Hindu god Ganesha is the son of Lord Shiva and GoddessParvati. He was created by his mother Parvati using clay. His identity was unknown to Shiva and he was guarding the palace of Parvati and when he didn’t allow Shiva to enter, Shiva beheaded him. Later Shiva replaced the head of Ganesha with the head of an elephant. He is also popularly known as the remover of obstacles or VighnaVinashak.
Before starting any work, worshipping Ganesha is believed to be auspicious.Once Ganesha and his younger brother kartikeya compete to circle the world three times. Kartikeya set out the journey on his swift animal mount, Peacock, while Ganesha circumambulating Shiva and Parvati on his animal mount, mouse, declaring that his parents are his world. Using his wisdom, Ganesha won the contest.
Hindu mythology presents many stories, which explain how Ganesha obtained his elephant head. Often, the origin of this particular attribute is to be found in the same anecdotes which tell about his birth. The stories also reveal the origins of the enormous popularity of his cult. Devotees sometimes interpret his elephant head as indicating intelligence, discriminative power, fidelity, or other attributes thought to be had by elephants. The large elephant ears are said to denote wisdom and the ability to listen to people who seek help.
One day, Goddess Parvati was at her palace in Kailash preparing for a bath. As she didn’t want to be disturbed, she told Nandi, her husband Shiva’s Bull, to guard the door and let no one come in. Nandi faithfully took his post, intending to carry out Parvati’s wishes. But, when Lord Shiva came there, he forcefully went inside. Parvati was angry at this slight, but even more than this, at the fact that she had no one as loyal to herself as Nandi was to Shiva. So, taking the turmeric paste (for bathing) from her body and breathing life into it, she created Ganesha, declaring him to be her own loyal son. She again went to bathe, but this time posted Ganesha on guard duty at the door.
In due course, Shiva came, only to find this strange boy telling him he couldn’t enter Goddess Parvati’s chamber. Furious, Shiva ordered his army to destroy the boy, but they all failed. This surprised Shiva. Seeing that this was no ordinary boy, the usually peaceful Shiva decided he would have to fight him, and in his divine fury severed Ganesha’s head, killing him instantly. When Parvati learned of this, she was so enraged and insulted that she decided to destroy the entire Creation! Lord Brahma, being the Creator, naturally had his issues with this, and pleaded that she reconsider her drastic plan. She said she would, but only if two conditions were met: one, that Ganesha would be brought back to life, and two, that he would be forever worshipped before all the other gods.Shiva, having cooled down by this time, and realizing his mistake, agreed to Parvati’s conditions. He asked Lord Vishnu to bring the head of the first creature he crosses that is laying with its head facing North.
Vishnu, soon returned with the head of a strong and powerful elephant(the elephant was the divine Airavat, the mount of Lord Indra, who was cursed), which Shiva placed 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, and leader of all the ganas (classes of beings), Ganapati.
At first glance, this story just seems like a nice tale. But, it’s true mystical meaning is veiled. It is explained thus:
Parvati is a form of Devi, the Parashakti (Supreme Energy). In the human body, she resides in the Muladhara chakra as the Kundalini shakti. It is said that when we purify ourselves, ridding ourselves of the impurities that bind us, then the Lord automatically comes. This is why Shiva, the Supreme Lord, came unannounced as Parvati was bathing.
Nandi, Shiva’s bull, who Parvati first sent to guard the door represents the divine temperament. Nandi is so devoted to Shiva that his every thought is directed to him, and he is able to easily recognize the Lord when he arrives. This shows that the attitude of the spiritual aspirant is what gains access to Devi’s (the kundalini shakti’s) abode.
After Nandi permitted Shiva to enter, Parvati took the turmeric paste from her own body, and with it created Ganesha. Yellow is the colour associated with the Muladhara chakra, where the kundalini resides, and Ganesha is the deity who guards this chakra. Devi needed to create Ganesha, who represents the earthbound awareness, as a shield to protect the divine secret from unripe minds. It is when this awareness begins to turn away from things of the world, and toward the Divine, as Nandi had, that the great secret is revealed.
Shiva is the Lord and Supreme Teacher. Ganesha here represents the ego-bound Jiva. When the Lord comes, the Jiva, surrounded as it is with the murky cloud of ego, usually doesn’t recognize Him, and maybe even ends up arguing or fighting with Him. Therefore, it is the duty of the Lord, in the form of the Guru, to cut off the head of our ego. So powerful is this ego, however, that at first, the Guru’s instructions may not work, as Shiva’s armies failed to subdue Ganesha. It often requires a tougher approach, but, eventually the compassionate Guru, in his wisdom finds a way.
Devi threatened to destroy the whole Creation after learning of Ganesha’s demise.This indicates that when the ego thus dies, the liberated Jiva loses interest in its temporary physical vehicle, the body, and begins to merge into the Supreme. The physical world is here represented by Devi. This impermanent and changeable creation is a form of Devi, to which this body belongs; the unchanging Absolute is Shiva, to which belongs the Soul. When the ego dies, the external world, which depends on the ego for its existence, disappears along with it. It is said that if we want to know the secrets of this world, which is a manifestation of Devi, then we must first receive the blessings of Ganesha.
Shiva restoring life to Ganesha, and replacing his head with an elephant’s, means that before we can leave the body, the Lord first replaces our small ego with a big or universal ego. This doesn’t mean that we become more egoistic. On the contrary, we no longer identify with the limited individual self, but rather with the large universal Self. In this way, our life is renewed, becoming one that can truly benefit Creation. It is however only a functional ego like the one LordKrishna kept. It is like a thin string tying the liberated consciousness to our world, solely for our benefit.
Ganesha is given dominion over the Ganas, which is a general term denoting all classes of beings, ranging from insects, animals and humans to the subtle and celestial beings. These various beings all contribute to the government of the creation; everything from natural forces like storms and earthquakes to the elemental qualities like fire and water, to 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 in order to receive their blessings, we bow to their Lord, Shri Ganesha. By receiving His grace, we receive the grace of all. He removes any potential obstacles and enables our endeavours to succeed.
A lesser known story from the Brahma VaivartaPurana narrates a different version of Ganesha’s birth. On the insistence of Shiva, Parvati fasted for years (punyakavrata) to propitiate Vishnu so that he would grant her a son. Vishnu, after the completion of the sacrifice, announced that he would incarnate himself as her son in every kalpa (eon). Accordingly, Ganesha was born to Parvati as a charming infant. This event was celebrated with great enthusiasm and all the gods were invited to take a look at the baby. However Shani (Saturn), the son of Surya, hesitated to look at the baby since Shani was cursed with the gaze of destruction. Shani came to a decision and looked at the goddess Parvati’s baby from the edge of his left eye. However Parvati insisted that he look at the baby, which Shani did, and immediately the infant’s head fell off. Seeing Shiva and Parvati grief-stricken, Vishnu mounted on Garuda, his divine eagle, and rushed to the banks of the Pushpa-Bhadra river, from where he brought back the head of a young elephant. The head of the elephant was joined with the headless body of Parvati’s son, thus reviving him. The infant was named Ganesha and all the Gods blessed Ganesha and wished Him power and prosperity.
Once, Lord Vishnu took the form of Parashurama to wage war against the Kshatriyas who were blinded by arrogance. He had used the axe, Parashu, given by Lord Shiva to him for this sake. He came out victorious and had come to visit Lord Shiva. On his visit, he was stopped at the entrance of Mount Kailash by Ganesha. He did not allow Parashurama to enter as Shiva had been meditating. In a fit of rage, Parashurama, who is known for his anger, struck Ganesha with the powerful axe. It directly hit the tusk which broke and fell to the ground. Ganesha tried defending himself but on recognising his father’s axe, he received the blow instead. Parashurama, later on, realised his mistake and asked for forgiveness and blessings from Lord Ganesha.
There is another story about his one tusk. A different legend narrates that when Lord Ganesha was asked to write down the epic Mahaabharat, dictated to him by its author, sage Ved Vyas, taking into note the enormity and significance of the task, he realized the inadequacy of any ordinary ‘pen’ to undertake the task. So he broke one of his own tusks and made a pen out of it. The lesson offered here is that no sacrifice is big enough in the pursuit of knowledge.In the same reference, it is also said that as he was writing Mahaabharat, his pen broke, and he broke his one tusk to continue writing.
There was a Gandharva (divine musician of heaven) in the court of Indra whose name was Cronch. He was cursed by Sage Vaamdev to become a mouse. He later went on to become Lord Ganesha’s mount.
A story which explains the god’s association with intelligence and wisdom is his competition with Karthikeya to be the first to marry. They set up a challenge that whoever could first encircle the Earth would also find a bride first. Not wasting a second, Karthikeya swiftly mounted his blue peacock and immediately shot off around the world. Ganesha on the other hand, casually sauntered over to his parents’ house, embraced them and quoted the line from the sacred Vedas: “he who embraces his parents seven times (pradakshinas) gains the merit of encircling the world seven times”. Declared the winner, Ganesha promptly married not one but two daughters of Prajapati,Buddhiand Siddhi, with whom he had two sons, Kshema and Laabha. In some legends, Riddhi is also considered the wife of Lord Ganesha.
PanchmukhiGanesha is a representation of Lord Ganesh with five faces. “Panch” literally means “Five” and “Mukhi” means “Faced”. Each of the faces of PanchmukhiGanesha faces a different direction and hence the name. PanchmukhiGanesha is regarded as an embodiment of all potencies.
Each head of Panchmukhi Ganesh symbolizes the Pancha Koshas or five sheaths in the subtle anatomy of human beings. They are the Annamaya, Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vijnanamaya, and Anandamaya. . This form is known as Heramba Ganapati.
Lord Ganesha is an embodiment of wisdom and bliss. He is the Presiding Deity of the Muladhara Chakra.He is the Lord who removes all obstacles in the spiritual path and brings worldly success.LordGanesha represents OM or the Pranava. Riding on the mouse represents that he has killed egoism. He holds Ankusa. This represents that He is the Ruler of the world. This is the emblem of Divine Royalty.
Ganesha is the first God, Adi-Deva. Mouse is a small creature. Elephant is the biggest of all animals. Riding on a mouse and wearing the head of an elephant denote that He is the Creator of all creatures, from the biggest elephant to the smallest mouse. Elephants are very wise. Wearing the head of an elephant indicates that Lord Ganesha is an embodiment of wisdom. It also denotes the process of evolution. The mouse gradually evolves into an elephant and finally becomes a man. That is the reason why Ganesha has a human body, the head of an elephant, and mouse as His vehicle. This is the symbolic philosophy of His form.
The bighead of Lord Ganesha signifies intelligence and discriminative power and it means to think big, learn more, and use your intellect to your fullest potential.The large ears of Ganesha signify wisdom and the importance of listening. Small eyes signify concentration, and poor vision but see big.Broken Tusk signifies the idea that one must conquer emotions with wisdom and Ganesha’s ability to overcome all forms of dualism.Curved Trunk signifies high efficiency and adaptability. A large belly signifies peacefully digesting all good and bad in life. The four arms of Ganesha represent the four inner attributes of the subtle body, that is mind (Manas), intellect (Buddhi), ego (Ahamkara), and conditioned conscience (Chitta). Lord Ganesha represents the pure consciousness – the Atman – which enables these four attributes to function in us.
Benefits of having Lord Ganesha painting
- Keeping a Ganesh picture at home is believed to attract good luck and prosperity. The sitting Ganesha represents a calm and composed demeanor and encourages a peaceful environment at home. The reclining Ganesha symbolises luxury, comfort and wealth.
- Ganesha is also considered as Lord of knowledge; thus, if you have kids’ not studying properly, placing Ganesha’spotrait is very beneficial. In case your business of finance and education keeping Lord Ganesha’s picture in office, as well as home, will be great bringing knowledge and prosperity.
- In case your home is situated at the dead end of a road or street, which is not considered an ideal location, then placing the Ganesha idol will grant good fortune to the devotees.
- Also the patron of writers, travellers, students, and commerce, he removes obstacles blocking new projects.
Pieter Weltevrede– is a Master “Sacred-Artist” based out of the Nederlands. After a many years of guidance, under his guru Late Harish Johari a successful author, a gifted painter and sculptor, a lifetime scholar, an inspiring teacher, a splendid cook, an ayurvedic massage miracle, etc., Pieter embarked on his own journey amalgamating ancient Indian knowledge with his own western sensibilities evolving an art form that appeals to todays international audience. He has been practising his art form from the last 40 years now.
His original paintings are in water colours on silk with a wash-technique that gives them a very three-dimensional feel. The complexity and detail in his works are a super-human endeavour as he continues to live a mundane life travelling between the Western World and India.
Here, ‘Lord Ganesha’ paintings are printed on coated matt paper by inkjet printer, using ultra chrome inks with an off-white paper mounting with golden border, and encased inside a fibre frame with acrylic sheet cover in the front.
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