Why Ganesha ?

We are often asked why we have a Ganesh.

With an elephant head and a round potbelly, Ganesha is perhaps the best known of the Hindu deities and is notably known as the “remover of obstacles”.
He also resides over the realms of wisdom, luck and writing.

Not surprisingly is the first god they turn to, in dire times.

Learn more about symbolic representation

Traditionally, any shubh karya (auspicious work or activity) in Hinduism is begun with an invocation to Lord Ganesh. This ritualistic practice is an indicator of the fact that Ganesh is the most popular of the numerous gods in the Hindu pantheon. It is not just thanks to his lovable image that appeals, but his devotees find a vast treasure trove of symbols and feel blessed when meditated on.

What He symbolises

  • His broad crown is an invitation to think big.
  • The tiny eyes speak of the importance of concentration and attention to detail for success in ones life journey.
  • One chief form of concentration is to listen to others more, and talk less. This is symbolised by the huge elephantine ears and small mouth he sports.
  • Ganesh has only one tusk, with the other broken off. This symbolises the importance of holding on only to the good and discarding the bad.
  • The trunk of Ganesh symbolises the importance of being efficient and adaptable in order to be successful in one’s ventures. The curvature is also said to represent the rising of the kundalini (spiritual energy at the base of the spine) powers.
  • His large tummy points to the necessity of digesting all that life has to offer—the good, the bad, and the ugly.
  • The abhaya mudra (gesture of fearlessness) of His lower right hand symbolises Ganesh’s blessings and protection on a person’s journey through life, especially the spiritual one.
  • In His upper right hand, Ganesh usually holds an axe, with which He is said to cut of all attachments.
  • He pulls the devotee nearer to the spiritual path by the rope that He carries in His upper left hand.
  • He offers rewards for penances (sadhana) done with the modak (type of confection, usually made from rice flour and a stuffing of jaggery, coconut, etc.) He holds in His lower left hand.
  • The bowls and baskets of offerings at Ganesh’s feet are there to symbolise that the entire world, and all its choicest pleasures, are out there for the taking.
  • Ganesh’s tiny pet and vehicle, his mouse, bowing down close by, is there to indicate that though a little desire is good, it is essential for one to master it. You have to ride your desires and not vice versa.

Other related meanings

The numerous stories of Ganesh, and love for his parents, Shiv and Parvati, are meant to teach that experience deserves respect, especially in the form of ones parents and guardians.
Ganesha is supposed to have two wives, Siddhi (success) and Riddhi (prosperity). The symbolism means that if one walks on the path set by Ganesh, success and prosperity are bound to be always by ones side.
It is difficult to miss the fact that Ganesh is one very unusual god. For one, devotees seem to find him the most approachable.
Is it because of his elephant head?
Is it because He is fat, not fit?
The devotion bestowed on Him despite His seeming imperfections may serve us a lesson—that of accepting others just as they are.

The physical attributes of Ganesha are themselves rich in symbolism

May his presence bring the studio and visitors alike his characterized blessings

Om Shanti Om

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