Ganesha

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...The clever Ganesha walked around his parents and said to them “You are the Universe”. He was considered the winner and his wedding was celebrated with Siddhi (Success) and Buddhi (Intelligence), the two daughters of the Lord of the World - Vishvarupa. - Alain Daniélou.
Ganesha is a great scribe. It is who has written down the Mahabharata, the biggest epic ever composed in the world. Having composed Mahabharata mentally, Vyasa was in search of a competent scribe, but he could not find one. At last he found one in Ganesha, the lord of the worldly wisdom and learning... - B.R. Kishore.
Ganesh the elephant headed, risking his life to save the honor of his mother Pārvati. ~ Life of Pi

Ganesha (/ɡəˈneɪʃə/; गणेश, Gaṇeśa, or Ganesh, and also known as Ganapati and Vinayaka, is an elephant-headed deity in the Hindu pantheon, widely revered regardless of sectarian affiliations as the remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences and the deva of intellect and wisdom. As the god of beginnings, he is honoured at the start of rituals and ceremonies.

Quotes[edit]

All talk of surrender is like stealing sugar from a sugar image of Ganesha and then offering it to the same Ganesha. ~ Ramana Maharshi.
  • At the time of Ganesha's 'birth', Shiva was away from the family home. On returning, and finding an unknown young man standing guard outside the bathroom of his wife, he naturally challenged him. Ganesha was equally unknowing of his father, and the two came to blows. The result was never in doubt, for Shiva is the greatest of the Gods, and the father killed his own son, by cutting off his (human) head. When Parvati found out what had happened and explained the circumstances to Shiva, the god undertook to restore Ganesha to life. This he did by ordering by one of his retinue to bring the head of the first animal he met. This was an elephant, and thus Ganesha was returned to life with an elephant’s head. Further, as compensation for the loss of his human head, Ganesha was entrusted by Shiva with the leadership of the members of his rowdy and dwarfish retinue (the ganas). Ganesha’s name means no more than ‘Lord of the Gana’. In recognition of his courage in the defense of his mother’s chamber, Ganesha is given custody over all doorways.
    • T. Richard Blurton in: Hindu Art, Harvard University Press, 1993, p. 105.
  • When the two boys [Ganesha and Skanda] were of marriageable age, Shiva and Parvati did not know which of the children to marry off first. So they proposed a competition: We shall celebrate the marriage of the one who first returns after having gone round the world. The clever Ganesha walked around his parents and said to them “You are the Universe”. He was considered the winner and his wedding was celebrated with Siddhi (Success) and Buddhi (Intelligence), the two daughters of the Lord of the World - w:Vishvarupa.
    • Alain Daniélou in: "Gods of Love and Ecstasy: The Traditions of Shiva and Dionysus" P.96.
  • He is the guardian of gates and mysteries. In Egypt, Osiris appears as the guardian of his mother’s door. As guardian of gates, Ganesha guards the entrance to the labyrinth, the mysterious paths inside the human body which start from the energy coiled at the base of the spine. In Yoga practice, Ganesha’s centre is situated in the region of the rectum.
    • Alain Daniélou in: "Gods of Love and Ecstasy: The Traditions of Shiva and Dionysus" P.96.
  • Figures of Ganesha can be found in a little niche at the top of every Hindu door and gate. Now, the door of a house is a very important place. It separates your house from hostile outer environs. Ganesha stands there to protect you and your dwelling against all possible evil forces. He is a great God at the gate
    • B.R. Kishore in: "Lord Ganesh", p. 14.
  • As Vighneshwara, Ganesha is the god of obstacles. He removes as well as places obstacles. His work is both negative and positive. He prevents the people from the execution of their evil designs by putting various hurdles in their path.
    • B.R. Kishore in: "Lord Ganesh", p. 15.
  • Vishnu offers Ganesha his worship by calling him Ekadanta, Heramba, Vighnayaka, Lambodara, Shurpakarna, Gajavaktra and Guhagraja. Praising Ganesha, Radha, the most beloved companion of Sri Krishna recited the mantra.
    • B.R. Kishore in: "Lord Ganesh", p. 19.
  • Ganesha is a great scribe. It is who has written down the Mahabharata, the biggest epic ever composed in the world. Having composed Mahabharata mentally, Vyasa was in search of a competent scribe, but he could not find one. At last he found one in Ganesha, the lord of the worldly wisdom and learning. It was agreed upon that Vyasa would go on dictating the epic non-stop to Ganesha provided the former thoroughly understood what he dictated. Ganesha started taking dictation of Mahabharata from the sage Vyasa Dwaypana on palm leaves. He was writing with an iron spike. When about three-fourths of the epic was over, suddenly the pen snapped and Ganesha for a moment in a kind of a fix but then at once he broke his right tusk and continued writing Mahabharata with it. This act of Ganesha clearly reflects his great wisdom and resourcefulness, and the idea that no sacrifice is great for a noble cause. Because of this incident Ganesha is also known as Ekadanta or single tusked.
    • B.R. Kishore in: "Lord Ganesh", p. 19.
  • Ganesha is the eldest son of Shankara and Parvati. Karttikeya or Skanda is his younger brother. As regards the origin and birth of Ganesha there are several stories and legends enshrined in Puranas and Upa-puranas
    • B.R. Kishore in: "Lord Ganesh", p. 19.
  • Ganesha is frequently depicted with Saraswati, the Goddess of learning and music, and Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. Since Ganesha is associated with similar attributes as the goddesses, many devotees believe that they are his wives in previous incarnations. This assumption is reinforced by their worship along with Ganesha, especially during Diwali. But no myths support this notion. The deities are worshiped together simply because they represent similar goals.
    • Royina Grewal in: "The Book of Ganesha", p. 66.
  • That poem "The Walrus and the Carpenter," that's an indictment of organized religion. The walrus, with his girth and good nature, obviously represents either Buddha or, with his tusks, the Hindu elephant god Lord Ganesha — that takes care of your eastern religions. Now the carpenter, which is an obvious reference to Jesus Christ, who was raised a carpenter's son, he represents the western religions.
  • All talk of surrender is like stealing sugar from a sugar image of Ganesha and then offering it to the same Ganesha. You say that you offer up your body and soul and all your possessions to God, but were they yours to offer? At best you can say, 'I wrongly imagined till now that all these, which are Yours, were mine. Now I realise that they are Yours and shall no longer act as though they were mine'. And this knowledge that there is nothing but God or Self, that 'I' and 'mine' do not exist and that only the Self exists is jnana. It is enough that one surrenders oneself.
    • Ramana Maharshi, as quoted in Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi in His Own Words (1996).
  • Dr. Uma Mysorekar lifted the coconut above her head and dashed it against the gray granite floor of the temple, shattering it into pieces.
    A riotous orchestra of ringing bells, thumping drums and the oboe-like nadaswaram reverberated in the cool predawn air. A piercing call emanated from a silver-tipped conch shell. And a semicircle of onlookers, draped in magenta, saffron, violet and burgundy, clapped as if in chorus.
    At the Hindu Temple Society of North America, in Flushing, Queens, this week is time to worship Ganesh, the elephant-headed, many-armed deity who is believed to remove obstacles. Here, as at temples in over a dozen countries, Hindus are celebrating Ganesha Chaturthi, which marks the god’s birth (and rebirth).
    The coconut shell is like the human ego,” said Mohan Ramaswamy, who teaches at the temple on Bowne Street. “You have to crack it open before you can let in the lord.
Clay image of baby Ganesha worshiped in the house...He receives special pujas throughout the day and often a festival parade. Each year we obtain or make a small or large soft clay image of Ganapati and use it for worship at home for two to ten days after Ganesha Chaturthi. - Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.
  • Ganesh Chaturthi also known as Vinaya Chathurthu, is the festival day celebrating the birth of Lord Ganesha. One of the great national festivals of India, and the foremost annual festival to Ganesha, it is celebrated on the chathurthi or fourth day after the new Moon in the Tamil month of Avani (August/September). He receives special pujas throughout the day and often a festival parade. Each year we obtain or make a small or large soft clay image of Ganapati and use it for worship at home for two to ten days after Ganesha Chaturthi.
  • In Karnataka, India, young people make a ritual of seeing 108 Vinayakas on this occasion, so they go about visiting their friends’ and relatives’ houses on this day...The worship of Ganesha on this day is supposed to confer advancement in learning to the young student and success in any enterprise undertaken.
Ganesha Visarjana (a Sanskrit word meaning “departure”) names the Ganesha Chathurthi immersion ceremony. Especially in Maharashtra state, it takes place ten days after Ganesh Chathurthi;... - Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.
  • Ganesha Visarjana (a Sanskrit word meaning “departure”) names the Ganesha Chathurthi immersion ceremony. Especially in Maharashtra state, it takes place ten days after Ganesh Chathurthi; though in some areas Visarjana is done on the Chathurthi day itself. It is a ceremony of fond farewell to a beloved God. On Chathurthi day we celebrate Ganesha’s birthday and then honour Him as our beloved guest for ten days. Then on the tenth day called Anant Chaturdashi of the lunar fortnight, we bid Him fond farewell at the ocean shore or banks of a river or babbling brook of love and watch Him float off on the conveyance [we have] prepared for Him until he finally disappears from sight into the waters. We honor his departure with a grand parade, as we carry Him on a palanquin bedecked with flowers and accompanied by puja, music, dance and celebration.
  • Ganesha the god-maker regarded the jungle about him. Though he walked through the realm of the phantom cats, he feared no evil. For the Lord of Chaos walked by his side, and the Trident of Destruction comforted him.

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