Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai was very famous sweet trader of the past era. He was a very virtuous and righteous man. Shri Datta Mandir placed in Budhwar Peth, Pune was their residential Building. During those times in the outbreak of plague Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai lost his son. Due to this episode he himself and his wife were very depressed and disturbed. During the same time his Guruji Shri. Madhavnath Maharaj consoled him and advised him to make two idols of God - Shri. Datta Maharaj and Shri. Ganpati - and asked him to worship them and to take care of them like his own son. In future, just as offspring brings radiance to his father's name these idols would do the same for him. And as per his Guruji's advice he made two idols of Shri Datta Maharaj and Shri Ganpati, and this very idol is the first idol, now this idol is placed in Aakara Maruti Temple, Shukrawar Peth, this idol is worshiped everyday with detailed rituals and rites. Lokmanya Tilak instilled this idol.
There is an interesting story attached to the celebrations of festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak who played important role in fighting for freedom for India, was a good friend of Dagdusheth Halwai who later became a wealthy businessman. He initiated the public celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi so that people can come together and unite against the British. Before this initiative people use to celebrate this festival in their homes only as public gathering was prohibited at that time by the order of British.
Dimensions: 1.5 inches (H) x 1.5 inches (W) approx
Weight: 35gms approx
Importance of Idol worship: Idols are not the idle fancies of sculptors, but shining channels through which the heart of the devotee is attracted to and flows towards God. Though the image is worshipped, the devotee feels the presence of the Lord in it and pours out his devotion unto it. Regular worship, Puja and other modes of demonstrating our inner feeling of recognition of Divinity in the idol unveils the Divinity latent in it. This is truly a wonder and a miracle. The picture comes to life. The idol speaks. It will answer your questions and solve your problems. The God in you has the power to awaken the latent Divinity in the idol. The lives of Mirabai, Sant Tukaram, Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Shri Yogananda are a few instances to prove the point. They proved beyond doubt that idol worship has its own brighter side and through simple faith and intense devotion one can realize God through it.
Idols are the "finite representation of the Infinite". As per Vishnu Samhita (ch 29, v 55-7), persuasively endorses the use of imagery (idols) and puts it: "Without a form how can God be mediated upon? If (He is) without any form, where will the mind fix itself? When there is nothing for the mind to attach itself to, it will slip away from meditation or will glide into a state of slumber. Therefore the wise will meditate on some form, remembering, however, that the form is a superimposition and not a reality.