Durva Chaturthi is a day dedicated to Lord Ganesha (Lord of new beginnings and remover of obstacles). Durva is a special type of grass blades that are used during prayers as an offering to Lord Ganesha. On this day, Lord Ganesha is worshipped with this Durva grass.
Durva is constituted of mainly two words- duhu and avam. The former means ‘which is far away’ and the latter means ‘which brings closer’. Thus, Durva is something that brings the distant and pure spiritual particles of Lord Ganesha closer. Therefore, this day brings us closer to God in spiritual terms.
Durva Chaturthi is observed on the Chaturthi (fourth day) of Shukla Paksha (bright lunar fortnight) in Shravan Month (fifth month as per the Hindu calendar).
Legends and Beliefs
According to a popular belief, at the cremation ceremony of Yudhishthira (eldest brother of pandavas and a significant character in the Indian epic Mahabharata) among other items there were jars of Durva too. As per belief, the use of this grass wards off evil forces. Its everyday use in ritual ceremonies is linked to its property of being a purifier. Durva is often mentioned in the Rig-Veda and Atharvaveda (ancient Indian scriptures) as a charm against baldness and anger.
Rituals and Celebrations
Durva Chaturthi is mainly celebrated in Maharashtra, Karnataka and some parts of Gujarat. On this auspicious day, there are certain rules that are to be followed during performing rituals. Lord Ganesha should be offered a minimum number of 21 Durvas. The grass blades are tied together and are offered to Lord Ganesha after dipping them into water. The entire idol of Lord Ganesha excluding the face should be covered with Durva. Thus the fragrance of Durva spreads all around. This is believed to take away the negativities of the worshipper. Thus, people celebrate this festival with pure mind, full devotion and seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha.
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