Who founded Ganesh Utsav
The Sri Manika Vinayakar Alayam Temple in honor of the god Ganesha in Paris (Quartier La Chapelle, 17, rue Pajol - 75018 Paris) was founded on February 4, 1985 by Hindu believers from Sri Lanka.
The temple is open to the public daily from 9:30 am to 8:30 pm, and devotional ceremonies (puja) are held at 10:00 am, 12:00 pm and 7:00 pm. The community now has around 16,000 members, including many believers from Guadelupe, La Réunion and Mauritius, as well as converted French. Ganesha Chaturthi has been celebrated since 1996 at the end of August. In honor of Ganesha's birthday, his statue and that of his brother, the god Murugan, are carried in a large procession through the streets of the 18th arrondissement of Paris. In the chariot of the gods with the red and white canopy, the statue of Ganesha has its place, magnificently adorned with flower garlands and jewels. A cleaning vehicle rented by the city drives ahead of the procession and cleans the asphalt with rose and saffron water for the ritual cleansing of the path.
The processional float is pulled by men on ropes made of vegetable fibers that are attached to the left and right of the float. The space between them and thus directly in front of the Ganesha figure is regarded as ritually pure and must not be entered with shoes. The bare feet and the bare torso of the men on the ropes is their sign of gratitude, humility and pure devotion to their god Ganesha. The faithful wait with their offerings along the sidewalks. Particularly impressive are the piled coconuts, which are smashed within the ritually pure space between the ropes as soon as the chariot of the gods passes and the caravan stops for this sacred act. The coconut shell symbolizes the illusion of the world with its hardness and callousness, in which each individual acts within his or her destiny (karma). The water of the nut represents human selfishness. If the coconut is smashed, this testifies to the opening of the heart, the overcoming of the ego and the devotion of the people to the god Ganesha. The procession is led by standard-bearers, musicians and snail-blowers. The white sea snail represents special ritual purity. They are followed by women singing pious songs, carrying clay pots with camphor burning in them on their heads. Like fire, camphor has a purifying effect and embodies purification. Between the fire-bearers and the chariot of the gods, believers with circular structures, kavadi, dance on their shoulders, which are adorned with flowers and peacock feathers. These Kavadi dancers are men, women and children who, permeated by the divine energy, repeatedly fall into a trance. The music gets the dancers into a state of intoxication and only lets them wake up when they fall silent. The sea snail puja takes place the morning after the procession. Exactly 108 white sea snails are filled with sacred herbal water and decorated with flowers. At the end of the ceremony, the blessed water from the snails is sprinkled onto the Ganesha figure. The temple Sri Manika Vinaykar Alayam has two Ganeshas, which are bathed during this elaborate puja and rubbed with various substances: with the water colored yellow by kumkum powder, milk, yoghurt, fruits (sliced bananas, oranges, lemons), honey, coconut water and the sacred ashes vibuti. Both statues are made from a special alloy of five different metals: white gold, yellow gold, silver, copper and brass.
The number five has a special meaning in the Hindu context, which is why one of the Ganesha statues in the temple also has five heads, the so-called Panch-mukh-Ganesha. The five is a sacred number and is the symbol of cosmic perfection. The cosmos consists of the five elements earth, air, water, fire and ether, which correspond to five koshas, energy forms of human existence: the material (flesh / blood), the spiritual (energy / breath), the emotional (mind / psyche) , intellectual (mind / consciousness) and divine bliss and joy. The five faces of Ganesha are reminiscent of these five energies (Shakti), which are realized differently in every human being during his incarnation, and remind us of the importance of their interaction. Ganesha is seen as the sender of divine energy: He erases the karma, the fate of those who are loyal to him.
10h30 to 15h
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