Ganesh Utsav and Artistic Pollution : Waste of potent season of the year
Yes, one is free to select any form of God one wish to worship. No doubt about it. But when the mind is involved, there is always care that one must take care.
मनो हि जगतां कर्तृ मनो हि पुरुषः परः ।
मनःकृतं कृतं लोके न शरीरकृतं कृतम् ॥१॥
The mind alone is the creator of the world; and mind alone is the supreme person. What is done by the mind is action, what is done by the body is not action.
“The body does not create the mind, but the mind creates the body.”
So whatever mental images we grasp during Idol worship, will have impact on our body. When we choose to worship Ganesha, it is always worth to focus on his form which is described by the seer scientists i.e. ऋषि गण.
Any art form, is not perfect for consumption by senses governed by life form striving spiritual uplift (a quantum leap from current state of consciousness to higher one), until the art form can express the Universe within and outside without adding human intellectual touch (which actually can limit the spiritual journey of the seeker focusing on Idol).
Thus, in Idol worship, perfection of reflection of universe in art is critically important. For this to happen, it is important for artist to cultivate pious nature, surrendered to mother nature and her different plays. And to connect with Maa, it is important to recite her glory daily.
There is interesting conversation between King Vajra and Sage Markendya in Vishnudharmottara Purana about it.
King Vajra wants to learn art of Idol making.
He seeks guidance from Sage Markendya.
And Sage prescribes him to learn following art in sequence to become master of Idol creator.
Vocal music (Reciting Vedas) => Instrumental Music => Natya Shashtra => Chitra Kala (Painting in 2D) => Becoming sculptor
In short, it is important to realize cosmos, to express it so potently so that seekers can connect with God by concentrating on divine play captured in Idol.
What we see in Ganesha Pandals or Durga Pooja pandals is nothing but immature artist’s artistic pollution of original archetype. Always politically motivated or artist’s limited spiritual acumen.
The best way is: If you don’t know how to transform universe into art, follow the scriptures.
Worshiping false Gods/demigods by portraying Ganapati Idol in form of social celebrities, is nothing but a shortcoming of relatively weak societal psyche.
My culture teaches to put ideas/values/deeds/virtues above all immortals as ideas/values/deeds/virtues can only last forever.Ideas/values/deeds/virtues can’t survive more than a century (or may be few countable years) if demigods are at center of common man’s life.
We have invented many festivals for entertainment. Ganesh Chaturthi and Navratri are not for celebrating contemporary art and entertainment. They are highly potent times of the year to clean and purify mind.
Think about it. Take care.