Festivity is in the hearts of the people and that spreads in the atmosphere. The Ganesh festival which has now gained world wide prominence was started by Lokmanya Tilak, a great Indian revolutionary, in the 1800's .His idea was to get people together as a community and create a sense of unity. Back then caste system and discrimination was at its peak in India. Truly amazing is how one man by his unique thinking could bring people of all sections together in the name of God.
Over the years ,the festival has only become bigger to say the least. During the festival people bring Ganesha idols at home and treat the God as a guest . Also people in a particular area together bring a life size ganesh idol .In Mumbai one can see life size ganesha idols ,every km or so.
For me the coming of Ganesha was devotional when I was young because I had a firm faith in God. However over the years I have been analysing this feeling ,I know understand why the heart is so happy during this festival. Its because all people remove bad thoughts, cleanse their minds and do pure hearted devotion.this devotion is not only towards God but there is a feeling of love towards the community as well.People forget their grudges and come together.That's the true meaning of worship according to me. Loving mankind .and literally God shows the way.
This a video of Ganesh utsav in Mumbai added from youtube
We treat Ganesha as a guest ,hence we make the treats which are pleasing to Him and The Lord's all time favourite is Modakhttp://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=35486425
Modak is a rice dumpling filled with coconut and jaggery. An offering of 21, or 101 modaks depending on your capability pleases the Lord no end.
Here's a simple recepie for Modaks
Rice flour - 1 cup
Water - 1 cup
Grated cocunut -1 cup
Jaggery - 1cup
Mix thecocunut and jaggery together on a medium heat on the stove.keep mixing till jaggery melts and the mixture is well combined .Add a little cardomom powder. Allow the mixture tocool
In a pan boil 1 cup of water,add 1 spoon oil and salt to taste(a pinch). Add 1 cup rice powder to theboiling water ,remove it from heat and mix well .all the wter will be absorbed by the rice flour .Knead the dough when it is hot so that no lumps form. Make six balls .Flatten each ball with hand ,fill it with the cocunut jaggery filling and make modak shapes.
Steam the modaks in a steamer or cooker for 10 minutes .Very yummy