Know About Ganesha
What do we really know about Ganesha? We chant his name prior to any important work or prayer, he is bestowed with a head of an elephant, and is often portrayed with having a large belly and not a taut mid riff like other Indian Gods.
But the very fact is that these unique body parts describe Ganesha’s character and therefore the qualities that humans should adopt for spiritual growth. An elephant has the power to uproot strong trees and even pick a fine blade of grass. Therefore, Ganesha’s trunk symbolizes that a wise being has the power to be strong also as skilled to spot good from bad very similar to the white swan which may segregate milk from water.
His large ears mean that he listens to the prayers of every single person devoted to him.
His four hands too have a tremendous meaning attached to them. His lotus bearing hand symbolizes enlightenment. Another hand that holds a hatchet symbolizes that enlightenment cuts off all bonds of attachment with the wonderful world. The third hand carries sweets which signifies the sweet gains reaped by practicing good deeds. As Bhagwadgita makes it clear that an individual should focus on the karma and not the fruits of it, Ganesha is never shown enjoying the dessert he holds in his hands, thereby making it clear that he is not attached to the result of his good deeds. His fourth hand is seen in an ‘Aashirwad Mudra‘ or the blessing hand.
This means that a perfect person always wishes for societal well-being. Ganesha is also depicted with his one foot down on ground and the other one resting on his knee. This symbolizes that the enlightened person lives on earth with no attachment to material life.
The reason why Ganesha rides the back of a rat ‘known as The Mushak Maharaj‘ is because rat stands for greed and the mind of a wise being should control his senses instead of getting controlled by them. a perfect person should master his senses to enjoy a wholesome existence is the message Ganesha gives. An individual embodying such qualities becomes the near and dear of the Supreme God — Shiva and Parvati — the parents of the Universe and of course, our dear deity Ganesha.
Photography by Kriti Bhargava