, it is our faith in Ganpati Bappa that gives us the strength to fulfill our objectives in life. We should also spend time – shaping a better world not only for ourselves but also for our family and society at large.

During this festival of Ganesh Chathurti, I hope that each and every one of us gains enough wisdom to believe in our own strength and dutifully fulfill our objective of life.

Happy Ganesh Chathurthi

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