Lord Ganesha is the elephant-headed God. His Names are repeated first before any auspicious work is begun, before any kind of worship is begun. He is the Lord of power and wisdom, harmony and peace. He is the eldest son of Lord Siva and the elder brother of Kartikeya. Known by many as Ganapathi.
He is the Lord who removes all obstacles on the path of the spiritual aspirant, and bestows upon him worldly as well as spiritual success. Without the grace and help of Sri Ganesha nothing whatsoever can be achieved. No action can be undertaken without His support, grace or blessing.
Pray with faith and devotion that Lord Ganesha may remove all the obstacles that you experience on the spiritual path. Worship Him at home, too. Have an image of Lord Ganesha in your house. Feel His presence in it. Take fresh spiritual resolves and pray to Lord Ganesha for inner spiritual strength to attain success in all your undertakings.
May the blessings of Sri Ganesha be upon you all! May He remove all the obstacles that stand in your spiritual path! May He bestow on you all material prosperity as well as liberation!‘––Swami Sivananda
Once upon a time the Goddess Parvati (consort of Lord Siva), while bathing, created Ganesha as a pure white being out of the mud of Her body and placed Him at the entrance of the house. She told Him not to allow anyone to enter while she went inside for a bath. Lord Siva Himself was returning home quite thirsty and was stopped by Ganesha at the gate. Lord Siva became angry at being obstructed and as He thought Ganesha was an intruder He cut off Ganesha’s head.
When Parvati came to know of this she was sorely grieved. To console her grief, Lord Siva ordered His servants to cut off and bring to Him the head of any creature that might be sleeping with its head facing north. The servants found only an elephant in that position. The sacrifice was thus made and the elephant’s head was brought before Siva, who then joined the elephant’s head onto the body of Ganesha.
Ladoos and the Moon
Lord Ganesha is very fond of ladoos, sweet balls of rice flour. On one of His birthdays He was going from house to house accepting the offerings of ladoos. Having eaten a good number of these, He set out moving on His mouse at night. Suddenly the mouse stumbled–it had seen a snake and became frightened– with the result that Ganesha fell down.
His stomach burst open and all the ladoos came out. But Ganesha stuffed them back into His stomach and, catching hold of the snake, tied it around His belly. Seeing all this, the moon in the sky laughed heartily. This unseemly behaviour of the moon annoyed Ganesha immensely and in his anger He pulled out one of His tusks and hurled it against the moon, and cursed that no one should look at the moon on the Ganesh Chaturthi day. If anyone does, he will surely earn a bad name, censure or ill-repute.
Ganesha and His brother Lord Subramanya once had a dispute as to who was the elder of the two. The matter was referred to Lord Siva for the final decision. Siva decided that whoever would make a tour of the whole world and come back first to the starting point had the right to be the elder. Subramanya flew off at once on his vehicle, the peacock, to make a circuit of the world.
But the wise Ganesha went, in loving worshipfulness, around His divine parents and asked for the prize. Lord Siva said, “Beloved and wise Ganesha! But how can I give you the prize; you did not go around the world?” Ganesha replied, “No, but I have gone around my parents. My parents represent the entire manifested universe!” Thus the dispute was settled in favour of Lord Ganesha, who was thereafter acknowledged as the elder of the two brothers.
One day Sage Veda Vyasa decided to write a story which became the great epic known as the Mahabharata. He needed someone of the highest calibre of intellect and wisdom to write down the story as he dictated it. He decided that Lord Ganesha would be a good choice. Ganesha agreed to the task but stipulated that Vyasa should not stop dictating, even for a moment or Ganesha would leave. Vyasa agreed but added his own stipulation that Ganesha would not write down a word without understanding its meaning.
In this way, Vyasa in order to have time to compose the next lines, would offer some very difficult riddle for Ganesha to inscribe. Ganesha had to think before writing it down, thus giving Vyasa time to ponder a little. At one point, Ganesha’s stylus broke. He could not stop writing so he broke off one of his tusks and started writing with it. In this manner the great epic Mahabharata was written in two and a half years. Painting by Rajesh, priest at the Sivananda Meenakshi Ashram, Madurai