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Lord Ganesha


Lord Ganesha

Introduction:


Lord Ganesha is considered as the supreme deity amongst all the Hindu Gods and is the first to be worshipped during any auspicious event. He is known to be the most fulfilling God and is the remover of all obstacles. Blessings of Lord Ganesha are said to be the most powerful ones and the devotion of this marvelous deity does not stay within the Hindu boundaries, but extends to other religions like Jainism, Buddhism, etc. Lord Ganesha – the lord of all Ganas, followers of Shiva is the most recognized deity and is known as the Elephant-God.

Lord Ganesha is the eldest son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and the brother of Lord Kartikeya. He is the supreme Lord of power, wisdom and prosperity. He is the most intelligent of all Gods and is also invoked as the patron of learning during any writing session, loves art and He himself is an expert musician. The principal scriptures that describe the almighty in the correct form are Ganesha Purana, Mudgala Purana and Ganapathi Atharvashirsa.



Lord Ganesha and His appearance:

The story of Lord Ganesha's existence and his Elephant-headed form is quite enthralling. Devi Parvati often asked Nandi to guard the door while taking bath and asked him not to allow anyone pass through but Nandi being the supreme devotee of Lord Shiva wouldn't stop the Lord from entering. This is why Parvati infused life in the form of a little boy by rubbing dust and oil from her own body and christened him her son. The son of Devi guarded the door and did not even let Lord Shiva pass through the door. Enraged at the little boy's disobedience and unknown to who he was Lord Shiva in his rage fought the child. The boy fought bravely but in the process Shiva severed his neck.

Parvati, on seeing the severed body of Her son took the form of Kali and threatened to destroy the entire creation. To pacify her, Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva sent out the ganas to get the head of first creature they would find sleeping with the head turned towards north. The head of an elephant was found in this described manner and was instilled upon the body of the young boy. All the lords showered wishes upon the boy and Lord Shiva accepted him as his own son named him Lord Ganesha. It is said that during this event all the Gods unanimously blessed Lord Ganesha to be the first deity to be worshipped in any auspicious occasion.

Symbolism of Lord Ganesha's Form:

The lord's appearance has an underlying significance. His head symbolizes the soul whereas his human body signifies 'maya' which is associated with the earthly existence of human kind. The elephant head is the symbol of wisdom and the trunk is regarded as Om, the sound that is denoted as the denotation of this cosmic reality. The four arms of Lord Ganesha also have an underlying meaning where the upper right hand holds a goad used for blessing mankind on the right path. The noose on the left hand is a way to capture all obstacles away from the devotees. The broken tusk in the lower right hand is the sacrifice he made to write Mahabharata as a scribe and the rosary of the other hand is the symbol of knowledge. The large ears of the Lord are always open to head the devotees and the ladoo in the trunk denotes the satisfaction one gets from being one with the soul. There is a snake which covers the waist of Lord Ganesha and represents all the energies in the universe. The mushaka 'mouse' is the selected creature as the deity's vahana and denotes how humble he is to ride even the lowest creature.
Lord Ganesha's tale of Wisdom:

Once Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati arranged a contest between their two sons, Ganesha and Kartikeya. The prize for the winner was the divine fruit that has the knowledge of the world and immortality in it. According to the scriptures, the competition was to go around the whole world for three times and come back, whoever doing it first would be declared as the winner. Lord Kartikeya was quick and had a peacock as his ride. Lord Ganesha, knowing his size and Mushaka as his ride is a disadvantage on his end took three rounds around his parents. He then prayed and worshipped them stating that his parents are itself the symbol of world and won the contest.



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Various names of Lord Ganesha:

Lord Ganesha is prayed and worshipped by many names describing His stature. Few of the most famous names by which Lord Ganesha is worshipped –

Ganpati – The Lord of all lords
Sumukh – The Lord with a beautiful face
Vinayaka – The prominent Lord of all
Gajanana – The Elephant headed God
Ek Danta – The Lord with one tusk
Lambkarna – Long Eared God
Vigneshwara – Remover of all the obstacles

Worshipping Lord Ganesha with Mantra:

There are many mantras that are specifically written in the Vedas and Puranas to entice the Lord and bring blessings to the soul. The most important of them all is –

"Vakratunda Mahaakaaya Suryakotee Sama Prabha
Nirvighnam kuru mey Deva Sarva kaaryeshu Sarvadaa"

This Mantra helps in praising the Lord by saying – "O Lord Ganesha who has a large body, curved marvelous trunk and a brightness that supersedes even a million suns, please hear my plea and remove all the obstacles in my work."

Ganesha Gayatri Mantra –

Aum sri kaala svaroopaaya Vidmahe
Kaalaatheethaaya Dheemahi
Thanno kaala yoga shodasa ganapathi prachodayath

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