Vinayagar Chathurthi has just passed by. For those who are not aware of what this is about, here is the lowdown [this is in line with my continuing efforts to make more Hindus, Hindu-wise]:

The first prayer of a Hindu is always to Vinayagar.Vinayagar is invoked at the beginning of all ritualistic worship. He is invoked before a family moves into a house. Recitatation of holy songs begin with the recitation of a Vinayagar mantra or song.

While there are countless Vinayagar temples, every Hindu temple dedicated to some other deity, including the Vaisnavite temple, has a statue of him. Vinayagar is not only worshipped by Hindus. He has a place in many other religions and nations of people. His name might not be the same but the figure is similar and so are the ideas that Vinayagar represents - auspiciousness, prosperity, well-being and wisdom.

Vinayagar has a place in the Buddhist temple and among the Jains. The Chinese too worship Vinayagar but with a different name. Vinayagar or Vinayagar-like deities are found in Indonesia, Japan, Afghanistan, Mexico, Brazil, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Tibet, Mongolia and Polynesia, among other places.

Vinayagar is both the Lord of obstacles as well as the Remover of obstacles. When we do evil things or when the time is not right, He places obstacles in our path. When we take the correct path, He removes the root of our troubles.

Vinayagar Chaturthi falls on the 4th day of the new moon in the month of Aavani (August-September).

And here are a coupla nice pictures I got thru an email for all ye Vinny fans.

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