* Festive Modak to Welcome Lord Ganesha *
Festive preparations for Ganesh Chaturthi,the Hindu
festival celebrated in honour of the elephant-head god,Lord Ganesha have just begun.The festival starting on 5th Sept this year lasts for 10
days,and is traditionally celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha.
Lord Ganesha is the God of wisdom, success
As per Hindu mythology Lord Ganesh is
considered as "Vighna Harta" (one who removes obstacles) and
"Buddhi Pradaayaka" (one who grants intelligence).
I thought of sharing my wonderful memories from
childhood with this festive occasion and also a bit of information about the
Modak a,mouth-watering delicacy is an
inseparable part of Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations.
I remember helping my mum with the
preparations of the Ganesha pooja and then enjoying the array of sweets and
savoury dishes with the whole family.
My dad would bring us all to different
places to see the celebrations of the Ganesh festival,the huge
decorations,festive lights,the Ganesh statues and then we would visit special
food outlets which sold savoury dishes and the most favourite of all,Modaks and
Ladoos.We would visit traditional dance,and music programmes.
Modak is a popular sweet prepared in
Western and Southern states of India especially during the Ganesh Chaturthi
It is a sweet dumpling stuffed with a sweet
filling made of coconut,jaggery,and a hint of cardamom and saffron and the
outer casing is made of rice flour.These are either steamed or fried.
have a very special importance in the worship of the Hindu elephant head god, Ganesh
as it is believed to be his favorite food.
'Moda' means Bliss (Anand) and 'ka' means a
small part. So,modak is a small part of Bliss.
A modak is shaped like a
coconut, that is it is like the cavity 'kha' in the Brahmarandhra. When the
kundalini (spiritual energy) reaches the 'kha' cavity, the spiritual experience
of Bliss is obtained. The modak held in the hand signifies Bliss endowing
' The modak symbolises spiritual knowledge (dnyan): hence it is also called
dnyanmodak. Initially it seems that spiritual knowledge is little (the tip of
the modak represents this); but as one starts studying Spirituality, one
realises its vastness (the base of the modak symbolises this.) A modak is sweet
in taste. The Bliss acquired through spiritual knowledge too is like
The modak symbolises the happiness
and joy a seeker derives from the spiritual pursuit. The occasion of Ganesh
Chaturthi gives us, as spiritual aspirants, an opportunity to remember what
Lord Ganesha stands for.
A chance to reignite ourselves in our
search for Divinity.
With spiritual knowledge also comes a bit
of nutritional and medicinal aspect of the contents used as stuffing for the
Benefits of Coconut:
- Helps prevent obesity by speeding up
metabolism, providing an immediate source of energy.
- Unlike other fats, the unique properties of
coconut also contain a large amount of lauric acid, which is the predominant
fatty acid found in mother's milk.
- Reduces sweet cravings and improves
insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose. The healthy fat in
coconut slows down any rise in blood sugar and helps to reduce hypoglycemic
- Improves digestion and many of the
symptoms and inflammatory conditions associated with digestive and bowel
disorders, by supporting absorption of other nutrients including vitamins,
minerals, and amino acids while also providing beneficial dietary fiber.
- Quick Energy Boost that provides a
super nutritious source of extra energy. Coconut is utilized by the body
to actually produce energy, rather than to store it as body fat. It
supports improved endurance during physical and athletic performance.
- Coconut water has the highest concentration
of electrolytes than anything else found in nature. This makes it an excellent
source of hydration.
- Coconut water is a natural isotonic
beverage full of vitamins and nutrients. It contains potassium, calcium and
magnesium that boost your immune system. It is also a great way of preventing
- Coconut Oil – In addition to being
superior for cooking and baking, coconut oil also makes a superb topical oil
that can help to naturally rid the skin of dangerous toxins. It also gives the
skin the perfect mix of hydration and antioxidants that it needs to stay
healthy, smooth and younger-looking longer.
- Coconuts are highly nutritious and rich in
fibre, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium,
sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.
- Unlike cow's milk, coconut milk is
lactose free so can be used as a milk substitute by those with lactose intolerance.
Benefits of Jaggery:
- Jaggery is a sweetener that’s becoming popular
as a “healthy” replacement for sugar.
- Jaggery is a more complex form of
carbohydrate than plain sugar. When you eat jaggery, it is digested and
absorbed gradually and releases energy over an extended period of time.
- Jaggery contains more nutrients than
refined sugar because of its molasses content.
Molasses is a nutritious by-product of the
sugar making process, which is usually removed when making refined sugar.
- For centuries on the Indian Subcontinent,
it (sugar cane jaggery) has been in use as a lung, throat, and respiratory
tract cleanser as well as an additive to the local remedies for coughs and
colds. This cleansing property of jaggery has been proven over many generations.
- Date palm jaggery is manufactured and
consumed in the winter. It has a warming effect on the body and is nutritious
- It is best consumed during the winter
months because winter is the season of fresh jaggery. Since it is rich in many
vital vitamins and minerals, jaggery boosts immunity, keeps the body warm,
helps treat cold and cough and controls the temperature of the body.
- Jaggery activates the digestive enzymes in
the body, stimulates bowel movements and thus helps prevent and relieve constipation.
- Jaggery, due to its richness in many essential
nutrients, is an effective natural treatment for menstrual problems, especially
providing relief from cramps.
- Jaggery is rich in iron and folate which
help prevent anaemia by ensuring that a normal level of red blood
cells is maintained. This is especially beneficial for pregnant women.
is surprisingly effective as an aid for weight loss.
I wish you all a very Happy Ganesh Chaturthi !!
May the Lord bless you and all your loved ones !!