Before beginning a school year, taking a trip, or starting a new business, Hindus pray to Ganesha for assistance, and he is prayed to at the start of all Hindu worship. Most temples have a separate area of worship dedicated to this elephant-headed god, and devotees first visit his image before proceeding to the principle deity’s shrine. Sculptures of Ganesha are often washed with water and adorned with flowers.
If audience has elders too, explain shlokas from RgVed for significance.
Explain meaning and quote some other shlokas too, e.g. shuklambardharam…
Dancing Ganesha 10th century – India, Uttar Pradesh
Dancing Ganesha Sandstone; 23 5/8 in. x 12 3/4 in. x 6 in. (60.1 x 32.4 x 15.3 cm) <ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This dancing, elephant-headed creature is Ganesha, Hinduism ’s Lord of Beginnings and Remover of Obstacles. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
<ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Like most Hindu gods and goddesses Ganesha has multiple limbs, which indicate his supernatural power and cosmic nature. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In some of his many hands, the god holds an attribute, an object closely associated with his personality or history. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The god may be depicted with 2 to 16 arms. Here he is shown with eight, each holding one of his standard attributes. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
<ul><li>In one of his left hands, he holds a giant radish, which he is partial to eating. Radishes symbolize abundance </li></ul><ul><li>Ganesha is also very fond of sweets, and he is often shown holding a bowl of fruits or sweetmeats (candied or crystallized fruits). </li></ul>
<ul><li>Faintly in the center of his forehead, a third eye appears. Like all spiritual beings, Ganesha has three eyes, two for seeing the external world and one for spiritual sight. With this eye, Ganesha sees beyond the appearances of the physical world. </li></ul>
<ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Some of Ganesha’s Attributes </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>His ears are big and hear all the world’s problems. He has four arms to control earth, air, fire and water. His trunk curves to show there is a way out of problems. His necklace holds seeds of life.
Symbolism in Ganesha <ul><li>Known as Omkara as His body mirrors the embodiment of the cosmos </li></ul>
Symbolism in Ganesha Think Big Listen more Concentrate To cut off all worldly bondages, removes obstacles To pull you nearer towards the goal Talk less Retain good throw bad, sacrifice Blesses & protects on path to elevation Adaptability Peacefully digest all good and bad of life Continuous pursuit of knowledge Discover sweetness of Aatman Keep desires and mind under control
Story of Ganesha and The Moon <ul><li>One evening after eating a very large bowl of sweets, Ganesha was riding on his rat, his means of conveyance, when a snake crossed their path. The rat bolted in fright, throwing Ganesha to the ground. When the elephant-headed god fell down, his belly burst open, and all the sweets rolled out. Patiently, Ganesha picked up all the sweets and placed them back into his stomach and then used the snake as a belt to hold them all in. The moon, who saw the incident from up in the sky, laughed at Ganesha, who then snapped off his tusk and hurled it in anger. In this image, Ganesha is shown holding the snake high over his head with one right and one left hand. He is also missing one of his tusks. </li></ul>
Family of Ganesha <ul><li>Lord Shiva is His father </li></ul><ul><li>Goddess Parvati His mother </li></ul><ul><li>Lord Kartikeyan is His brother </li></ul><ul><li>Mouse is His vehicle </li></ul><ul><li>Intelligence is His power </li></ul>
The birth of Ganesha Part 1 <ul><li>The Legend is that Lord Ganesha was created by Parvati using turmaric powder. Parvati wanted a son that would be loyal to her. So she shaped the powder into the shape of her wanting, strong and beautiful, and then brought him to life. Later when Parvati was going to bathe she gives Ganesha a staff and tells him to not let anybody in without permission. After a while Shiva comes and wonders who the mysterious boy was, as he tries to enter Parvati’s living quarters Ganesha stops him. Shiva tries to explain him that Parvati is his wife but Ganesha ignores him and refused to let Shiva into his home. Shiva becomes furious and tries to battle him, Shiva realizes that he was no ordinary boy so he sends his followers to try to defeat the boy, but instead they were defeated by Ganesha. </li></ul>
The birth of Ganesha Part 2 <ul><li>Shiva asks the boy who he was and he replies by saying that “I am the son of Parvati and says no one can enter here without my mothers permission”. Shiva then grow furious and sends his entire army to fight the little boy and yet Ganesha prevails with the help of Kali and Durga. After that Shiva asks Vishnu to come and help him. In the battle Shiva goes furious that he throws his trident as Ganesha and beheads him. Parvati grieves for Ganesha’s death and she decides to destroy the world but Brahma asks for mercy and to not destroy the world. Parvati agrees but only under two conditions, that her son comes back to life and that he is worshipped before any other god. Shiva apologizes and the sends Brahma to go North and bring him the head of the first animal they encounter. Brahma soon returns with the head of an elephant. </li></ul>
The birth of Ganesha Part 3 <ul><li>Brahma fitted the head of the elephant to the boy and sprinkled water on him. Ganesha awake with the head of an elephant on his shoulders. Parvati goes and embraces her son. Shiva then confronts Parvati and announces that from then on the boy shall be named Ganesha, the chief of Shiva’s Ganas, and Vigneshwar, the remover of all obstacles. Shiva also says that Ganesha will be worshipped before any god. </li></ul>
Shri Ganesha Oh Ganapati! One with a curved trunk, a large body, and a brilliance equal to millions of suns! O Lord, please make all my undertakings free from obstacles always.