Ganeshotsav: Are we losing something?
Since ages, we have been told by our ancestors that God is the creator of this beautiful world. If this is what we ought to believe, is it fair enough that we damage his own creation just to show our love for him?
In Maharashtra, Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most popular and celebrated festivals. Everyone worships the Lord Ganesh’s idol. But in this celebration, we seldom realize the harm we cause to the environment in different ways:
Firstly, the use of Plaster Of Paris idols. The ‘bhakti’ for the God should be judged on the basis of the behavior of the ‘bhakta’ and not on the size of the idol. The huge POP idols do not dissolve in the water and the oil colors disturb the flora and fauna of the water. The relics of these undissolved idols are later seen floating on the banks. And this scenery of broken idols is devastating for the eyes of a real ‘bhakta’. We only tend to see the part we like and overlook the hazardous aftereffects of our selfishness.
Secondly, the use of thermocol for decoration. Thermocol is not biodegradable and stays in the environment for decades polluting the soil and water resources.
Apart from these, playing songs on high volume, burning of crackers, use of plastic for packaging, throwing flowers in the water adds up to the existing demon of pollution. Isn’t it ironical that we are feeding a life taking demon like pollution for praising the god?
If we wish to give a better place for our future generations, we need to give it a thought and try all possible ways to save the environment. Only then we will be able to seek blessings from the Vighnaharta.
With this thought in mind, I and my family members have started celebrating each festival in an eco-friendly manner from past few years.
I would like to share some simple changes that we have done to turn this festival into an eco-friendly celebration:
1. According to our family tradition of 70-80 years, we bring Shadu Clay Idol. These idols are eco-friendly and completely dissolve in water assuring no harm to the water resources. From this year onwards, we took a step ahead and started worshipping a Metal idol.
2. We use bio-degradable materials like Handmade paper, flowers or cloth for the decoration for past 12 years.
3. We create compost from the flowers offered to the Lord.
4. We use paper cups, bags and dishes to serve beverages, Prasad, and snacks respectively.
I feel that one should only think about his own way of rightful celebration and not celebrate for the sake of competing with others or to fit in the society. If we make simple changes at our levels, it will surely bring peace, happiness, love, and harmony not only for us but our future generations as well.
|| गणपती बाप्पा मोरया ||
Editing courtesy: Devaki Dharap 🙂