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How Ganesha came to be known as “The Lord of Peacocks”


Aniruddha Joshi “Shatayu”

In the 16th century there was a person called Morya Gosawi in a settlement called Morgaon in Pune. His parents (Vamana Bhat and Parvati Bai) had shifted from Karnataka to Maharashtra. Vamana Bhat hailed from Ganapatya sect. Hinduism is divided into four sects. Of these Shaiva and Vaishnava are well known and Shakta and Ganapatya are slightly lesser known. As it can be guessed by names, these sects are worshipers of Shiva, Vishnu, Shakti and Ganpati respectively. Ganpatyas are more populated in Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka. They believe that Ganesha is the supreme power and they cite the legend of Tripurasaura-vadh, where Shiva, in spite of being a father, had worshipped Ganesha before the battle.

Morgaon had been the epicenter of Ganpatyas over the period of time. There was a reason for Vamana Bhat and Parvati Bai to shift to Morgaon of all places. But why Morgaon was called Morgaon in the first place? Morgaon literally means : “Village of peacocks.” This place was full of peacocks. The Ganesha idol at the village was also called Mayureshwara which stands for “The Lord of the Peacocks.” There were seven more such places, where Ganesha-idol was worshipped : Theur, Siddhateka, Ranjangaon, Ojhar, Lenyadri, Mahad and Pali. There are called eight places for “Ashtavinayaka”.

According to Ganesha-Purana, Ganesha had ridden onto a peacock to kill a Danava called Sindhu. In Morgaon the same Mayureshwara avtara can be seen, who is also called Moreshwara. It is also said that only after worshipping Moreshwara, Vamana and Parvati were blessed with a baby boy. They named him Morya. Morya was a Ganesha devotee from his childhood. He even went to Theur and rigorously worshipped Ganesha, so much that he actually felt the divine presence of His. From then on he was called Moroba Gosawi or simply Morya.

Moroba deeply studied Veda-Vedanga, Purana, Upnishads. He made an Ashrama for himself in Chinchawad near Pawana river of Pune. Legend has it that even Samarth Ramadasa and Sant Tukarama used to pay visit to him in his Ashrama. Samartha Ramadasa had written his famous Ganpati Vandana “Sukhkarta-dukhharta Varta Vighnachi” in this very Chinchawad ashrama. The festival of Ganesha Chaturthi is ceremoniously celebrated at the Morgaon Ganesha temple even since the times of Morya. Moreshwara is also the first departure point of Ashtavinayaka Yatra.

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