- Sep 4, 2010
http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=3352Om Gam Ganapatye Namaha,
Jai Shree Krishna
On this auspicious day, many in the Hindu
world are celebrating
GaNesa-caturti, the grand festival to
remember Lord GaNeSa, the most
universal of all divine manifestations
in our tradition.
There are several explanations for the
name of this most beloved of divine
One etymology is from gaNa: a class of
minor deities which are at the
service of Lord Siva + ISa: the God.
Thus, GaNeSa is the chief of the
gaNas. There is a verse in the Rig Veda
(II.31.1) with the line:
gaNAnAm tvA gaNapatim: Of the gaNas you
are the Lord.
The word gaNa also stands for class,
set, or category. From this point of
view the name GaNeSa means the God of
the categories. In mathematical terms
we may look upon GaNeSa as the Set of
The Sanskrit root gaN also refers to
counting, numbering, enumerating. Thus,
gaNitaSAstra means mathematics. This
makes GaNeSa the Lord of Numbers.
Since categorization and numbering are both characteristics of the
intellect, GaNeSa is also considered to be the supreme principle governing
our intellectual grasp of the world, the basis of all the fundamental
categories in terms of which we reckon the world.
GaNeSa is also known as GajAnanA: Elaphant-faced. According to another
interpretation, the word gaja is also to be seen as a combination of ga
(goal) + ja (origin), so that gaja stands for that which includes the
beginning and the end. GaNeSa's face thus represents the entirety of the
GaNeSa is represented by a form that has a human body, except for four arms
(catur bhuja), and the face of an elephant (GajAnana). The pleasant
elephantine face has a single tusk (Ekadanta) and a twisted trunk
(VakratuNda). GaNeSa's vehicle (vAhana) is a mouse (mUshakA). His favorite
food is said to be a sweet concoction with coconut, covered by a white
insipid coating of flour, called modaka, which he often holds in one hand.
He is generally shown as wearing a white robe.
There is deeper esoteric significance in the representational aspect of Lord
The face of the elephant is huge compared to human faces. It therefore
represents the divine. The human body is small compared to divine reality.
By combining the two elements in one body, the figure may be understood
as representing the link between the human and the divine. The
imperceptible continuity in the figure between the two aspects suggests a
similar connection between humans and the Divine. If humans seek communion
with the divine, we need the assistance of this linking principle. That is
why practically all Hindu worship services, at home and in the temple, at a
consecration or in the performance of a rite, begin with an invocation to
Lord GaNeSa: aum Sri GaNeSAya namah.
The grand elephant, if it stands on our path, can easily block our way, but
it can itself walk through thick jungles, sweeping away any hurdle that may
come its way. For this reason GaNeSa is also regarded as the god of
obstacles, (vighneSvara), as one who removes or destroys hurdles
(vighnavinAsa), and as the embodiment of boon-giver too: varadmUrti.
The twisted trunk is said to remind us that the path to higher truths is
never straight or direct, and the single-tusk is to remind us of the Oneness
behind multiplicity. As for the modaka, this is sweet inside as the inner
soul, while its white shell is like the gross physical body surrounding the
soul. Even GaneSa's mouse has been given a meaning: This creature is
regarded as a thief that steals away things, indifferent to whether these
are good or bad. Likewise, the inner spirit experiencing everything, is
itself indifferent to their intrinsic virtues or lack thereof.
GaneSa's wide ears which are like winnows are meant to say that he dusts
away the irrelevant words addressed to him.
In the PurANic realm, Lord GaNeSa is the first-born of Lord Siva and
PArvatI. So he is also called SivasutA (Son of Siva). The origin of Lord
GaNeSa's face is presented in the BrahmaVaivarta PurANa, the MAtsya PurANa,
The Siva PurANa The VarAha PurANa and the Skanda PurANas through different
Each of these is interesting in itself, and one may even detect hidden
meanings in them. Their impressive diversity reveals to us that we can grasp
the nature of the Divine only in symbolic terms, and even that grasp can
only be partial. We are, one and all, like the six blind men who imagined
the elephant from the inklings of perception each could get.
We of the Hindu tradition may justly rejoice that there is such richness,
poetry and depth of vision in our religious framework.
May we pay our homage today to this most magnificent principle in the Hindu
yaa and one more thing.. people must do it decently ...Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to all!
But the thing which I hate most is that people celebrate it on the main roads, Chowk, Muhallas, traffic jams, noise pollution through loudspeakers govt should specify grounds where they can put Ganesh idols and worship it without disturbing others.