Baskaran Pillai : Sep 1, 2011, 12.01am IST – Times of India
Ganesha is a Universal god. There is not a single village or city in India without Ganesha’s statue sitting somewhere in a street corner or under a tree. Elephant deities are also commonplace in China, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil and Mexico. There is a Ganesha rock in Sedona, which indigenous Americans call ‘elephant’ rock.
However, Ganesha is not an ‘exalted’ deity. In most temples in India, he is represented as the doorkeeper. What this means is that he is the guard and hence he is close to human beings.
Ganesha is associated with the root or mooladhara chakra in the subtle body. This is the first energy centre and represents the earth element, providing a solid foundation for material life. That’s why Ganesha is the first god to be worshipped. Praying to Ganesha is believed to bring stability, enabling one to proceed with higher goals in life.
Yogis recommend seeking Ganesha’s blessings before embarking on a venture. Ganesha is known as Vignaraja, the one who rules over obstacles. He represents the energy that controls and removes obstacles. How does he do that? He has special intelligence, siddhi and buddhi, a fine sense of discrimination. These are presented as his consorts.
Ganesha is depicted with an elephant face and prominent ears. Elephants can process infra sound waves (below 20 Hertz). This allows them to sense danger and leave a place before the occurrence of natural disasters such as tsunamis and earthquakes.
‘Gam’ is the beej or seed mantra for Ganesha. In Tamil, there is a saying “Gammunu iru”, which translates as ‘Be still through Gam’. By chanting the mantra you can connect with inner silence and find solutions. It is common to see people tapping their temples with their knuckles when visiting a Ganesha shrine. This activates the frontal lobes, enhancing rational intelligence.
Ganesha symbolises quick thinking and effortless accomplishment. Once Ganesha entered into a competition with his brother Muruga (Kartik) and both of them decided to go around the universe. While Muruga undertook the journey on a peacock, Ganesha simply circumambulated his parents, Shiva and Parvati, and won the fruit of knowledge from them.
Once Ganesha wanted to know the most powerful sacrifice in the world. His father Shiva said, “You have to find out the most powerful person and sacrifice him.” Ganesha asked, “Aren’t you the most powerful person on earth? Shall I sacrifice you?” Shiva was startled, so he gave Ganesha a shortcut, “Whoever sacrifices a coconut is sacrificing Me, and this is the highest sacrifice.”
The three eyes of a coconut are said to correspond to the three-eyed Shiva. When you circle the coconut around your head, it energetically absorbs the lower vibrations in your aura. When smashed, the energy holding back your progress is forcefully disseminated. Breaking coconuts before Ganesha is a symbolic act of sacrificing one’s own life for renewal.
Talking about renewal, from today ( Ganesh Chaturthi) onwards Ganesha himself is being renewed. According to the Hindu calendar, time is cyclical in nature. Every 60 years, Ganesha is known to appear in a different form. The Ganesha who is going to be active in times to come will be the Naramukha or human-headed Ganesha!