Saturday, September 11, 2010
The form of Lord Ganesha is no doubt endearing and it captures one and all, young and old. The much celebrated form of the Lord Ganesha is intriguing with an elephant head and a human body with a pot belly. Lets take a look into the inner meaning of Lord Ganesha's form so as to celebrate Ganesha Chaturthi in a more fulfilling way.
The elephant head of Lord Ganesha is symbolic of His eternal Wisdom. It also denotes His intelligence, auspiciousness and intellectual prowess. The elephant is considered as the largest and intelligent of all animals. Hence the ultimate Wisdom of the Lord is depicted in the elephant head.
The elephant is gentle and graceful in its bearing yet its wrath can be disastrous when provoked. The elephant head thus portrays that Ganesha is extremely compassionate and gentle with His devotees, yet His wrath can be disastrous in the face of evil.
Ganesha is also depicted as tactful in His undertakings with an effortless ease which portrays His wisdom. His huge fan like ears of an elephant depicts its capacity and His readiness in listening to the unending and numerous woes of the human folk.
The pot belly of Ganesha denotes the limitless space. It is symbolic of the fact that the Lord is the source of all that is manifested. His pot belly thus reveals the fact that it holds the entire manifested universe in it. Yet the Lord is beyond the manifested universe for in Him does it exists. Further more it is also symbolic of a perfect being who looks at both the pleasant and unpleasant with the same attitude, the result of which is perfect bliss which is represented by His delightful, endearing form.
The trunk of Lord Ganesha depicts discrimination or Viveka which is one of the most important aspect for enlightenment.
The broken tusk
The broken tusk of Lord Ganesha portrays sacrifice which commemorates the significance of the Lord breaking His tusk to write the scripture (Mahabharata) while sage Vyasa dictated it for common good.
The four arms of Ganesha are symbolic of subjective evolution. His right arm holds an axe or a cutter, a rope or a noose is held in His left arm, a sweet modak in his lower left arm and the lower right hand portrays the hand that showers blessings.
In one's evolution subjectively towards liberation or Moksha, the axe severs the inessentials which refer to one's unwanted materialistic attachment and bonding, the noose or the rope cautions one against the entanglement in Maya or illusion which could strangle one to ceaseless misery while the rope also depicts the recognition of one's spiritual goal; the Modak represents the sweetness of enlightenment and the hand that shows the sign of benediction promises protection and bestows ultimate deliverance.
The sweet Modak that Ganesha holds is a call or an invitation to savour the sweetness of spiritual enlightenment or self realisation. Hence Lord Ganesha urges one to partake of the bliss of enlightenment and to be eternally immersed in it. It also represents the fullness or the absolute aspect of the reality.
The mouse which is the vehicle of Lord Ganesha represents the ego of man which sneaks its way into even a small admission if not alert. The mouse lies at the feet of the Lord to represent the Lord's victory over it and also holds the truth that the supreme reigns the ego. On realising the true self on surrendering to the Lord, the ego can be vanquished once for all to bask in bliss.
Further more the disproportionate form of the Lord renders a stillness to the mind which portrays the mind's defeat in its incapability of conceptualizing the Lord .
Let us thus celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi realising the inner meaning of the aspects of Lord Ganesha. Let us do away with the binding worldly attachments by freeing ourselves from the noose of illusion with discrimination and vanquish the ego by surrendering to the Lord who promises protection and attain the sweetness of bliss of spiritual enlightenment.