The most loved god

Lord Ganapathi is described as a playful, roly-poly God. The ‘Primal Lord’ has been eulogised in Vedas, too.

His form is mesmerisingly mystique; his huge form is a symbol of stability and poise; his elephant head represents  great intellect and memory power.

His broken tusk is a sign of his prowess in penmanship – how he had used the other piece of tusk to write down Mahabharata, as it was being dictated by Ved Vyas. His curved trunk, ‘vakra tunda’, symbolises pranava – the holy syllable ‘Aum’.

Ganapathi  is the God who gave a message to the worlds that there is nothing beyond respecting and loving one’s parents. He attained a great status of being crowned as ‘Gana adhipathi’, because he circumambulated around his parents Lord Shiva and Parvathi, taking them as the Universe, to win a contest with his brother Shanmukha.

Ganapathi is the deity to whom the first obeisance and salutation must be offered to ward off any hurdle or obstacle, as he is ‘Vighnadhipathi’, the one who can cause hindrances  and also effectively remove them , because he is in charge of them.

He creates hurdles and great obstructions to evil forces when they want to act, but he removes hurdles and difficulties of his devotees. So, without invoking his grace, nobody does anything  auspicious and important.

For performing any ritual or to worship God, we must follow a definite procedure, which is called ‘kalpa,’ which means ‘the science which proclaims in a clear manner the procedure to conduct any ritual’.

The relevant mantra, tantra, yantra, stotra and seed-letters, ‘bija aksharas’, of the deity to be worshipped will all be written in words. The deity presiding over these letters and words is ‘Ganapathi’. Hence, he is the deity to be revered for good education, wisdom and academic excellence.

His abdomen which is very large, ‘Lambodara’, is a cornucopia of syllables, and he is the controller of letters. He is called ‘Akshaya Kukshi’ – one with a belly with infinite knowledge. In Sanskrit ‘nai’ means ‘lead’, nayaka means one who leads – Ganapathi, dividing the ‘akshara’ soldiers into word groups will make the flow of sentences march ahead. He has great ability to lead, so, if one wants oratorical scholarly command, one must pray to Ganapathi.

Ganapathi’s mount or vehicle is the mouse. So, he is called ‘Mushika Vahana’. The Sanskrit word ‘mush’ has various meanings such as theft, cunningness and fraud and so the meaning of the word ‘Mushkura’ is thief. The rodent, which is rare to our sight but stays hidden in our house to steal rice and cereals, is called ‘Mushika’. Physically it can steal material stuff, but the vast knowledge of Ganapathi’s devotees’ wisdom cannot be stolen by this rat, since it is under his control as his vehicle.

 He is worshipped in different milieu, in different forms, made with many materials – a small lump of turmeric shaped into a small triangle also represents him; humongous  idols and images represent him. He is worshipped in eight manifestations as  ‘Ashta Vinayaka’.

He is prayed to as a deity of 32 auspicious forms; he is the most loved Lord, most worshipped Lord. Ganesha, the all pervading, appears in temples, in houses, in streets, in workplaces and is invoked everywhere by devotees with utmost fervour and faith.

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