Ganesha, most popular deity

This spiritual tradition is deeply and profoundly symbolic. Our traditions speak of three hundred and thirty gods and goddesses but this merely affirms the truth that the forms are multiple but the reality is only one. That the supreme being can be worshipped in any form is central to Sanatana Dharma.

Lord Ganesha is easily the most widely worshipped deity of the Hindu pantheon. He is the Lord of all beginnings. The first prayer is to him. He is the Lord of all scribes. He was the scribe of the famous Mahabharata. He is the Remover of Obstacles. He is otherwise known Vijneshwara (eliminates difficulties), Ganapathi (Lord of the Ganas), Vinayaka (the most reputed leader), Gajaanana (elephant faced), Lambodara (pot-bellied) and Ekdanta (he with a single tusk). Before embarking on any important activity, invoking Lord Ganesha’s blessings is highly recommended.

His large head represents wisdom, discrimination and understanding. Elder son of Lord Shiva, (the younger son is known as Karthikeya), he has two wives called Siddhi (success) and Ridhi (prosperity). He is the patron of letters.

His large ears indicate the powers of listening attentively. The small eyes point to concentration. The big head refers to big ideas and the need to think big. The axe is the weapon to cut needless attachments. The rope pulls you to the noble goal of self realization. The small mouth is a signal to be prudent in speech. The short legs demonstrate patience.

The trunk denotes adaptability and flexibility. His four arms depict the control over the mind, happiness, restraining the indriyas and divine blessings respectively. The large stomach represents his capacity to digest all duality: good and bad. The modak represents the fruits of spiritual practice and the mouse represents restlessness caused by desire and the need to bring it under control.

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha. He is the presiding deity of consciousness and inner awakening. The significance of this sacred festival lies in bringing inner reality to the fore, awaken ourselves to the divine principle present within us and make us aware of its omniscience.

 On this day Lord Ganesha bestows his blessings to all those who seek it. His Grace translates as wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. Obstacles are removed, way is paved for a higher consciousness to prevail.

Lord Ganesha is said to be easiest of deities to please. If he is worshipped with sincerity, love and devotion, he is reputed to immediately respond to the needs of his devotees.

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