Various communities in India believe & worship in many Gods according to Hinduism. God Ganesha is the most loved God of the pantheon who is even famous outside India. He is imputed with many names like Ganapathi,Vignayaka, Vignaraja, Vignesvara, Pillaiyar (in Tamilnadu) etc.
Ganesa – Chief of Shiva’s army
Vigneswara/Vignaraja – He who removes obstacles
Gaja Mukha – Elephant faced God
Eka Dantha – God with one tusk
Lambodhara – God with a big Paunch
Wakrathunda – God with a curved trunk
Krishnapingaksha – God with brown eyes
Gajawakra – God with an elephant like mouth
Vikata – God who defeat enemies & who has a power of humour
Dhumrawarna – God with a fume coloured body
Balachandra- God who is beautiful like the moon
He is recognized by many people by his appearance as an elephant headed diety riding a mouse. God Ganesha is often enunciated as sitting with crossed leg or ‘royal ease’ posture, standing, dancing & crawling like a baby. He has an elephant head with one broken tusk, a large belly, & 4 hands. There is a lotus & a noose in the upper left hand, axe & a goad in the upper right hand , a plate of ‘laddoo’ which is his favourite sweet in the lower left hand & the lower right hand may be faced towards the viewer as in abhaya mudra. There may be variations in this forma. Mouse which is his mount or the vehicle can be seen near the feet of God in all most all the portraits & images of God Ganesha.Mouse is a symbol of people’s fears, disconcert & humility
The elephant head depicts the massive wisdom of the God Ganesha & he is considered to be the Wiseman of the pantheon. God Sri Ganesha’s trunk is believed to depict the Hindu mantra ‘Om’ or ‘Aum’ which is the sound symbol of cosmic reality. The goad directs the mankind towards an eternal pathway removing the obstacles in it. The noose is to capture all the difficulties. Legends says that one of God Gansha’s tusk was broken to write the Mahabharata.
There are many stories related to his birth. But the most known fable is that he is the son of God Shiva & Goddess Parvati. It is said in myths that Goddess Parvati created the boy Ganesh from the turmeric paste removed from her body to guard the entrance of her bathroom once when she wanted to bathe. Her husband God Shiva had returned from a wearisome battlefield & Ganesh did not let him to access. God Shiva was highly angered & stroked off Ganesha’s head with his sword. When Goddess Parvati knew the situation she was very much upset & dolorous. So God Shiva who was worried about what he did wanted to console his beloved wife & ordered his legionaries to bring the head of the first dead creature they find. It was an dead elephant they found first & they brought that elephant head. That head was fixed to the Ganesha’s body & enlivened him again by God Shiva. Then he was adopted as their elder son & appointed as the chief of his army. Skandha or God Kataragama as well known in Sri Lanka, is said to be God Ganesha’s brother. That is one of the myths behind the birth of the God Ganesha.
Devotees strictly believe God Ganesha is the Lord of fortune, success, prosperity, luck & he is against arrogance, pride & selfishness. God Ganesha is well known as the supreme of wisdom. He is worshiped all over the world by children for gaining the blessings for developing intelligence & wisdom.
One of the famous stories that manifest his wisdom is the story of the competition between him, the God Ganesha & his brother God Skandha. Once their father, God Shiva wanted to select one out of them as the leader of the Gods. So God Shiva arranged a competition for the two sons. He told them the one who is dexterous to circle around the universe & return to him first will be awarded with the esteemed position of the leader of Gods. As soon as the competition started God Skandha who was full of faith of victory mounted on to his vehicle , peacock & flew faster to circle around the universe . But God Ganesha who kept calm thought wisely & considered his father as an embodiment of the whole universe & circled round him. God Skandha returned with tiredness & agitation, but accepted his brother’s erudite victory. God Shiva appreciated God Ganesha’s intelligence, faith & love towards him & appointed him as the leader of Gods.
Red flowers, lighting red candles, sweets including laddoo etc. are the materialistic offers often used to please God Ganesha . Good deeds, virtues can please him more than everything. He is a happy, jolly & festive God who loves music. Millions of people around the world worship God Sri Ganesha to gain desired objectives,perfection & pray to remove all the obstacles they have to come across.
Some of the famous mantras to adore God Sri Ganesha are,
“Om Sri Ganeshaya Namaha”
“Mushika Wahaka Modhaka Hastha
Chamara Karna Wilambeetha Sutra
Vamana Roopa Maheshwara Puthra
Vigna Vinayaka Paadha Namastha”
“Aum Gam Ganapataye Namah
Aum shrim hrim klim glaum
gam ganapataye vara varada
sarva janamme vashamanaya svaha”
“Vakratunda Mahaakaaya Suryakotee Sama Prabha
Nirvighnam kuru mey Deva
Sarva kaaryeshu Sarvadaa”
“Aum Ekadantaya Vidmahe
Tanno Danti Prachodayat.”