Here’s why Lord Ganesha got a trunk of banana tree as his bride.
Ganesh Chaturthi is just around the corner and the excitement is more than evident. The sweet shops are filled with festive delights, the artisans are giving final touches to their Ganesha idols, and lavish pandals are being set up for devotees who cannot wait for 31st August, to begin with the festivities. Ganesh Chaturthi is an 11-day festival dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the Hindu deity the first God to be worshipped in every Pooja, and is known to be the ‘Vighnaharta’ or the ‘Remover of obstacles'. He is also known to be the doting son of Lord Shiva and Parvati, and once to soothe his anxious mother, he even found the most unusual bride in a branch of banana tree.
Hindu mythology is packed with fascinating tales. Lord Ganesha, may be known as one of the most passionate foodies, but his banana bride has got little do with his penchant for bananas. The story goes, that once when Lord Ganesha was getting ready for his wedding, he realised he had forgotten something when he went back in, he saw his mother, Goddess Durga eating one bowl or rice after another. Upon finding his mother in a distressed state, and her resolve to finish all the rice of the house that day itself, he enquired what was wrong.
Goddess Durga, as it turned out, was ‘stress-eating’, she confessed to Lord Ganesha that she was anxious if the new bride would feed her well. When Ganesha heard about his mother’s insecurities, he stepped out in the garden broke a trunk of a banana tree and proclaimed it as his new bride, and Durga’s daughter-in-law. It was a symbolic gesture indicating that she would never go hungry as long as she is surrounded by banana trees. Therefore, till date, in many pandals, you would see a bedecked banana tree trunk right next to Lord Ganesha, decorated with flowers, vermillion and sandalwood paste.
Banana trees have been found in India since time immemorial, hence it is no surprise that they find mention in our scriptures too. Every part of a banana tree is useable, from the edible fruit, to peels to the trunk. Bananas are so versatile that they can be used to make a variety of dishes, be it sweet or savoury. How about trying this banana sheera and banana lassi for your Ganesh Chaturthi spread this year?