The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi has come again, and many of us will lovingly bring the idol of Shree Ganesh in our homes & societies.
The festival will be celebrated with great joy & excitement. Hence today, let’s also understand the spiritual significance of Shree Ganesh, this most lovable divne deity, so that the festival leaves a permanent benefit in our life!
Shree Ganesh = Embodiment of all Virtues
The most wonderful aspect is the picture of Shree Ganesh itself illustrates numerous divine virtues, explained below:
- Eyes are short, denoting far sighted vision, ie making decisions not only looking at this birth but also what’ll go with the soul
- Trunk denotes flexibility, since it can uproot trees as well lift child with love; hence the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances & adjust to different sanskars of people
- Ears are like dustpans used to remove dirt; hence keeping a check on what we hear to ensure nothing waste, negative or impure goes in
- Half teeth is broken; we may interpret it such that even if one has physical deformities, the one who’s filled with virtues inside is automatically loved by all
- Stomach is large, denoting the power to accommodate ie not spreading any matters unnecessarily, forgetting the past, forgiving others, etc
- Some idols of Shree Ganesh have one leg folded and the other just touching the ground; which means living in this society & world yet remaining above, ie free from negative influence
- Some idols of Shree Ganesh have lotus in one hand, lotus grows in mud but is still above it; denoting again to live in society & world yet free from negative influence
- Has weapon in one hand, denoting the power to face & become victorious over vices, weaknesses & negativity
- One hand is giving blessings, denoting the power to cooperate
- One hand has modak; it’s a sweet hence denoting to always be & speak sweet, making this sweet is difficult denoting determination; it requires all 5 fingers to make denoting unity
- Has vehicle of mouse, mouse denotes vices, deceit; hence a soul filled with above virtues is victorious over negativity
- Has wives Riddhi & Siddhi, which denotes wealth, name & fame, etc; hence the soul rich with values inside automatically attracts outside attainments.
The name Ganesh means Gan (Gathering) + Esh (Leader) ie the leader of people. Similarly, the name Ganpati, or Gan (Gathering) + Pati (Head) has a similar meaning. Hence, when we become rich of virtues inside & become a ruler over the self, we automatically become a good leader outside ie full of love, understanding & acceptance.
There are some more wonderful features of not only Shree Ganesh, but all divine deities:
- The face is always smiling & hand always giving blessings, inspiring us too to maintain an elevated state of mind always & keep giving pure wishes to all irrespective of situations & people’s behaviour
- Eyes are always loving and full of compassion, forgiveness & mercy; this is automatic & natural when we see others as souls, originally very pure & divine, child of One Supreme Father, etc
- Incense sticks or other fragrance is always kept around idols of deities; denoting that when we inculcate divine virtues, the resulting vibrations makes everyone around feel very comfortable & divine
- The prasad, or food offering to deities is always given great importance. Since it’s cooked with the intention of offering to God, the resulting thoughts creates elevated vibrations which get absorbed in the food benefitting all eating. Similarly, we could also cook food in our kitchen daily with the intention of first offering to God, then it’ll also have elevated vibrations benefitting all eating daily
- The coconut is always important in worship, the coconut is hard from outside but very soft from inside. Hence, even though we may need to be assertive or disciplined in our role, we can be very loving, caring & compassionate with all
Spiritual Significance of Shree Ganesh Stories
Birth of Shree Ganesh
It’s shown that Ganesh takes birth from the dust on Parvati’s body; and his father cuts off his head & then establishes an elephant’s head. This may sound strange to a rational mind, but it’s actually symbolic of a wonderful spiritual meaning.
God reveals the spiritual significance of this story very beautifully. The dust on the body denotes body consciousness, our state at the end of Kaliyuga (Iron Age). In this state of mind, we are unable to recognise our Supreme Father who has descended, hence God cuts off our head of ego and gives wisdom to us (elephant head denotes wisdom & has features explained above). And with the help of this wisdom & our spiritual efforts, we get transformed from ordinary humans to worship-worthy deities.
Travelling the world
It’s shown that Ganesh & his brother Kartikeya once competed in a race to find who can travel the world fastest. Although Kartikeya swiftly finished making a round on the earth, Ganesh was victorious since he simply went round his parents denoting that parents are my world.
This denotes the one who develops a close loving relationship with the Supreme Parent God automatically becomes close to the world ie with everyone else, since:
- When we remain connected to God, the Ocean of Love, we remain filled with His love, hence automatically sharing it with everyone we interact with
- When we remain connected to God, we remember His Shrimat (elevated directions) of always looking at specialities & virtues of others rather than weaknesses, improving our relations with all
- When we remain connected to God, we remember that everyone whom I am interacting with are His children, hence emerging natural love, respect & closeness with all
Cultural Significance of Ganesh Chaturthi
Before starting new venture
Before starting a new venture, Shree Ganesh is worshipped. This is to ensure the venture proceeds smoothly without obstacles because he’s called Vighna Vinashak, the destroyer of obstacles.
This teaches us that when we inculcate the above virtues like Shree Ganesh, we ourselves become capable of destroying our obstacles. Because obstacles arise as a result of our past karma, hence only we have the power to destroy our obstacles.
Further, Shree Ganesh denotes wisdom. Hence, it’s only the power of spiritual knowledge ie daily listening to knowledge that enables us to easily inculcate virtues & hence overcome obstacles.
Fulfilling aspirations behind the festival
We know our most respected national leader Lokmanya Tilak Ji started this festival to strengthen unity among people. And indeed, this spirit still continues today as many bring the idol at their homes, invite their near & dear ones, etc hence resulting in an auspicious get-together.
However, in routine life, we still find ourselves divided today perhaps not as much in terms of caste, creed, language, etc but subtly in terms of age, gender, education, position, etc.
To overcome this, let’s realise these differences arise only when we look at the body. If we look at the soul, we remember that:
- We are all souls
- We’re all children of One Supreme Father
- We have the same original sanskars of purity, peace, love & happiness
- We belong to the same home, have the same form, etc
- We are One
developing a natural sense of unity & closeness with all.
Hence, the more we inculcate soul consciousness ie listen to spiritual knowledge & meditate, it develops such an elevated stage that whenever someone comes in front of us, we automatically remember he’s a soul. Thus, we experience an instant sense of unity & oneness, also radiating the same comforting vibrations to them.
Hence, let’s inculcate soul consciousness for developing true unity, to truly fulfill the aspirations behind the festival.
True Meaning of Shree Ganesh
God reveals that Shree Ganesh is actually symbolic of a soul at this auspicious Confluence Age, the small time between Kaliyuga (Iron Age) & Satyuga (Golden Age) when God Himself descends. It denotes the soul who, at this time, recognises God coming in incognito form, listens to His spiritual knowledge daily & becomes an embodiment of wisdom. Hence, he easily inculcates divine virtues & finishes weaknesses, becoming a worship-worthy deity from an ordinary human.
Hence, when worshipping Shree Ganesh this time, let’s remember what the idol is teaching us. It’s indeed the call of time now, when God Himself has descended as per His promise & is sharing jewels of knowledge daily, that we also reconnect to Him by listening to His spiritual knowledge and meditating daily. This will easily & naturally make us full of divine virtues, not only benefitting us in this life but several lifetimes, benefitting not only us but everyone around us, hence giving justice to the true meaning of Ganesh Chaturthi!
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