or Ganesha, the Lord of Ganas, the elephant
faced God, represents the power of the Supreme Being that removes
obstacles and ensures success in human endeavors. Ganesha is revered
as the son of the Shiva and
Parvati, and is always honored
first in most worship services and rituals. Ganesha is also known
as Ganapati, Vigneswara, Vinayaka, Gajamukha and Ainkaran. He is
worshipped for siddhi, success in undertakings, and buddhi, intelligence.
He is worshipped before any venture is started. He is also the God
of education, knowledge and wisdom, literature, and the fine arts.
Ganesha is also one of the five Gods the worship of whom was popularised
by Adi Shankaracharya; the other four are Vishnu,
Shiva, Devi and Surya.
The worship of these five deities is called the pancayatana puja.
In some cases, a sixth God, Skanda is also worshipped.
The large head of an elephant symbolizes
wisdom, understanding, and a discriminating intellect that one must
possess to attain perfection in life.
wide mouth represents the natural human desire to enjoy life in
the world. The large ears signify that a perfect person is the one
who possesses a great capacity to listen to others and assimilate
ideas. The trunk relates to the power of human mind which must be
strong enough to face the ups and downs of the external world and
yet delicate enough to explore the subtle realms of the inner world.
The two tusks denote the two aspects
of the human personality, wisdom and emotion. The right tusk represents
wisdom left tusk represents emotion. The broken left tusk conveys
the idea that one must conquer emotions with wisdom to attain perfection.
The eyes: the elephant eyes are said
to possess natural deceptiveness that allows them
to perceive objects to be bigger than what they really are. Thus
the elephant eyes symbolize the idea that even if an individual
gets "bigger and bigger" in wealth and wisdom, the
perceive others to be bigger than himself; that is,
surrender one's pride and attain humility.
four arms and various objects in the four hands: the four arms indicate
that the Lord is omnipresent and omnipotent. The left side of the
body symbolizes emotion and the right side symbolizes reason. An
axe 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. This enables one to live in the
world without being affected by earthly temptations, just as a lotus
remains in water but is not affected by it.
A tray of Laddus near the Lord denotes
that He bestows wealth and prosperity upon His devotees. The lower
right hand is shown in a blessing pose, which signifies that Ganesha
always blesses his devotees.
body with a big belly: the human body possesses a human heart, which
is a symbol of kindness and compassion toward all. Ganesha's body
is usually portrayed wearing red and yellow clothes. Yellow symbolizes
purity, peace and truthfulness. Red symbolizes the activity in the
A mouse sitting near the feet of
Ganesha and gazing at the tray of Laddus: a mouse symbalizes the
ego that can nibble all that is good and noble in a person. A mouse
sitting near the feet of Ganesha indicates that a perfect person
is one who has conquered his (or her) ego.
Right foot dangling over the left foot illustrates
that in order to live a successful life one should utilize knowledge
and reason to overcome emotions.