Lord Ganesha

A big potbellied deity with elephant head, Lord Ganesha is considered to be one of the most illustrious Gods in Hindu Mythology. Known as Lord of Beginnings and Lord of Obstacles, Lord Ganesha is also recognized as the God who brings good luck and fortune. Loving son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, this deity is worshipped ahead of all Gods. Any new auspicious beginnings or events are customarily commenced with offering prayers to Lord Ganesha. Such is his prominence

 

The birth of Lord Ganesha is ceremoniously celebrated as Ganesh Chathurti or Vinayaka Chathurti. According to Hindu calendar, this festival comes in the month of Bhadraapada, starting on Shukla Chathurti (fourth day of the waxing moon period), which falls on 17th September, 2015 for this year.


Birth of Lord Ganesha

Once, when Lord Shiva was away, Parvati was arranging to go for a bath. Not wanting to be disturbed, She asked Nandi, Lord Shiva's dear servant, to be on guard and passed strict orders for nobody to be permitted entry. Nandi obediently followed her command and took his stand as a guardian. While he dutifully served his post, Lord Shiva returned back home. Nandi being the loyal servant couldn’t dare to stop his master from entering his own abode and hence, made way for him. When Parvati learned about this, she loathed the fact that she had none dedicating loyal to her as Nandi was to Shiva.

Next time, When Parvati was preparing to bathe; she took turmeric paste (smeared on her for bathing), shaped it into a boy and infused life into it. Originated from her, she declared the boy as her son. Hopeful of her son's loyalty and assured of her privacy, she posted him to guard the entrance. As Parvati went to the bath, the boy took over his assigned duty. In due course, Lord Shiva returned from his journey, having fought battles. Not being able to identify and baffled by his warrior appearance, the boy didn't allow him to pass through. Being stopped from entering his own abode, got Lord Shiva furious. In spite of several claims and warnings, the boy stood determined on his post. Enraged with his attitude, Lord Shiva ordered his soldiers to get the boy out of his way. But the boy being the son of Parvati (Shakti) herself, put up a tough fight and stood victorious. At last, Lord Shiva himself stepped forward and beheaded the boy with his immensely powerful Trishul.

Detecting the chaos at the entrance, Parvati dressed up hastily and ran towards the spot. When her eyes met the gory sight of the beheaded body lying at the feet of the Shiva, fuming anger set up in her. Intensely ferocious, she blamed Shiva of murdering their own son. On knowing this, Lord Shiva filled up with remorse and realized his unpardonable mistake. But the mess being done, Parvati in all her fury decided to destroy the entire creation. To calm her down, Shiva assured of restoring the life into the boy. The power of Trishul had thrown the head of the boy miles away and hence was difficult to locate. On Brahma's advice, Shiva then ordered his soldiers to fetch him the head of the first living being they come across, with its head facing east. The soldiers, as a result of their hunt, returned with the head of an elephant. The boy was then brought back to life in a new avatar. Thus came to life, a human form with an elephant head; one that is famously known as Lord Ganesha.

Parvati being a strong willed woman was hard to please. Not contented with the outcome, She further asked for her son's prominence to be ahead of all Gods. This outlines the reason behind worshipping Lord Ganesha before any gods/goddesses and also before beginning any new task or event.

 

Meaning behind the story

Sometimes, a spiritual instance, or a myth carries a deeper meaning than just being a fable. Same goes with this story of Lord Ganesha's birth too. Our ancient Vedas passed on the story so symbolically, that though different versions of the story would come up, the core of it would carry the same meaning.

Each and Every creation in the universe is categorized into two types of energies: Soul and God. In this story, Goddess Parvati, also known as Shakti, symbolizes supreme and divine energy. Every living being carries this energy within; energy known as Soul. Over our life experiences, unknowingly we go about gathering mental filth, contaminating this energy. Parvati, making idol of boy, out of the dirt over her body, depicts We, building up a barrier out of our own accumulated dirt, which is called Ego. Parvati taking bath stands for the Soul within us, getting rid of impurities. When we as energies cleanse ourselves of such dirt, it sets us on the path to realize our ultimate state, to reach Godly energy; depicted as Shiva who came unannounced as God.

When the soul was in its path to realize God, Ego (the boy) came across as a barrier. Here, We have to understand that in reality it is our heavily accumulated Ego which resists us from reaching our ultimate. Hence, Ego has to be beheaded for the pursuit of it. The ultimate outcome of Parvati (Soul) meeting Shiva (God) activated instances which resulted in the birth of Lord Ganesha. Hence, Lord Ganesha is that energy which ignites when soul and god unite without any obstacle.

The above stated story of Lord Ganesha defines and emphasizes the energies which he carries. Establishing his idol at home distributes the similar energy around and keeps the ambience alive with his divinity. Being the mighty guardian, He is looked up to as the remover of all obstacles. Also, His blessings are considered to be very powerful. Hence, worshipping him regularly frees one from all hindrances and obstacles and ensures prosperity and peace coming. May his divine energy touch you.

Jai Ganesha!