Atharv and I

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Today have got you a post which is very near to me. Let me tell you a story. There was this man who worshiped Lord Ganesha. He started his day with the lords name. He had innumerable number of Ganesha idols in his house. He had a daughter and a son, they grew up worshiping lord Ganesha too, just like their dad. They could never understand their Dad’s love and craziness for Lord Ganesha. But then you don’t question someone’s faith. Can you guess the man?:) Yes it’s my Dad.

Lord Ganesha is a household name. You can see a  house with or without a fan, with or without a television, with or without god or goddess idols but not a single Hindu house without a lord Ganesha idol. There are set of clans worshiping certain god or goddesses but here was a god for the masses:) My interest in him started because of my dad and also because he was everywhere in my house.:)

My dad passed away in 2014, it was a very difficult time for our family. During which I stayed with my mom for a couple of months. My dad never forced us to believe in anything, he worshiped, so did we. When I stayed with my mom, cleaning those idols every single day, made me wonder. I did not understand my dad’s faith, nor his love for these idols. Every single day as I cleaned these idols, there were so many thoughts running across my mind. But after some days I started enjoying cleaning the photos and idols. Till then I worshiped with no faith, but it started to change. It became more than a practice, it became a way of life.

After returning back to USA, for the first time in my life I decided to make a clay Ganesha idol for Ganesh Chaturthi. Till then for 25 years, I never even had a thought of making one. But that year I decided to. Till date I have not been able to figure out why i decided to make one, was it my dad , in my head. I Don’t know. I made, we celebrated. Since then there has been a certain kind of attraction towards it. Since, then I have been making one, every year and also some for our home.

First ever Ganesha idol I made using Crayola air dry clay, was for Ganesh Chaturthi in 2014!
Ganesh Idol for the festival in 2015 using Crayola Air Dry Clay!
Handmade Ganesha idol with Crayola Air Dry Clay!

I have never questioned my dad’s faith! But worshiping Lord Ganesha always intrigued me. Over these three years, I, in my own way understood or you can say decoded Lord Ganesha, the man of the masses while making his idol every year. All that sadness in me slowly started to change into positive energy as I started making these idols.

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Just a thought, What if Lord Ganesha was teaching us the seven mantras for happiness and success through his appearance. Imagine,
1. His big head indicating us to think out of the box.
2. His big eyes teaching us farsightedness, to look beyond into ours and others soul.
3. His big ears teaching us to listen to everyone calmly
4. His broken tusk teaching us sacrifices to be made to reach our goals.
5. His big stomach teaching us to take the good and bad equally
6. His axe reminding us to be away from the worldly pleasures
7. Finally the ladoos in his hand, signifies reward for all the hard work.

This is how I feel every single day when I see the idol in my house.I don’t know if this was the way my dad felt about Lord Ganesha, but I know one thing he let me find my faith. Better late than never! Every time I make an idol, its like I am meditating, in the end am happy and satisfied. Instead of thinking it just an idol if we try to find a way to turn this into a positive experience, we will be able to feel more connected.

We were recently blessed with a munchkin,  Out of the long list of names I am sure you can guess what I would have selected, 🙂 Atharv ” my elephant god”. Atharv has changed our lives in all ways. He is the driving force for both of us. He keeps us reminding our goals and at the same time keeps us grounded.

Finding your faith is not connected with Idol worship or any religion or caste. all it teaches you is to just believe.  I found mine, I hope you find yours!

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

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