Shri Ganesha

Lord Ganesha - Demolisher of Obstacles

Lord Ganesha is also known as Vighnaharta ( Remover of Obstacles ) and is worshipped first before any auspicious ritual or ocassion. He is ever-blissful and is lovingly worshipped by millions of people worldwide. The son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, Shree Ganesha, is the God of good luck and auspiciousness and is the dispeller of problems and obstacles. We worship Lord Ganesha with green grass called "Darbha". Lord Ganesha is said to be the form of Omkara. In Om, the upper arc is said to be the face of Lord Ganesha. The lower arc is his belly. The twisted arc which is on the right side of the Om is his trunk. Thus Omkara represents the complete physical form of Lord Ganesha. As every recital starts with an Omkara, all rituals too start only after praying Lord Ganesha, otherwise it is believed that the ritual does not reach to a logical end. The word Ganesha is made up of Gana (people) and Isha (lord). Hindus worship Lord Ganesha with various other names like Vignaharta, Ashtavinayaka, Ekadanta, Gajanana, Vakratunda and Ganpathi.

Om Gang Ganpatye Namaha
This is Lord Ganesha's Mantra which is very Divine and has great Powers
Birth of Lord Ganesha :

Lord Ganesha was born on the fourth day after the Amavasya in the month of Bhadrapada. The birth of Lord Ganesha is in Hastha Nakshatra and Kanya Rashi. The Indian Scriptures says that Lord Ganesha was created by the Goddess Parvati as a guardian to her privacy. The story of the birth of the Lord Ganesha, as described in Shiva Purana, goes like this:-Once Goddess Parvati, while bathing, created an idol of a boy out of the dirt of her body, declaring him to be her own son. He was named as Ganesha. She instructed Lord Ganesha to guard the cave where she was taking bath. Soon after that Lord Shiva came to meet Goddess Parvati, but Ganesha blocked his way and did not allow Lord Shiva to enter the Parvati-Kaksha. Lord Shiva, who was unaware about the fact that this boy was his very own son, got furious and decided to fight with Ganesha. In his divine fury, Lord Shiva cut the head of Lord Ganesha from his body. When Goddess Parvati learned of this, she was so enraged and insulted that in aggrieved anguish she decided to destroy the entire creation. Lord Shiva, by now realized his mistake and agreed to bring back Ganesha’s life. He sent out his Ganas and other Devtas to bring the head of the first living being from the north direction. They soon returned with the head of strong and powerful elephant. Lord Shiva placed the head onto Ganesha’s body. Breathing new life into him, he declared Ganesha to be his own son as well, and gave him the status of being foremost among the Gods.

Significance of Lord Ganesha's form : The portrayal of Lord Ganesha is the blend of human and animal parts, and symbolizes the ideals of perfection as described by Hindu sages and illustrates some philosophical concepts of profound spiritual significance :The very first thing we see in Lord Ganesha is his trunk which is an elephant’s trunk & has the ability to uproot a tree and yet can lift a needle off the ground.The next thing we see are the large ears and wide mouth. The large head of Lord Ganesha symbolizes wisdom and understanding. The large ears signify that every human being should possess a great quality to listen to others.Ganesha has been shown with one tusk while the other one is broken. The two tusks denote the two aspects of human personality, wisdom and emotion. The right tusk represents wisdom and the left tusk represents emotion. The broken left tusk conveys the idea that one must conquer emotions with wisdom to attain perfection.The elephant eyes are said to possess natural intensity that allows them to perceive objects to be bigger than what they really are.Lord Ganesha has four hands and each of his hand symbolizes different meanings. It also indicates that the god is omnipresent and omnipotent. A hatchet in the upper left hand and a lotus in the upper right hand signify that in order to attain spiritual perfection, one should cut worldly attachments and conquer emotions.Lord Ganesha has a big belly which signifies that a person should be capable of keeping all the pleasant & unpleasant experiences of the world within himself.The right foot dangling over the left foot illustrates that in order to live a successful life one should utilize knowledge and wisdom to overcome emotions.Lord Ganesha is shown sitting on the rat. This rat is the symbol of our senses, which are never satisfied like a rat who never gets satisfied and keeps on nibbling everything. Similarly our senses always crave for new things & a wise man should control his senses like Lord Ganesha.And finally when we chant "Om Ganeshay Namaha" before starting anything, we tell ourselves that whatever we do, let our wisdom take over us. Thus in a nut-shell, Lord Ganesha, the symbol of wisdom in our life is a part of ourselves only.

Puja of various forms of Lord Ganesha & Benefits gained by this puja :

Mantra for Lord Ganesha : "Vakratunndd Mahakaya Suryakoti Samah Prabha, Nirvighnam Kurumedev, Sarva Karyeshu Sarvada"This means :- O Lord Ganesha of large body, curved trunk, with a brilliance of million Suns, please make my work always free of obstacles.

Sphatik (Crystal ) Ganpati : Crystal Ganesha idol harmonize the aura around us and remove the negative energy. Therefore when we place this crystal Ganesha ji in our house or office, the place is purified by the power of crystal and the blessings of Lord Ganesha are attained.

Shwetarak Ganpati : Shwetarak Ganpati is one of the rarest and sacred form of Lord Ganesha. In our shastra, it is laid down that in any house where white (Shwetarak) Ganapati is present, the house remains free from all evils and the residents are blessed with immense wealth. Establish the idol of Shwetark Ganesha in the East direction of the house, on a Red cloth and he should be worshipped with Red flowers, Red sandalwood and Urad dal. Chant the following mantra while offering your prayers to the Lord, "Om Vakratundaya Hum" with full devotion & faith.

Ganesha Rudraksha : This kind of Rudraksha bears trunk like elevation as is seen on the face of Lord Ganesha. Therefore it is called Ganesha Rudraksha. This Rudraksha represents Lord Ganesha. This Rudraksha has a natural protrusion similar to the trunk of Lord Ganesha. When invoked, it blesses the wearer with progress and lessens the obstacles in the wearer’s path. It is beneficial for students who want to achieve great success in their career.

Festival Related to Lord Ganesha - GANESH CHATURTHI :

GANESH CHATURTHI is the Hindu festival celebrated on the birthday ( Rebirth ) of Lord Ganesha - the Son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.Ganesh Chaturthi is a magnificent festival, honoring the birth of Lord Ganesha. According to Hindu calendar, Ganesh Chaturthi is observed in the month of Bhaadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (4th day of the waxing moon). The date usually falls between 19th August & 20th September. The festival lasts for 10 or 12 days, ending on Anant Chaturdashi. A life-like clay model of Lord Ganesha is made 2-3 months prior to the day of Ganesh Chaturthi. They are beautifully decorated and are portrayed in various poses. The size of these statues may vary from few inches to over several feet.On the day of the festival, idol is placed on raised platforms in homes or in elaborately decorated outdoor tents (Pandals) for people to view and pay their tribute to Lord Ganesha. The priest, usually attired in red silk dhoti and shawl, invokes life into the idol by chanting the mantras. This ritual is called 'Pran-Pratishtha'. After this, the 'Shhodashopachara' (16 ways of paying tribute) follows in which Coconut, Jaggery, 21 'modakas', 21 'durva' blades and red flowers are offered. The main sweet dish during the festival is the Modak. Another popular sweet made during this festival is Karanji. Both the sweets are cooked by similar recipe with same tastes and ingredients but they differ by their shapes. It is believed that Lord Ganesha is fond of these sweets. As per Hindu mythology, Lord Ganesh is considered as "Vigana Harta" (one who removes obstacles) and "Buddhi Pradaayaka" (one who grants intelligence). This festival is very important for students; they worship Lord Ganesh to illumine their minds.

Ganesha Visarjan :

Ganesha is worshipped for 10 days from Bhadrapada Shudha Chaturthi to the Ananta Chaturdashi. On the 11th day, the statue is taken through the streets in a procession accompanied with dancing, singing, and fanfare, to be immersed in a river or the sea symbolizing a ritual see-off of the Lord Ganesha in his journey towards his abode in Kailash. At individual homes, the Visarjan is also done on 3rd, 5th or 7th day as per the family tradition. All join in this final procession shouting "Ganapati Bappa Morya, Pudhachya Varshi Laukar ya". After the final offering of coconuts, flowers and camphor is made, people carry the idols to the river to immerse it. People thank Ganesha for visiting their home. They thank him for bringing prosperity and auspiciousness and for taking away all their difficulties with him.

Temples of Lord Ganesha

Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple :
It is located in Pune (India), and is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. The temple is popular in Maharashtra and is visited by thousands of pilgrims every year. The temple was established in 1893 by Dagadusheth Halwai, a sweetmart seller who became a wealthy businessman. He was a very virtuous and righteous man. During those times in the outbreak of plague Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai lost his son. Due to this he himself and his wife were very depressed and disturbed. As per his Guruji's advice, Shreemant Dagdusheth made two idols, one of Shri. Dattatrey Maharaj and another of Lord Ganesha. This beautiful idol of Shri Ganesha fulfilling the vows of his worshipers is present in this temple.

Siddhi Vinayak Temple, Mumbai (Maharashtra) :
The Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Mandir is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shri Ganesha. It is located in Prabhadevi, Mumbai, Maharashtra. It was originally built by Laxman Vithu and Deubai Patil on November 19, 1801. It is one of the richest temples in Mumbai. The temple grosses nearly Rs.50 crores every year.

Ganesha Temple Ranthambore :
The Ranthambore Ganeshji is very old temple on the palace of Ranthambore fort. In 1300 AD King Hammer built a temple of Lord Ganesha and placed Riddhi Siddhi, his two wives and two sons Shubh Labh along with the idol of Ganesh. His vehicle mushak (mouse) is also placed there. Ranthambore Ganesh Temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha is located in the fort of Ranthambore, Ganesh Chaturthi holds a special place in Ranthambore and on this day, thousands of devotees visit the temple.

Mana Village Caves- Badrinath :
Mana Village is situated at a distance of around 4 Km from Badrinath. It is the last village of India that borders Tibet. Mana village is full of caves and it is famous for Vyas Cave or the Rock cave. It is said that Ved Vyas dictated his famous great epic of Mahabharata to Lord Ganesh. Inside the cave is a marble statue of Ved Vyas which shows the writing of the granth (epic book). The other cave is Ganesh Cave where Lord Ganesh scripted the Vedas as his Guru Vyas recited from a cave above. Ganesh's tusk was used by him in the writing of the epic, the Mahabharata.

May the blessings of Sri Ganesha be upon us all ! May He remove all the obstacles that stand in ours spiritual path ! May He bestow all material prosperity on us as well as liberation from our vows!


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