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The remover of obstacles, the Lord of wisdom and knowledge, Lord Ganesha embodies many virtues. All the artefacts that Lord Ganesha holds have a symbolic meaning. As mentioned in the Ganesha and the Mudgala Purana; the incarnations of Ganesha are born as Lord of Brahmans. By virtue of this he is believed to be the Lord of sages.
The philosophies advocated by the deities of Hindu culture appeals to one and all. The teachings advocated by Lord Ganesha are not just preached to act upon but also attained with rigorous meditation. Ganesha in his appearance and his various avatars has been shown to overcome vices such as greed, anger, jealousy and arrogance. These vices have appeared as demons in mythology and the twelve avatars of Ganesha were born to perish them.
Lord Ganesha embodies wisdom and over comes obstacles. It is this quality that makes him the God to worship before starting any major work. Riding on the mouse he symbolizes his triumph over ego and advocates his devotees to let go of the same. He bears the elephant head and the elephant is perhaps the most powerful animal. The mouse on the other hand is the animal that features lower in the food chain. A mighty God riding a humble mouse advocates the modest nature of one of the most powerful Gods.
These aspects of Lord Ganesha are quite well known. The other philosophies of Ganesha are subjective as well as objective in nature. The symbolism in the weapons he carries and also the artefacts have been scrutinized by many philosophers. This deity has dedicated religious texts in the Hindu religion that cite his philosophies to his devotees. The shankh (or the shell) calls Ganesha’s devotees and understand his teachings for implementation. This is seen in his hand.
Lord Ganesha’s philosophies are what the wise engage in to eradicate personal and collective suffering. The patron of arts and crafts also advocates the same. Lord Ganesha also preaches to his devotees to rise above material pleasures and preaches that religious belief requires submission to a specific discipline.
Lord Ganesha also represents AUM, an important mantra for Hindus. He is also the leader of the devotees of Lord Shiva. Both these characteristics advocate leading by example and humility. Lord Ganesha may be one of the most powerful Gods but Lord Ganesha’s humility teaches his devotees to not let arrogance rule them.
These aspects of Ganesha are the most subtle and do not require a level of intellect to decode them. These philosophies however require an extreme understanding and devotion to implement. Though menial in amount their implementation is certainly to be held in high regard. The triumph of Lord Ganesha over the vices is not an easy feat but it is the humility that makes his devotees worship him and try to follow his path.
The popularity of this deity is well established not just in India but world over. Being the most powerful God after Vishnu, Shiva and Parvati and Laxmi, the Lord of wisdom has been represented in many ways. There are certain attributes of Lord Ganesha that are common in the all the idols. From the ambivalent form in a temple in Tibet or the elaborate idol in a temple in Maharashtra, Lord Ganesha has universal attributes that is seen everywhere.
In his earliest depictions he was shown as a simple elephant that evolved into what we know today. In some depictions he has been shown with up to five heads and four to sixteen arms. Some idols also show him with eights hands. He is shown standing, sitting and even crawling (as a child) in his statues. The elephant head and the big round belly are characteristic of Lord Ganesha that remains unchanged. This distinctive feature is the reason two of Ganesha’s name was coined (Lambodara and Mahodara). Also, his mount or vehicle, the mouse, also remains unchanged in his depictions. Stories surrounding his elephant head may remain constant but his broken tusk has many myths. Some of the earlier depictions show Lord Ganesha holding his broken tusk.
The snake is also one of the most common features of Ganesha. The most popular depiction is the serpent wrapped around his belly as a belt. It is also seen coiled in his arms, around his neck or even around his head. Ganesha also bears the crescent moon on his forehead and even the third eye. Though he shares these features with his father Lord Shiva, it is still distinctive in his sculptures. Red is the colour often associated with Lord Ganesha and is believed to be his favourite. Perhaps this is the reason some of his idols are completely red in colour. The Ekdanta Ganesha and the meditating Ganesha is shown in blue.
Ganesha also holds his favourite sweet- the modaka, in his lower left hand. There are depictions of him holding a laddoo (another sweet) in his trunk. He also holds the rosary in his other hand. All these distinctive features hold a specific meaning. As mentioned, in his many idols Ganesha is shown with as many as 20 hands. Each hand holds an artefact. The modaka, the broken tusk, the rosary and the lotus are few of the common artefacts of Ganesha. He also holds an axe and a goad in his hands. Apart from Lord Ganesha’s countenance and the artefacts in his hands, the things around him also hold a meaning. His vehicle, a humble mouse, a bowl of fruits by his feet and the coconut, the pineapple and the mango as part of the basket also teach us significant lessons.
The elaborate depictions of Lord Ganesha are unique and have a lot to teach. The popularity and acceptance of Ganesha worldwide has a lot do with the way he looks. The Lord of wisdom perhaps has the ideal idol.
Lord Ganesha or Ganapati is undoubtedly the most loveable and worshipped deity in India and is worshipped as the lord of success, education, wisdom and wealth. He is the symbol of prosperity and blissfulness. He is the destroyer of all evil and cause of ultimate happiness. Lord Ganesha, with his elephantine head and curved trunk rides on a mouse and represents everything that is associated with both material and spiritual success and fulfilment. His pot belly signifies his power of accumulation and consumption – the basic principles of generating wealth and his single tusk shows the mono-directional path of his mind along with ability to sacrifice and withstand physical suffering without which no success can ever be achieved.
As per the Hindu rituals and traditions, Lord Ganapati is always the first god to receive an offering in any Hindu religious activity and even in temples for other gods he must be worshiped before the presiding deity of the temple. According to Hindu mythology Lord Ganesha acquired this distinctive position as a blessing from his father Shiva, compensating for slaying his original head. Every possible aspect about him is a lesson for success and a source of knowledge.
In his appearance,Ganesha is a perfect incarnation of wealth and happiness in life. His childish playfulness in spite of being the possessor of all the knowledge and wisdom is symbolic of the energy that is required for accumulating wealth. His choice of the rat as his vahana is also quite significant. The mouse is the greediest and relentless accumulator from the netherworld and stands for that greed and insatiable thirst for knowledge and wisdom. The rat is lying at his feet, which symbolizes that one must acquire wealth and success only through proper wisdom and by controlling our senses.
With proper knowledge and wisdom one can develop a sense that shows us the real meaning of success and wealth and it is only after realizing that success is nothing but maya or illusion that we can attain success. As the god of wealth, wisdom and success,Lord Ganesha not only directs us in the right direction and removes every obstacle that is there on our way but also makes us realize their true character and significance. And because of the blessing endowed upon him, it is impossible to attain any material or spiritual success nor is it possible to accumulate wisdom and wealth.
The authentic secrets that have made Ganesha the lord of wisdom and wealth are that of the ancient wisdom that has been the primary force behind the formation and evolution of the oldest religious faith on the planet.As the ever-blissful god in the Hindu mythology, Ganesha is the lord of auspiciousness and good luck who can dispel all the problems and obstacles from the path of life.
In every possible aspect regarding his physical appearance and in every legendor story associated with Ganesha there are secrets to learn. By learning the actual meaning and probable effect of those symbols on human life it is even possible for even an ordinary individual to improve his living condition by a considerable degree and attain the success that he has always wanted.
There is a profound and multi-layered symbolism in each and every part of the Ganesha idol. The big elephant head on his shoulders is the symbol of that eternal wisdom that is possible to achieve with the blessing of the god. But acquiring wisdom is never enough and a wise man must ride upon his senses so that wisdom can be used when it is necessary just like Ganesha and his mouse. Proper utilization of knowledge is more important than knowledge itself and is also the most important factor behind any success story.
In order to reach his goal and climb the ladder of success a man must be able to overcome his own personal ego and by selecting the rat as his vahana Ganesha shows his followers that one must tread beyond ego. Though the mouse is too small still it is the greediest of all animal and is a symbol of our senses that can never be satisfied. They always crave for new experiences and a wise man is always expected to keep them under control and overcome his greed.The mouse lying at the feet of the lord depicts his victory over his sensuous cravings.
Learn the symbolic secrets of lord Ganesha and you will need no other lesson for attaining success and glory. In order to be victorious you must first understand what victory actually stands for and also the obstacles that stand between you and your success.