Ganapati ji looked really worried. Narada saw this and asked, “Prabhu, why are You so worried? Is everything ok?” Gajanana looked at Narada and said, “Arrey Narada Muni, what should I do with these Hindus in Bharatvarsha? Every year they welcome me and do Puja to me with so much love that I feel like blessing them. But…” “But what?” asked Narada.

“Narada I wish that Hindus understood that protecting Dharma is very important, especially if they want to protect their own Nation and their own identity. You know Narada, Bharat is not just a piece of land on earth. It is the nourisher of Dharma. You roam all over the world … tell me another place where birds, trees, water bodies, animals, the five elements, children, the feminine element, everything is worshiped.” Narada thought for a minute and said, “You are correct, this happens only in Bharat or any place where a Bharatiya lives. Almost everywhere else, humans and material things are given more importance. Of course, there are exceptions everywhere.”

“So what is the problem with blessing those who worship You Balachandra?” Narada asked. Ganapati looked at His bhaktas from His Loka and said, “When the time for asking for a blessing comes, they ask for anything and everything, but not for protection of Dharma. See that group of people over there? They are almost about to finish their Puja and are going to ask for a blessing … see what happens.”

Some 100 people had gathered in the Pandal and were praying sincerely to Ganesha. It was the last day of the Ganesha Festival … it was Anantha Chaturdashi. Soon they were going to immerse the Ganapati Vigraha in the sea. It was also the day of Moharram. One community was taking out a procession in remembrance of their martyrs. The police had given permission this year for both processions (Ganesh Visarjan & Moharram) to be carried out, because they had been assured that both Hindus & Muslims would take out peaceful processions.

Out of nowhere a big group of another sect of Muslims landed up and all of a sudden a fight broke out between the two communities. Here, in the Ganesh Pandal, the Pujari had just finished the Aarti and he and the other Bhaktas were getting disturbed by the noise outside. They all raised their hands together and prayed, “Hey Prabhu, look at the two brothers fighting with each other outside. Bless them that they stop fighting with each other and unite.” In His Loka ParvatiNandana looked at Narada Muni and said, “See, I told you, they don’t ask for protection of their own Dharma …”

Narada Muni smiled and said, “But Prabhu, You are Sarveshwar. You are KripaSindhu. Should you not bless the Muslims too? Are they not Your children too?” Ganapati smiled and said, “Narada, don’t act oversmart. They are my children too and I bless without being asked for a blessing. I love all as one and I don’t force anyone to pray to me either. Humans have endless needs and most of them pray to me only for fulfilling their needs, not out of total adoration to me. Everyone prays to their own Isht Devta and the Isht Devta blesses them. But what should be done if followers of another Isht Devta seek to obliterate my devotees? Should my devotees not understand this and ask me for protection of their own Dharma? How do I make them understand?”

Narada smiled and said, “You have no option now but to accept their prayers this year. Let’s hope that what happens after that teaches them a lesson for the future.” Ganesha sighed and blessed His devotees.

Down on earth, the fight between the two sects of Muslims stopped suddenly and they apologized to each other. The Hindus who saw this felt happy that their prayers had been answered and they blew conch shells, banged the cymbals and beat the drums very loudly. The non-Hindus got disturbed by all the noise and the Shias felt insulted that on such a sad occasion, the Hindus were celebrating. The Sunnis who hated this form of worship anyway got equally incensed. Both of them got together and unitedly beat up the Hindus in the Ganesh Pandal. A riot ensued, people were killed and next day, the Newspapers carried the headlines, “Insulting celebrations by the Majority community causes death of 10 Minorities. Total dead in the clashes could be more.”

Ganesha walked sadly towards His Mother … soon it would be time for Her to descend to Bharatvarsha during Navratri …

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