Believed to be the eradicator of impediments Lord Ganesha is revered by all the Hindus. Read on to know more about this venerated god.


Ganesha



Unique Attributes : Wisdom, prosperity, eradicator of obstacles.
Parents : Lord Shiva & Goddess Parvati
Vahana (Vehicle) : Mouse
Other Names : Ganpati, Ekdanta, Vighneshvara, Gajanan, Vinayak.
Principal Scriptures : Ganesha Purana, Mudgala Purana, Ganapati Atharvashirsa.
Mula Mantra : Om Gan Ganpate Namah

The elephant deity riding the mouse is the Hindu god Ganesha son of Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati. In Hindu tradition all worship and auspicious tasks begin with the invocation of Lord Ganesha, which has earned him the epithet of Vighnesha. Ganapati is also revered as the eradicator of all obstacles and hence is called Vighneshvara. Ganesh has a huge pot bellied human figure with an elephant head and a curved trunk. His vehicle the mouse is quite a tiny creature in contrast to his imposing physical form. This portly lord is venerated as the god of wisdom (buddhi), success (riddhi) and spiritual power (siddhi).

The Mula Mantra Om Gan Ganpataye Namah is always chanted by a believer when he is pleased or in trouble to thank or seek his blessings respectively. Lord Ganesha is also one of the five principal Hindu gods whose worship was popularized by Adi Shankaracharya; the other four gods are Shiva, Vishnu, Surya and goddess Durga. Ganesha's physical form is denoted a deeper spiritual meaning in the Puranas and other ancient religious texts. Lord Ganesha's head signifies the 'atman' (soul) or the highest reality and his body represent 'maya' the principle of unique existence. Ganesha is also venerated by the Buddhists as Vinayak and by the Jains as a form of Lord Kuber.

The term Ganesha literally means the lord of 'gana', hence the god is truly hailed as the almighty of the people or commoners. The festival associated with the Vighneshvara is 'Ganesha Chaturthi' which is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha and it is believed that the Lord himself comes down to earth to bless his believers. In Maharashtra it is the biggest festival of the state, celebrated for ten long days on a grand scale by people belonging to different faiths with a spirit which is unparalleled.