The Star Myths of the world can be definitively shown to be based upon a common, worldwide system of celestial metaphor, which uses the celestial realm to picture for us the Invisible Realm, the realm of the gods, the realm of spirit.
Even though we cannot see it, the Invisible Realm is very real -- in fact, as Lakota holy man Black Elk explained, that Invisible World is the real world that is behind this one, and from which this one flows. It is the spirit world which animates this material world -- and it is the spirit world which provides the life in every plant that grows, and which in fact flows through and animates every aspect of this material realm, and which is present and accessible to us at all times and in all places, even though we are not always attuned to it or conscious of its presence. In some traditions, the Invisible Realm was referred to as "the seed world," because in that realm, everything exists in infinite potentiality, in "seed form," like an enormous tree which is present in a tiny acorn or pinecone or seed-pod, but not yet manifest in the material world.
All the gods and goddesses and spiritual beings and heroes and kings and princesses in the ancient myths and sacred scriptures and traditions can be shown to be based upon the motions of celestial entities and heavenly cycles, including the stories in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, as well as in virtually every culture around the globe. Properly understood, this fact should actually be seen as uniting us all, because it shows that all the sacred stories and myths are in some way related, although where this common system originated remains a mystery of our very ancient past.
By employing this system of metaphor, the sacred traditions of humanity use the infinite realm of the heavens to show us the infinite realm, the "seed world" of infinite potentiality, and to convey profound truths regarding our own connection to this realm of spirit, truths which we need in this incarnate life -- truths which are intended for our benefit. Because they show us that each one of us -- as well as everyone we meet -- actually has a spiritual component, an infinite component, a Higher Self, and that we should be recognizing and acknowledging that aspect in ourselves and others and seeking to become more attuned to and integrated with it, and to elevate that aspect in others as well (as opposed to denying it, or trying to suppress it, in ourselves and others, or to put people down because of their physical and outward form or condition).
The sacred traditions and Star Myths also encourage us to align our lives with the patterns in the celestial realms and with the heavenly cycles of the sun, moon, planets and stars -- probably as a means of maintaining the awareness of our constant connection with and dependence upon the Invisible Realm, the infinite realm (the heavens being, in fact, infinite and thus not just a "picture" of the infinite realm but truly an aspect of that infinite realm, which we can contemplate on any clear and starry night).
One divinity who is recognized on every fourth day following the full moon is Lord Ganesh (often spelled Ganesha as well), also known as Ganapati (and by many other names as well), the elephant-headed deity who is revered and worshiped in Hindu tradition but also in many forms of Buddhism as well as the Jain Dharma, and whose devotion can be found across Asia, including (especially) in Tibet, China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, and other adjoining regions, and in more recent centuries around the world.
As we just passed through the point of the full moon, if you wish to prepare to incorporate special meditation upon and adoration of Ganapati this month (on the fourth day following full moon), you may wish to start thinking about and preparing for that now. The fourth day of the waning moon of the Hindu month of Bhadra or Bhadrapaada is traditionally the day most intensely associated with the adoration and worship of Ganesh, and is known as Chaturthi, but in fact every fourth day of the waning moon can also be celebrated as Ganesha Chaturthi throughout the year.
There are many excellent sites on the web which describe ways in you can align your actions and thoughts on the fourth day of the waning moon each month with meditation upon Ganesh, such as this one, and you can also type in the words of the Ganesh mantra or Ganesh Dhun ("tune") into a search (or simply type in the search terms "Ganesh mantra" or "Ganesh Dhun") in order to hear how that mantra sounds and learn it for yourself (see hereand here for more on the concept of mantras if interested).
As I will demonstrate below, Ganesh is undoubtedly a celestial figure -- as are all the other gods and goddesses and divine powers of the infinite realm who are shown to us in the myths and sacred scriptures around the world. Some of his most distinctive characteristics include of course his elephant head, as well as his serpent belt, and his traditional "vehicle" or mount, who is a mouse (or rat, or shrew). These characteristics, along with some of the aspects of the stories surrounding them, can in my opinion be shown to be celestial in their origin, and discussed below.
Before proceeding, however, I wish to assert very clearly that -- as with all Star Myths -- the reader should not make the error of assuming that because a sacred story can be shown to be based upon the stars, this fact absolutely does not mean that this myth is not true. Quite to the contrary, I believe that the world's Star Myths contain absolutely vital truths, which are not only true but necessary for our understanding in this incarnate life in which we find ourselves, here in this simultaneously material-spiritual universe or cosmos. In fact, as I explain elsewhere (including in my most recent book, examining the Star Myths of ancient Greece), it is when we begin to understand their celestial language that we can really begin to communicate with the sacred myths and to listen to what they are trying to tell us.
Below is an image of Ganapati from the twelfth century Hoysaleswara temple in southern India, showing him standing upon his rodent steed, and wearing his serpent belt (with a cobra head -- to see that, look just to the left of his navel):
Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chaturthi is celebrated all over India asLord Ganesha‘s Birthday!
Maharashtra, has the best 10 day affair for Ganesh Chaturthi , and the Ganesha Idols all over are a sight to behold! The festival which is celebrated during the Hindi calendar of Bhadra (mid-August to mid-September) kicks off in September and ends with Ananath Chaturdashi when these Ganesha Idols are submerged in water. So if you are looking for fun activities to do while you celebrate with your kids, you’ve come to the right place.
Ganesh Chaturthi Crafts and Activities to do with Kids
The Elephant-faced God, who is the beloved son of Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati is known for his wit, humor and sweet tooth. He is also the protector of nature. It is very important to have a green Ganesh Chaturthi and we totally follow it too.
Make your own eco – friendly Ganesha Idol!
It might seem difficult but it is actually quite simple! Here is a fantastic tutorial, which explains the process!
Priyanka from https://www.facebook.com/MyColorfulStuff/ shares this really cute ganesha that she made at home.
Make Ganesha platform decorations
So your Ganesha Idol is ready, well he needs a place to sit and a throne, no less. Well don’t go to the shops; why not make one by yourself, I promise you will find most of the stuff in your home!
For the background, line up silk screens against the wall and put up vertical lights instead of horizontal.
Then make a Lotus shaped Seat for Ganesha.
Add an Umbrella for the lord by attaching it with clay behind the seating.
Ganesh Chaturthi DIY Aarti plate
After you place your Ganesha on the seat you so lovingly made for him, I am sure you would want to do his puja. For that you need your Aarti plate. And this simple Thermocol Arthi Platecan be made using 2 colors & a brush.
Put a Rangoli
Now make it look all festive with decor that makes Lord Ganesha Smile, a Rangoli is just the thing! Follow our easy step by step tutorialto put a Rangoli in under 15 minutes.
We loved the Pookolam Ganesha Rangoli by iKolam.com
Make sweets for Ganesh Chaturti
Really Bal Ganesha is just like our little ones and us who just can’t stop gorging on Ladoos and and sweets. Use these easy, kid-friendly recipes to make Prashad for Ganesha, I am sure he is going to be pleased! Veg recipes of india brings to you 51 awesome recipes for Ganesh Chaturthi . Our favorite Guest blogger Nidhi has some easy recipes on her blog. The Nariyal Ladoo is not to be missed! Three ingredients. just put everything in a pan and let them cook to these yummy juicy ladoos.
Ganesha’s another favorite food is the Modak. Steamed Rice dumplings with a sweet coconut & jaggery filling. Yum!
Easy Crafts for Ganesh Chaturthi
Crafts are a great way for kids to explore and have fun and also use their time in doing quality activities. Craft time can be utilized to tell tales about Lord Ganesha!
One of my favorite craft activity is the one in which I do not have to run to the store to get supplies!
Click on the images to check out the craft tutorials …
Recycled CD Ganesha Car hanging
Make a 2 D Clay Craft. You can also use Play dough!
Make a Ganesha Artwork with acrylic colours & glitter glue
You can also buy these kits that come preloaded with everthing you need to do an activity!
We love these Ganesha craft kits from ToyKraft
Make Ganesh Chaturthi Cards for family! Hamara Nischay has a gorgeous Card making kit
Ganesha eBook – Instant PDF download
No one can say no to a good story. Our heritage is full of fabulous stories of wit, humor, bravery and magic. All tales of Bal Ganesha has a touch of naughtiness and lovely humor that kids will love and a lesson that they will understand at their own pace and space. We are proud to present some of our fabulous Mythological stories in easy PDF format for you to download and read to your young ones!
The books with adorable illustrations have stories about Lord Ganesha, Devi Lakshmi, Durga and Saraswati and Lord Shiva. These mini eBooks introduce our Gods to kids in a simple manner – the Who? their special powers, what they love, some stories, a coloring page, a special mantra about them and lots of crafts to try.
Or you could spend some time cozying up on the sofa reading a few books about Ganesha. Here are some of the books we have love.
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Filed Under: Craft Ideas, Exotic India, Festivals of India, Latest PostsTagged With: Art & craft ideas for Ganesha, Ganesha Crafts & activites, ideas to celebrate Ganesh Chaturti with kids, India Crafts