Monday, September 24, 2012

Religion - Ganesh ceremony (part 3) - by Dr Surujrattan Rambachan

VISARJAN CEREMONY: The return of the murti of Lord Ganesh to the river and its dissolution and merging with the earth is symbolic of man’s acquired knowledge that God is one, present in and through creation. 
The Ganesh Festival usually ends with an early morning procession as devotees take to the river the murti which was made and duly worshipped for several days. 

The merging of the murti in the waters of the river or sea is called the Visarjan Ceremony. God is one - Brahman, but man objectifies God into names and forms to meet the demands of a limited human intellect striving to understand and to relate to God. Objectifying God into a particular name(s) and form(s) allows man to develop a personal God and by extension a personal relationship with God.

The ultimate objective of man’s striving to understand God is to realize the omnipresent nature of God, of God here, there and everywhere, of God in and through all creations. 

To have a personal relationship with God, to conceive of God in a personal form is to develop an awareness of God in one’s life, it is to befriend God and establish a relationship. 

For Yashoda the Lord was her son, for Sudama his friend, for the Gopis, he was their divine playmate. But while we create and worship a personal form of God, yet we truly do not believe that God is limited to that form and only that form. 

If as Hindus we were to say and to insist that God is limited to one name and one form, that would be idolatry. And Hindus do not practice idolatry for Hindus have never insisted that God is limited to any particular name and any particular form.

The Visarjan Ceremony of returning the murti that has been worshipped is a clear indication that Hindus are able to recognize the oneness of God. By returning to the waters the murti made out of the earth after worshipping it as God. Returning it to earth, Hindus symbolize this understanding of the form of God as the form of creation.

Indeed it brings to mind Sri Rama’s statement to Hanuman about who is a true devotee when he said: “And he alone Hanuman is a true devotee who sees all of creation as MY form and regards ME as the Master and himself as the servant."

By worshipping Lord Ganesh and then returning the murti to the earth from where the dirt to fashion it came, Hindus are acknowledging that they have acquired the knowledge to worship God at all times and all places. God is one!

The Visarjan ceremony confirms that God has become creation and that creation is God.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai