Meet the Lord Ganesh
Posted on 5th Aug 2014
Part I. Who is the Lord Ganesh / Ganesha ?
The Lord Ganesh is a son of Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva in Hinduism. He was created out of the dirt of Parvati so that he could guard her mother’s room when she is bathing, to not let anyone come in especially the Lord Shiva (2.) According to the stories, Lord Shiva granted Lord Ganesh with these- immortality, power to remove obstacles, and the right to be honored before the start of any ceremony. He is found to have a rat nearby or to be riding on a rat, as tiny as that, he could find a way through obstacles (1). He is said to be a deity who bestows fortune and wisdom. He wrote the Mahabharata as dictated Vyasa.
Part II. How the Lord Ganesha got his elephant head
There are different legends explaining how the Lord Ganesh got his elephant head. One version says that the Lord Shiva cut-off his human head because he didn’t let him inside Parvati’s room. Parvati enraged with the beheading of his son made an army of goddesses to attack Lord Shiva and his followers (Ganas). In that story the goddesses won the battle and in return, the Lord Shiva asked his Ganas to get the head of the first creature they saw sleeping towards the wrong direction. What they saw first was a baby elephant so this is what they brought back (2.) Another legend says that Parvati was so proud of his son, she showed her to Sani (Saturn), but she forgot that Sani’s eyes can be fiery making her son’s head turn into ashes (1). The Lord Brahma told Parvati to put a new head for Ganesh, so the goddess used an elephant head.
Part III. Prayers / Mantrams to the Lord Ganesh (1)
GanesaSaranam (refuge/shelter) Saranam Ganesa
Saisa (with Durga) Saranam Saranam Saisa (with Durga)
O Lord Ganesha, please give us shelter.
O Lord Ganesha, along with Mother Durga, please give us shelter.
Vinayaka Vinayaka (Ganesha leader of all, Ganesha he who leads or begins)
Visva-dhara (Supporter of the universe) Vinayaka
Siddhi (enlightenment) Vinayaka
Bhava (material existence) Bhaya (fear) Nasa (destroyer)
Sura (a god, a perfected being) Muni (a saint or sage) Vandita (worshipped, revered)
Sri (eminent one, venerable one) Ganesa
O Shri Ganesha, who is worshiped by great sages and demigods, you remove all obstacles on the path of liberation and devotion and destroy all fear of material existence.
(1) Church Universal and Triumphant (1996). Book of Songs and Hymns. Montana: The Summit Lighthouse
(2) Subramaniam, N. (n.d.) Ganesha. India: Sura Books Pvt Ltd.