Ganesha: Lord of new begningsw who removes Obstacles

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Lord Ganesha Evokes our imagination which pleases our senses beyond compare. He is identified as the God of intellect, the messiah of distressed people, and an art patron. He is also recognised as a Lord with a tusk, Ekdanta, and the face of an elephant, Gajanana. Therefore an observance honouring the Lord, Ganesh Chaturthi, is celebrated on the Chaturthi of Shukla Paksha in the month of Bhadrapada. These celebrations are among religious and social customs and a part of India’s social and cultural fabric.

Ganesha: Lord of new begnings by removing Obstacles,
Celebration at home

The best way to describe Lord Ganesha is the Slokas that say-Vakra Tundra Mahakaaya Koti Surya Samaprab, Nirvignam Kurume dev Sarva Kaaryeshu Sarvataa“. This Sanskrit meant I worship the Lord with a curved trunk and massive body with the brightness of a core sun. So let him remove the obstacles to all my deeds and lead them to complete fulfilment. Thus Ganesha is recognised as the supreme Brahman and the highest head of the created universe. If I look at the idol of Lord Ganesha- the huge belly symbolises the created universe, and the head is a symbol of knowledge and wisdom.

Ganesha: Lord of new begnings by removing Obstacles,
Ganesh Chaturthi Puja

As to our scriptures, Ganesha is given dominion over the Ganas, a generic term denoting all classes of beings. Humans, insects, and animals align with subtle and celestial beings. All of them contribute to the government of the Creation. It can be natural forces like storms or earthquakes, elemental forces like fire and water, or the functioning of the body’s organs and processes. If we don’t honour the Ganas, then our every action is a form of thievery, as it is unsanctioned. Therefore, instead of propitiating each Gana to receive their blessings, we bow to their Lord, Sri Ganesha.

Ganesha: Lord of new begnings by removing Obstacles,
The Gana of Mass

There is a mythological story about Lord Ganesha being associated with Ganas. It is believed that baby Ganesha was created using sandalwood paste by Goddess Parvati. Devi asked Ganesha to guard the entrance while she was in the bath. However, when Lord Shiva wanted to enter the premises, Ganesha stopped him. This incident enraged Lord Shiva, and he severed baby Ganesha’s head. On learning of Ganesha’s demise, out of anger & pain, Devi threatened to destroy the whole Creation. Therefore Lord Shiva instructed his followers to search for the head of the first living creature and bring it to him. His followers (the Ganas) returned with the head of a baby elephant. And Lord Ganesha’s life was restored. It was then that Lord Shiva named him the leader of the Ganas, Ganapati.

Ganesha: Lord of new begnings by removing Obstacles,
The story of the elephant head

Hence, Ganesha Chaturthi honours Ganesha for ten days. The devotees bring in clay idols of Ganesha, symbolising God’s visit- and offer Modak, red flower, dhurva and sindoor. He is celebrated with animated rituals, prayer offerings, extravagant embellishments, and sweets spanning nearly ten days. Ultimately, the Visharjan or idol immersion takes place on the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, or 7th day.

Ganesha: Lord of new begnings by removing Obstacles,

In a definite sense, no one knows when the celebrations for Ganesh Chaturthi began. However, in the 17th century, it is believed that the Ganesh Chaturthi took its grand form during the Maratha empire, Shivaji’s. Even Peshwas considered Lord Ganesha as their patron deity. Another reason for the great celebration of Lord Ganesha is Lokmanya Tilak. In 1863 Lokmanya Tilak transformed this annual Ganesha festival from private family celebrations into a grand public event. He did it to bridge the gap between the Brahmins and the non-Brahmins. And today, Hindus across India celebrate the Ganapati festival with great enthusiasm. 

Ganesha: Lord of new begnings by removing Obstacles,
Making of Ganpati

There are multiple legends behind the grand celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi. One of the popular ones is a competition won by Lord Ganesha against his younger sibling Karthikeya. Both kids were asked to take three rounds around the universe. And the winner has been rewarded with the fruit of wisdom and knowledge. On hearing this, Karthikeya climbed his peacock and set off.

On the other hand, Lord Ganesha sought the permission of his parents to revolve around them. Being the elder son, he is said to be very alluring to Lord Shiva. The reason was his parents were his universe. Hence, Ganesha won the fruit. 

Ganesha: Lord of new begnings by removing Obstacles,
Lord Ganesha & kartikeyan

Ganesha is Vighneshvara- the Lord of Obstacles, both of a material and spiritual order. Hence, he is often worshipped by the people before they begin anything new However, there is an interesting story behind this name. It is said that Ganesha was not invited to Lord Vishnu’s wedding & was called fat. It upset him that he sent his mouse army to dig the soil to make its path hollow from where the marriage procession was supposed to pass.

Lord Vishnu & Ganesha

And the chariot wheel got stuck in the soil while passing through the dug path. May Gods try to pull the chariot but were unable. Someone asked for help from a passerby, took Lord Ganesha’s name, and the wheels came out! All were surprised; realising their mistake, the ods returned and apologised to Ganesha. Therefore He is popularly worshipped as a remover of obstacles. But traditionally, he also places obstacles in the path of those who need to be checked. Ganesha’s earliest name was Ekadanta-this distinctive feature is reflected in the Mudgala Purana, which states that the name of Ganesha’s second incarnation is Ekadanta. However, legends are associated with Ganesha’ Ekdant.’ 


One story suggests that he lost one of his tusks in a fight with sage Parshuram. Another indicates that Ved Vyas requested Ganesha to write down Mahabharata for him. Lord agreed but maintained that Vyas had to narrate it in one go. Ganesha started writing the story, but at one point, the quill broke. Hence he broke one of his tusks to use a pen & continued writing Mahabharat. Thus Ekadanta-Ganapati is visualised as blue during meditation in that form.

Ganesha: Lord of new begnings by removing Obstacles,
Lord Ganesha & Vyas

Just as elephants are the pathmakers of the forest, Lord Ganesha removes obstacles and brings good luck. Therefore as the God of beginnings, he is honoured at the start of rites and ceremonies. He also symbolises human intellect and wisdom as the Lord of letters and learning. And like the elephant’s trumpet, Ganesha is referred to the notion that he personifies the primal sound ‘OM’. Even the vehicle of Ganesha Mouse is interpreted in many ways. The Sanskrit word mūṣaka (mouse) is derived from the root mūṣ (stealing or desires). It symbolises those who wish to overcome yearnings and, be less selfish, seek Ganesha. Hence we see the mouse near the feet of the Lord.

Ganesha: Lord of new begnings by removing Obstacles,
Lord of beginnings

In Indian art, the Ganesha figure has been prevalent since the 6th century CE. Ganesha’s most common iconographic elements-a is the head of an elephant, a big belly and four arms. He sometimes also wields an elephant goad to master life’s obstacles. Ganesha is often depicted riding Kroncha, his giant rat, famed for its agility and symbolic of God’s ability to circumvent barriers.

Ganesha in the art form

It’s been 3 yrs since I began to bring Ganesha home, the Vignahartha, to guide me on my path of obstacles. And worshipping him, I realised to have one must become like him. It means letting go of our outer mind & embrace the knowledge which is unknown to us. The occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi gave me spiritual aspiration and a chance to reignite myself in search of divinity. Hence curious people can see new worlds and possibilities which are typically not present.


One thought on “Ganesha: Lord of new begningsw who removes Obstacles

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