About Lord Ganesh

Lord Ganesh is a God of Hindus with the head of an elephant. He is the son of God Shiva and Goddess Parvati. He is worshipped as one of the five chief divine deities according to Hindu mythology. The other four are Bramha, Vishnu, Shiva and Durga. He is the God of success and the demolisher of ills, impurities, evils, hindrances and all negative forces. Lord Ganesh is also the God of wisdom, knowledge, prosperity and wealth.Sri Ganesh/Lord Ganesh

Lord Ganesh has the head of an elephant. He is generally seen with his trunk curved. His elephantine ears are naturally large and he has a body of a human being with a big round pot belly. His elephant head is the symbol of the soul (Atman) the supreme truth of our existence. His body symbolizes the earthly longings (Maya) of human existence. His elephant head also signifies wisdom with his trunk curved in consonance with the cosmic resonance pronounced as OM. He has four arms. The Lord’s upper right hand is shown holding a goad to guide humankind on the right path by eradicating all forms of hindrances. The upper left hand sports a noose in order to arrest all forms of problems difficulties that we face in day to day lives. His lower right hand delicately holds his broken tusk signifying sacrifice. It also represents a writing tool that helped him author the epic Mahabharata. It is said he broke one of his tusks to use it for this literary purpose. The lower left hand is ornamented with a rosary which represents he eternal quest of knowledge and wisdom. A Laddoo (a round sweet delicacy) his trunk carries asks us to find the sweet truth of the soul. His elephantine ears suggest he is all ears to our prayers. His humility even though he is God shows in his choice of the modest mouse as his vehicle.

One popular depiction about how Lord Ganesh was born and got an elephant head goes like this. His mother Goddess Parvati sculpted him with her body dirt while she was bathing and asked him to stand guard in front of her bathing place. When her husband Lord Shiva returned, he was refused entrance by this stranger he did not recognize as his son. Outraged with not being allowed inside his own house, he chopped off Ganesh’s head in rage. On seeing her beheaded child, Goddess Parvati became inconsolable with grief. Realizing his folly, Lord Shiva ordered his troops (Gana) to fetch the head of anyone facing the north direction in sleep. The troops discovered an elephant in that position, and got its head to their Lord. The animal’s head was fixed on the body of the child. Lord Shiva restored his life with his powers. He was named Ganapati (Pati means leader), leader of the troops and was blessed by Lord Shiva.

Lord Ganesh is the first God who is offered prayers first before any auspicious occasion, task or religious ceremony. Among all sectarian beliefs in Hinduism, Lord Ganesh is the common religious thread that binds one and all in faith.