Ganesha- the Lord of wisdom and intellect is one among the foremost recognizable and well-known Hindu gods. He is considered to be the “First God” in Hindu mythology. He has the top of an elephant, an outsized pot belly and 4 arms. He travels on a mouse and his posture symbolizes several important elements to his followers.
Ganesha is the first-born son of Parvati and Shiva. However, he was not conceived by both his mother and father. His mother, Parvati, wanted children but her husband didn’t . Contrary to the tradition, Ganesha was born solely out of Parvati’s desire to become a mother.
His name are often weakened as follows. “Ga” symbolizes intellect, or Buddhi, while “Na” symbolizes wisdom. So, he is considered the god of intellect and wisdom by his followers. His full name springs from two Sanskrit words. “Isha” means Lord and “Gana” translates to group, making him God of the masses.
Legends and stories of Lord Ganesha
There are many legends about Ganesha that shows his power and importance . Here are a few that are still shared today.
Ganesha’s mother, Parvati, wanted a toddler but her husband didn’t . She decided to make a boy out of dirt and put him responsible of guarding her home.
When Shiva, her husband, returned to their home he was surprised that he was denied access to the house . He was angered and during a fit of rage beheaded the boy’s head from his body. Parvati was devastated and Shiva quickly realized his mistake.
He sent a gaggle to seek out the top of the first living creature they found that was sleeping. Eventually, they came across a sleeping elephant.
They removed the animal’s head and brought it back to Shiva. He attached it to the young boy’s body and revived him. He then made him the leader of the group and declared that the boy would be worshipped by everyone.
There is a second version of this tale that goes as follows.
Parvati gave birth to a son who was welcomed by all the gods and goddesses. Lord Shani, was at the celebration but refused to look at the kid .
Parvati asked him why he kept looking away and Lord Shani told her that his gaze is so powerful that it might harm the baby. Parvati didn’t believe him and insisted that he check out her child.
Lord Shani did as he was told and therefore the child’s head was instantly severed from his body. The gods were determined to resolve the matter and located the top of a young elephant to connect to the newborn and thus Ganesha was revived.
Lord Ganesha and Moon God
One of the more playful stories of Ganesha tells the story of how the moon got cursed.
Ganesha enjoyed eating, especially sweet treats. He never refused anything delicious and it often got him into trouble. Ganesha’s devotee once offered him a feast and therefore the god stayed for the whole day, eating his share of food.
He was ready to go home during the evening but not before taking everything that was left on the table for him. He was slowly walking home, doing his best to balance the treats he took with him, when he stumbled and fell to the bottom .
Everything he was carrying scattered and he tore his clothing.
He was embarrassed but quickly began to collect the food back in his arms. He looked around to ascertain if anyone noticed his fall and saw that the moon was high within the sky and looking down on him.
Chandra Deva, the moon, had seen the whole event. The moon always appeared full at this point and Chandra Deva thought of himself to be very attractive.
He began to tease Ganesha and wiped tears faraway from his eyes rather than helping the god and ensuring that he was okay.
Ganesha was now annoyed and embarrassed and cursed the moon, telling him that he would disappear from the sky and never show his face again.
Chandra Deva immediately stopped laughing and panicked. He thought the punishment was too harsh and begged Ganesha to change his mind.
Ganesha couldn’t take back the curse but he could lessen its severity. Instead, he told the moon that rather than remaining full all month, he would start full then slowly disappear and again reappear. Chandra Deva was thankful for the smaller punishment and apologized to Ganesha.
Ganesha is the the son of Shiva and Parvati. He has one sibling named Kartikeya. Some stories say that he was celibate as a tribute to his mother while other tales say that he was married to Buddhi and Siddhi, the daughters of Brahma.
Each part of Ganesha’s body has its own significance and value
His elephant head is claimed to represent intelligence, discriminative power and fidelity. The broken tusk shows his ability to beat dualism. His oversized ears signify wisdom and his ability to concentrate to those who seeks help. They also shows that how important listening is when it involves discussing ideas and thoughts.
Ganesha’s curved trunk represents intellectual potential while the Trishula depicted on his forehead symbolizes all aspects of your time (past, present and future). His pot belly holds infinite universes while signifying nature and equanimity. He is ready to consume the sorrows of the planet and protect it from harm.
Ganesha has four arms (sometimes more, counting on the artistic representation) which are said to represent the inner attributes of the body. One symbolizes the mind, one symbolizes intellect and therefore the third symbolizes ego. The fourth arm symbolizes conscience.
Because Ganesha’s body may be a copy of the outline found within the Devanagari letter indicated within the Bija Mantra, he’s considered to be the incarnation of all the Cosmos. This is often why he’s so important to the Hindu religion, as he symbolizes nearly everything important to humans.
Ganesha is usually tied to the symbology of his body but there are another symbols related to the deity. The mouse that he rides on represents his humbleness and his ability to use each area of the mind. The Prasad near his feat symbolizes both sharing and giving. He also holds an axe to remind us to get rid of materialistic attachments.