Ganesh (also spelled Ganesa or Ganesha and known as Ganapati, Vinayaka and Pillaiyar) is the Lord of Good Fortune who provides prosperity, fortune and success. He is the Lord of Beginnings and the Remover of Obstacles of both material and spiritual kinds. Interestingly, he also places obstacles in the path of those who need to be checked.
Symbolism and Significance of Ganesha
- Ganesha's big belly represents generosity and total acceptance.
- Ganesha's upraised hand depicts protection. It means, 'Fear not, I am with you', and his lowered hand, palm facing outwards means endless giving as well as an invitation to bow down. This is also symbolic of the fact that we will all dissolve into earth one day.
- Ganesha also has a single tusk which signifies one-pointedness. Even the implements Ganesha wields are symbolic.
- He carries in his hands the 'Ankusa' (signifying awakening) and the 'Paasa' (signifying control). With awakening, a lot of energy is released, which without proper control, can go haywire.
- Ganesha, the elephant-headed God travel on something as small as a mouse? Isn't that so incongruous? Again there is symbolism that runs deep. The mouse snips and nibbles away at ropes that bind. The mouse is like the mantra which can cut through sheaths and sheaths of ignorance, leading to the ultimate knowledge represented by Ganesha!