I attended the Ther (annual chariot festival ) at Ganapathy temple yesterday with my mother, and met a few relatives and friends 🙂 Also managed to to Ganapathy mantra 1000+ times (counting on fingers ..without my chanting Rudraksha was a bit difficult at times.. as we’re all walking..and much was going on.. )
It was amazing, spiritual and absolutely festive as ever. This time around I was able to focus more on the different aspects (forever studying and decoding the intricate ritual aspects and their meanings.. much of it is not usually taught in schools..except to Brahmins who are training to be Hindu Priests).
So here are the tons of photos. You can see full explanations under each photo in my facebook album.. (it’s my intention to preserve the meanings, and share that with those interested).
there are many who honour and worship the Hindu Elephant-headed God Ganapathy (Ganesh). He is a remover of obstacles! In London, this time of the year, the Ganapathy temple conducts their annual festival..which culminates after many weeks of celebrations and special poojas, with the Chariot Festival (Ther).
I will be attending this, and walking with the deities with the large chariots ..along the side roads.. to gain full divine blessings of Lord Ganapathy.
You are most welcome to do so.. (even if it is only for part of the journey).
Buses will be diverted in that area.. Please check TFL website for updates.
Nearest Tube: Wimbledon (District line)..Then bus 200 goes closer to Effra Road. `Colliers wood’ and `south Wimbledon’ are also nearby tube stations (Northern line) ..from which you will need to either walk 30 mins..or take buses to get to Effra Road.
125-133 Effra Road, Wimbledon, London SW19 8PU.
The Chariot Festival will begin at 8.30am in the morning,.and conclude around 1pm…Then deities will be taken inside temple..fore more prayers / poojas..
(I aim to be at the temple by 8am. On this occasion, I will NOT be waiting to collect / organise anyone…as following early morning shower/ purification and meditations, I will be observing silence and get to the temple asap..to begin worship).
As some are already aware, last year (2015) in Autumn, I began organising/ facilitating `Hindu Magic Rituals’ in outdoor venues…
There has been a little gap. With this Ganapathy festival, I will be re-starting a full set of Hindu Magic rituals.
I picked up the latest `National Geographic’ Magazine, and was utterly shocked and deeply sad to read that ..last year.. 25,000 elephants were killed by poachers for the sake of their Tusks / ivory.
For example, in Cameroon’s Bouba Ndjidah National Park, poachers armed with grenades and AK-47 riffles had killed over 300 elephants this year – the largest mass elephant slaughter in decades. This is also reported by the WWF (World Wilde Fund).
In Thailand, one of the Monks who keeps elephants at his temple, was accused of starving one elephant to use its ivory for amulets (a charge he rejected).
What can we do? For my part, I did one of those `Elephant adopting’ with WWF ..last year, and get regular updates on what `my’ elephant is doing… I’ve written a children’s story book, that features the plight of the elephant (“Elephantom Origins”)..and now have resolved that ALL sales of that book, when it is published will be put towards the cause of keeping elephants as safe as possible. Not sure what else I can do? As a Hindu, I worship the god Ganesh, who is an elephant headed god.. So I have a special vested spiritual interest in the welfare of Elephants..What about you readers? Any serious thoughts?
Adventures of Elephantom are fully illustrated graphics style stories for children, full of fun & adventure, but also teaching them eco-awareness in a gentle way. And this one takes the readers through themes such as spirituality, death of a family group, healing, learning, duty to ancestors and personal transformation.
I created `Elephantom’ way back in 1994, for an eco-newsletter called `Unity’ that my friend Harmony was publishing for young eco-campaigners. (I met Harmony while doing lots of fundraising for an Eco-organisation called `Environmental Investigation Agency- EIA).
The original story was just a 4-panel cartoon, but Elephantom has been living in Greeting cards (my brand) that I have sent to many family & friends. It was only last year (2011) that Elephantom was fully brought back into public eye, as part of our `Gaian Times eco-magazine’. Many cartoons were created showing Elephantom’s adventures. And then I got thinking – he needs a proper origin story. That work started in September 2011, and is now complete. Over 25+ A3 sized black & white panels. It started off as a simple story-telling but as it evolved in its own way, I realised so much of my own trials and tribulations, ideals and beliefs were seeping into it as symbolism.
Coming from a Hindu background, I honour and worship the elephant-headed god Ganesh. And I grew up reading comic books- where heroes fight villains. Well for the modern era, the biggest villainy that the world faces are ecological & environmental disasters. And so that becomes Elephantom’s main cause. I say `main’, because there is a whole lot of fun to be had with a character such as him. He’s already met Einstein, Mr Spock, put out fires of London Riots, gone for a police post interview and hosted the `Zebra’ meeting – amongst other things!
So join me in welcoming Elephantom. He’s here to stay..and he will grow.Coming soon.
FREE pre-launch OFFER to all readers!
I am giving away free download e-copies of the ‘Elephantom Origins’ to every one…This offer ends on 29th Sept’12. So hurry.