Introducing Lord Ganesh
Hindu religion recognizes the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva as the bedrock of religious thought. These are the exalted deities, but there are some less exalted deities or gods that have also a great effect on Hindu philosophy. One of these deities is Lord Ganesh, popularly referred to as the Elephant God. As he is a second-tier god his place in most temples is as a doorkeeper. This has a special significance as it means that Lord Ganesh being a guard of a temple, is thus closer to the human mind and aspirations. Ganesh was the son of Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati.
Lord Ganesh is the most loved of all the gods and there is not a village in India that does not have this deity in some form in a temple or place of worship. He is referred to as the elephant deity as he supports the trunk of an elephant as his nose. Elephant gods are popular all over the world and people in China, Japan, Thailand, Brazil, and Mexico also worship a form of an elephant god.
More about Lord Ganesh
Lord Ganesh is greatly loved in the pantheon of Hindu gods. Any believer entering a temple will first pray to Lord Ganesh as he is the gatekeeper. Praying to Ganesh is supposed to bring good fortune and a man rises up in life. Ganesh represents the Mooldhara chakra, which is the first energy center in the world and represents the earth. That is the reason that learned sages recommend seeking the blessings of the elephant god before starting a new venture or proceeding on some voyage or important work. He has the power to remove obstacles, as he is flanked by his two consorts Siddhi and Buddhi. They are two goddesses who were very beautiful but represent the higher intellectual side of Lord Ganesh.
Siddhi represents spiritual fulfillment and Buddhi is associated with Intellect. Both are said to be energies, that emerged from Ganesha and became his consorts. Siddhi- Buddhi-Ganapati is the intelligent form of Ganesha. They have a definite role in Hindu thought. Siddhi gives blessings of intuitive intelligence, and Buddhi brings analytical intelligence.
With the Siddhi, Buddhi, and Ganapati, you can not only get blessings for a new venture but also receive spiritual fulfillment and intelligence.
Ganesh is represented with a trunk of an elephant. This is perhaps not without significance as the elephant is known to be extremely sensitive to sound waves even below 20 Hertz. This allows elephants to ward off dangers like earthquakes and storms.
Significance of Lord Ganesh
Ganesh represents intellect and thought. He is a fast thinker. Legend tells us that Ganesh entered into a competition with his brother Muruga and they decided to run a race around the earth. Muruga started off with a dash to run around the globe, but Ganesh did something very intelligent. He just circled his parents Shiva and Parvati and that sufficed as he won all the wisdom from them.
Ganesh was advised by his father Shiva to sacrifice the most powerful being in the world, to achieve total benefits. He also told Ganesh that Shiva was the most powerful person and it was not easy to sacrifice him. He suggested he could as a substitute sacrifice a coconut. Thus when you circle a coconut around your head and break it, it absorbs the lower vibrations and the breaking of the coconut symbolizes a renewal of your life.
Ganesh Chaturthi is an annual festival celebrated with great gaiety all over India. A little-known fact is that the Hindu calendar is cyclic in nature. Thus every 60 years Ganesh is supposed to appear in a different form. As per Hindu philosophy, the Ganesh who will now appear in the future will be a Ganesh who will be a Ganesh without a trunk or as we say a Naramukha Ganesh: a human-headed Ganesh.
Ganesha in Buddhism
No article on Lord Ganesh is complete without the reference to his place in Buddhism. The Buddha is recognized as the ninth Avatar of Vishnu and many people have commented that Buddhism has a lot of similarities with Hinduism with many common beliefs. Ganesha appears in Mahayana Buddhism, in the form of the Buddhist god Vināyaka. As the Buddhist god Vināyaka, he is often shown dancing. This form, called Nṛtta Ganapati was popular in North India.
A Tibetan rendering of Ganapati is tshogs bdag. Ganesha appears in China and Japan in forms that identify with the region. In Northern China, the earliest known stone statue of Ganesha carries an inscription dated to 531. In Japan, Ganesha is known as Kangiten. The Ganesha cult was first mentioned in 806.
Lord Ganesh is a universal god and has his stamp all over Southeast Asia, India, Japan, and China. It is worthwhile to remember that more than 2 billion people on this planet rever and worship Lord Ganesh.
© 2011 MG Singh
MG Singh (author) from UAE on June 26, 2021:
Thank you, Tom, there is one inalienable fact that there has never been a conflict between Hinduism and Christianity and both complement each other but unfortunately, Islam is very rigid and does not assimilate with the local people. In Kerala, I have been reading about love jihad and how Christians and Hindus have joined together against this practice.
tom on June 25, 2021:
himduism and christanity has trinity,west hinduism and sikhism spreading fast in west.islam faliure,ganesha temples in kerala
MG Singh (author) from UAE on June 25, 2021:
Thank you Jennifer for commenting.Yes, he is followed by 2 billion people.
Jennifer on June 25, 2021:
Thrilling information about Lord Ganesha the Hindu God. I did not know that even in Buddhism you say is off shoot of Hinduism love Ganesh.
Indian Chef from New Delhi India on March 13, 2012:
Very nice blog on God Ganesh.. Without his worship, no worship is complete in Hindu religion
MG Singh (author) from UAE on September 03, 2011:
Shea Thank you.
shea duane from new jersey on September 03, 2011:
this is a very intersting hub. i'd love to read a literary analysis of all the Hindu stories.
MG Singh (author) from UAE on September 03, 2011:
thank you Raghav
Raghav Rathi from Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India. on September 03, 2011:
Very informative... :)
thanks for sharing... :)