Ganesh Chaturti (pg. 2)
Ganpati Bappa Morya And Belief Systems
(Also read Feedback from Gita on this Dal Sabzi)
It is that time of the year when Ganpati clears obstructions in our lives, on His way to our hearts and homes.
Ganpati is the symbol through which we will once again touch our spiritual Self.
Much has been written about the origin of Ganesha.
Most of us have heard of some popular beliefs. However there are much more versions.
Some Indians believe that once Shiva and Parvati donned the form of elephants, hence Ganesha was born to them, naturally with the face of an elephant!
Another legend claims that once Ganpati had an encounter with an Asura (demon) called Gajasura who had an elephant head.
The elephant head is symbolic of “Vydia’ (Knowledge that is required to understand Spiritual Truths)
Ganpati also put on the head of an elephant.
In the battle that ensued Ganpati broke his right tusk.
Ganpati has only one tusk. This signifies that ‘God and man are essentially One’ (Advait)
Ganpati’s massive body symbolizes ‘Creation’ and His stomach is symbolic of ‘Space’.
One always offers modaks as parsad to Ganesha because the latter loves them.
On one occasion while Ganesha went out on a stroll, a snake crossed His path and all the modaks fell out from His belly. Ganesha caught the snake and tied it around His waist.
The snake is symbolic of ‘Energy’
The moon witnessed the scene and burst out laughing. Ganesha cursed the moon saying that anyone who looked at the moon would undergo an unpleasant experience.
The distraught moon apologized. Ganesha gave in and proclaimed that the calamity would befall someone who looked at the moon on His birthday!
Somehow I believe that a lot of these stories have a symbolic meaning besides having an international appeal to the young and young at heart. I would not be surprised if the scientists discover that it is not beneficial to health to directly gaze at the moon the day that Ganesh was born!
The sages of yore believed thousand of years ago that one must not gaze at the sun on a solar eclipse and today science is endorsing the view!
Ganesha’s vehicle is the mouse.
It is believed that a demon changed his form into that of a mouse, Ganpati mounted it.
Symbolically The mouse is the master of the night. The night represents ignorance.
Lord Ganesh is not only worshipped in India but also abroad. I have read that in Jabbalpore Ganesh appears in a female form and At Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh the Lord appears as playing a flute. He is worshipped with 5 faces in Nepal and in a meditating pose in Java.
The other day I attended a workshop where I learned that one can create anything one wants, in ones life.
It is our ‘belief’ that becomes an obstacle.
Hence if one believes that one is not capable, or lovable or worthy, then one is not capable and lovable and worthy and vice-versa.
Change your belief system and your destiny changes.
It is true that one brings with oneself heavy duty things like parentage color of skin etc.
Some of these things is the destiny that one brought with oneself, but no one but yourself is coming in the way of happiness despite your so called obstacles!
‘Karma’ cannot be denied, but it is also a belief system, believe that you can change your destiny and you will!
Collective affirmations and prayers help. During the next 10 days, all Ganpati worshippers will believe that the obstacles to the fulfillment of their dreams are being removed.
So what is stopping us in joining in! And having all our wishes come true!
Feedback from Reader :
As usual, your articles, thoughts and explanations are so welcome and informative and I enjoy them immensely. I know you would be getting lots of mail telling you the same thing and your readership growing at an unbelievable rate. thank you sincerely for all your hard work.
The reason that prompted me to write was actually my ignorance of the meaning
of Modak. I am embarrassed to admit it but unless I swallow this pride I think I
am the only one that is actually missing out, so I decided to ask and also once I
have asked I hope you will consider ignorant people (ones that are not really
conversant in Hindi) and the second generation children who don't know Hindi at
all but have avidly read all the Amar Chitra Kathas in their childhood and heard
various stories at different times and are still somewhat interested most of all
in the symbolism. I am of course referring to my children and also in part to
their western/foreign counterparts. I believe it is the symbolism in our culture
that makes our religion a living one. I would like to maintain the little
interest my children still retain from their childhood and would like them to be
on your mailing list. I thought as a start I would fwd the articles that I think
they may be interested in. I wish I could send them an article such as this and
be able to explain the term "modak" but unfortunately I cant. so can
At least they know that Ganesh is the God with the elephants head, but they would never have noticed that he only has one tusk and rides a mouse. I hope these sort of details of symbolism help to keep their interest alive. Thanks to you this is possible for my children, me and lots of others I am sure.
God bless you in your endeavors.
Dal Sabzi for the Aatman
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