Lord Ganesha is easily one of the most popular Gods across all religions. Although he has 108 names listed in Hindu scriptures, he is fondly called by many as ‘Gannu Bhai‘ , ‘Bappa’ and so on.
As per Hindu mythology, he is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. We are all familiar with the story of how Ganesha became the elephant-headed God.
Parvati made Ganesha by infusing life into a statue out of clay. She was jealous that the elder son, Kartikeya, is more Shiva’s son than hers, so she wanted a son who is more fond of his mother. Once, she asked him to keep guard while she bathed. When Shiva returned, the boy did not recognize him and obstructed his passage. So Shiva chopped off the boy’s head and entered.
Parvati was shocked when she saw this. She became furious and threatened to end all creation if her son is not returned to life, and given a status above all other Gods. Shiva then requested other Gods to go and get the head of someone who was sleeping with their head pointing to the north. Lord Brahma then got the head of an elephant, which Shiva affixed to the boy’s torso and Ganesha was born! He also instituted that any prayer to the Gods will not be fruitful unless the devotee first prays to Ganesha, thus elevating him to a status higher than any other God.
There lies a deep meaning behind affixing elephant head to Ganesha. Elephant represents both gyan shakti and karma shakti. The principle qualities of the elephant are wisdom and effortlessness. The enormous head of the elephant signifies wisdom and knowledge. Also, they don’t walk around obstacles, neither are they stopped by them. They just remove them and walk ahead – signifying effortlessness. So, when we worship Lord Ganesha these qualities within us are kindled and we take on these qualities.
I know its a late post for Ganesh Chaturthi, but I believe anytime is a good time to worship Gannu Bhai.
May this year Bappa bring prosperity and happiness to your family & friends.
Ganpati Bappa Moriya!