Ganesha — The Elephant-Headed God
The favourite god of Hindus has quite a lot to teach everyone!
Ganesha is the Elephant-headed god, son of Shiva & Parvati. In Hinduism with 33 million gods — every living being is considered a god and the non-living things such as stones are designated as abodes of the gods. This is why we are into idol worship, build amazing temples and have places of religious importance that have been associated with the gods who walked the earth during their ‘Avatars’ (incarnations). The nature, the animals, the humans — each and everyone has a special status. So, a god with an elephant’s head hardly seems out of place! More about the other gods later!
Looking beyond religion helps one appreciate what each God and religious ideology brings to the table. ‘What is the best thing i can adopt from this religion’? is the magic question to ask for secularism and brotherhood.
A look at the symbolism exhibited by Ganesha will make my point clear:
Ganesh — the elephant headed god and his symbolism
So, How was Ganesha ‘Born’?
Ganesha, the remover of obstacles was actually created to be an obstacle to anyone wishing to intrude on Parvati’s personal space!
Parvati wanted someone whom she could love, whom she could trust, someone who would not bow to anyone and rather stand up against him lest he intrudes into Parvati’s privacy.
She wanted to create someone who will safeguard her self respect. Someone who will know her and protect what she treasured the most. As a result, Ganesha was created when Parvati took the turmeric paste from her body and lovingly made a form of a boy. Once the image of a very handsome kid was created, Parvati then gave him life and thus was Ganesha born. Parvati instructed him to stand at the door and not let anyone in until she was done with her bath.
All she needed to give a new life was sheer love!
As different as he was conceived was the difference in how his elephant head came to be. Ganesha refused to even admit Shiva and a terrible battle ensued. Shiva, with no idea of who the boy was, has to finally take his Trident and cut off the boy’s head. Upon knowing the truth from an inconsolable Parvati, the head of the first animal encountered was fixed to the boy, and with the help of Brahma and the pantheon of gods, the boy was brought back to life. He was also blessed with a boon that he would be the first to be worshipped! Thus immortalised Ganesha is probably the recipient of the first head transplantation recorded!
When the process of conception is so pure and divine, it is evident that the life created will be a worthy one and destined for bigger things!
A poem out of love!
Born out of his mother’s action,
Verily the embodiment of her love & affection!
Took up a stand for what is right,
Paid for it with a worthy fight!
Had life breathed into him again,
And an elephant head was his gain!
Became the favourites of one and all,
His trunk reminds us to always rise after a fall!
We welcome him fondly into the house,
And all he has to ride is a mouse!
He is smiling, portly and rotund,
A weight gain is what his favourite sweets portend!
An axe in one hand is what he dons,
Reminding us to cut all bonds!
Riding the mouse may look spiritual,
Controlling your thoughts it is in actual!
A big forehead and flapping ears,
Listens to everything and wipes everyone’s tears!
The turn of his trunk determines fate,
He may be lazy but is never late!
A rotund belly represents prosperity,
Keeps the devotee always happy!
The most intelligent and dedicated to his task,
Very genuine and never dons a mask!
Teaches us to separate the wheat from the husk,
Wrote the entire Mahabharata with just a tusk!
He is kind with a large large heart,
Get his blessing for a great start!
Every religion and every god have lessons to teach — let’s adopt the best from all worlds!
Wishing you every success and the removal of all obstacles from your path!