Ganesha Immersion Environment Crises and its impact stories are doing rounds so here’s the other side of the story!
Ganesha Immersion Festival or Ganesh Chaturthi is a celebration of the birth of Hindu God Ganesha. Remember this age-old Hindu belief we’ve all heard about: How Ganesha’s father, Shiva, pulled his head off? Immersion of Lord Ganesha’s idol into the sea is something similar in today’s day and age. We are doing the same thing today; only we don’t realise it. Why? Maybe because humans are getting more devoted to idols rather than the reality of environmental crises.
Lord Ganesha is the creator of our world. Instead of creating a mess with our celebrations, let’s please the ‘God’ with sustainable celebrations
Ganesha is a deep-rooted symbol of prosperity in our lives. He is the harbinger of health, wealth and wellness. But in today’s world that is walking towards environmental crisis, prosperity has to be sustainable lest we die out.
Ganesha Immersion Environment Crises (if at all)
Ganesha’s idols used for immersion are made of toxic materials. This is not on the religious belief being wrong; it is rather that the idols that sell most are made of toxic materials. This happens mostly because the painted idols are better looking than the organic ones. Most of these are made out of toxic things like Plaster of Paris or Cement. The idols that you put into the sea, a river or lake will affect the waters and the Ganesha Immersion Festival escalate the environmental crisis.
Every water body has a certain level of Oxygen in it. But when you add toxic chemicals like ones present on Ganesha idols that are getting more widely available, this disbalances the ecosystem. This is because of its wide availability. Another one of these toxic materials is Mercury, which causes all the wrong effects to the waters you decide to immerse your idol into.
The paint that manufacturers use is toxic as well. You are spoiling the water that you bathe in and where the food you eat comes from (fish and other seafood).
The Exact Causes
The non-biodegradable materials that are immersed into the water through Ganesha idols are a huge cause of water pollutions. The rivers and the sea alike are facing a loss of Oxygen; in turn, causing loss of life.
On top of it all, the heavy metal laced paint creates a pH imbalance in the water. Devotees also use thermocol, flowers, camphor among other materials when celebrating Ganesha Immersion Festival (Ganesh Chaturthi).
Sadly, this environmental crisis doesn’t have a short term effect. The waters will still face these problems long after most of us have gone.
When going to buy an idol, you can make a better choice for your own future; for mankind’s future.
Devotees can continue to stay ignorant of the damage they are causing to the waters. Or you can take steps to make this world a better place, starting at an individual level.
The celebrations that are shown on the TV and in the movies is exactly how it goes down in the streets. Ganesha processions are gigantic and so are the idols of Ganesha that people immerse into the sea as part of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival.
What would be a better choice than to leave an environmental crisis behind after all the rituals are done? Wouldn’t you want to know?
First and foremost is the choice to not immerse an idol at all. But mostly we are unable to avoid that given the years and years of rituals. (Isn’t it?)
The best thing would be to celebrate god and immerse the nature of Ganesha’s very being into yourself, your mind, body, and soul.
If you are a true believer, you probably understand what this means. Human survival is dependant on the survival of nature; directly upon us. So, what to do when you are at the center of a tug of war between environment and religion?
Clay idols are also available easily in the market today when looking for a good alternative of Ganesha idols. Or any idols for that matter. While Ganesha Immersion is coming up sooner but that doesn’t mean there are no other festivals that don’t involve immersion into waters.
Where there is a will there is a way
You will come across solutions all over the place if you look for them. One better way to go about celebrating Ganesh Immersion Festival (Ganesh Chaturthi) is to immerse your Ganesha in the clean waters of your home; the celebration can involve organic materials and (since organic materials are expensive) smaller idols.
It is not the size of your Ganesha idol that matters but the faith, heart, and mind that you gain through your understanding of faith and belief in Ganesha. It is important that we find harmony between our religious practices and the environment we have to reside in yet never give up celebrating Ganesha Immersion Festival (Ganesh Chaturthi).