The universe is a group of atoms and different energies. This universe would be in chaos if there was no supreme governing body with super intelligence for governing these diverse groups of entities. In Sanskrit language these entities or groups are called Gana. So, this body of super intelligence has been termed as lord of the group or Ganesh. In other words the Lord of all these groups of atoms and energies is Ganesha.Ganesh is the supreme consciousness that pervades all and brings order in this universe. Ganesha is the same energy which is the reason for this universe.
It has been created by the energy from which everything manifests and into which everything will dissolve. It is therefore available in Indian scriptures that Ganesha was born of the `dirt’ of Adi Shakti, as she bathed. Adi Shakti Parvati removed the dirt from her body and created a boy out of it. She then asked him to keep guard while she bathed. When Shiva returned, the boy did not recognize him and obstructed his passage. So Shiva chopped off the boy’s head and entered. Parvati was shocked when she saw this. She explained to Shiva that the boy was their son and pleaded with Shiva to save him at all costs. Shiva then instructed his helpers to go and get the head of someone who was sleeping with their head pointing to the north. The helpers then got the head of an elephant, which Shiva affixed to the boy’s torso and Ganesha was born!
Through this story Rishis wanted to convey that when the matter and energy both are existing, there must be intelligence in the form of supreme law to govern the system of the universe. Since both the matter and energy are existing in the system of the universe, the intelligence in the form of supreme law ( i.e Ganesha) also should be such that it has share of both the matter and energy.
Ganesha is venerated as the first deity, the first step to the phenomenal experiences of the world of spirit. Sages foresaw obstacles in cosmic progress, and installed Shiva and Parvathi’s firstborn, Ganesha, as the god to be invoked for removal of obstacles in the path of success, Vighneswara. He’s called Vinayaka, the supreme leader. Our ancient Rishis chose to express Divinity in terms of stories and symbols so that normal people can understand and give priority to intellect and intelligence whenever they wish to start performing any action. Ganesha is depicted generally in a seated pose, signifying that in him, the mind and intellect are totally integrated. The pose also resembles that first primeval cosmic sound in Sanskrit: Aum. His large body is symbolic of the entire cosmo
Head of elephant symbolizes the system having great sensors for sensing the matter and great head to understand and decide for the best use of matter and energy. Ganesha’s elephant head is symbol of the intellectual capacity and immense wisdom and Knowledge one must have to understand the Supreme Truth. Wisdom is something that comes out of independent thinking and reflection. This can happen only when one has taken in knowledge through the great senses like large ears and Knowledge and long trunk like nose, i.e. the organs that can sense from the distance. The wise person hears all and smell its characteristics from distance.
Emerging from the Lord’s head is the elephant trunk. An elephant’s trunk has the strength to uproot a tree as well as the finesse to pick up a needle. This is symbolised by the trunk that can lift a log of wood, and a blade of grass. Ganesha’s trunk symbolises the fact that the wise person has both immense strength and fine discrimination.
Our intellect is of two kinds, gross and subtle.
- The gross intellect is used to discriminate between pairs of opposites in the world; black and white, hard and soft, easy and difficult.
- The subtle intellect, on the other hand, discriminates between right and wrong; permanent and impermanent and is colloquially called the conscience.
Ganesha has only one tusk; the other is shown broken. The two tusks are symbolic of right and wrong. But one tusk is broken, meaning that as the perfect student, he has gone beyond the pairs of opposites, beyond the subjective and objective -to a higher plane of consciousness. The broken tusk also symbolises that nothing is too precious to be sacrificed for intellectual progress. Also the symbolism of the broken tusk is that the wise person is beyond duality and signifies one-pointedness. Wisdom allows us to see all as one and ourselves an integral part of the whole.
Ganesha’s big belly represents space, generosity and total acceptance. The mastermind has to digest all experiences of life. Even the implements Ganesha wields are symbolic. He carries in his hands, the ‘Ankusa’ (signifying awakening) that represents the annihilation of desire with the axe of spirituality. The modak symbolises the happiness and joy a seeker derives from the spiritual pursuit. The Lord’s posture with one foot on the ground and the other folded up conveys to us that while we must operate in the world there must also be a constant alignment with Atman in and through all our ground to earth experiences.
Ganesha is shown seated on a rat. The reason for saying that Ganesha ‘rides’ on the rat is that the rat is among the greediest of all animals. It will keep nibbling at whatever is available, eating everything it can. Scientifically, too, the rat’s teeth keep growing and it has to keep chewing on something to keep these within limits. The rat is a symbol of our senses, which are never satisfied. They crave new experiences, new tastes. Left uncontrolled, they keep growing forever. The wise person rides on his senses. He keeps them under control. The knowledge of the infinite Self can be communicated through the finite equipments of body, mind and intellect.
Ganesha is the deity closest to physical creation, the swami of ridhhi and siddhi. This indicates that it is the Super intelligence that controls all the riddhi and siddhi, a speck of dirt of the phenomenal force of the Mother. Riddhi is the force responsible for prosperity and abundance all material riches and luxury pertaining to the five senses. Siddhi refers to spiritual powers, including extra-sensory perception, and thought manifestation.