Ganesha is one of the most iconic and popular Gods of the Hindu religion. He is easily recognizable due to his elephantine face with a curved trunk and large ears. He is often depicted with a human body with a chubby stomach or “pot belly”, much like the laughing Buddha.
Ganesha is considered to be the destroyer of evil, remover of obstacles and Lord of success. He is also worshiped as the God of knowledge, wisdom and prosperity. He is one of the five major Hindu deities.
The History of Ganesha
Ganesha is the eldest son of Shiva and Parvati. According to lore, the Goddess Parvati created the boy and assigned him the task of guarding her while she bathed. When Shiva arrived, unaware that this was his son, he became enraged by the stranger denying him access to his wife. In a fit of anger he cut off the boys head.
Pavarti was so grief stricken that Shiva sent forth his soldiers to find the head of the first sleeping being they encountered. They returned with an elephant head which was then attached to the boys body, bringing him back to life.
Statues of Ganesh are common throughout India. His image is placed where new businesses and homes are built to welcome prosperity. He is often depicted holding a weapon, which symbolizes the killing of ego as opposed to acts of aggression. A rat or mouse is also common in many renderings of Ganesha. He will either be riding it, or it will be nearby. These rodents are capable of gnawing their way through most materials and symbolize the destruction of obstacles.
Ganesha’s trunk also holds special meaning. A trunk turned to the left is the direction for success. A trunk turned to the right symbolizes releasing or renouncing worldly attachments and seeking the true bliss of enlightenment.
In other renderings, Ganesha is often seen with a musical instrument symbolizing the celebration of the beauty of life and its offerings.
Ganesha statues or images are a great way to invite peaceful, harmonious energy into your environment. In Feng Shui, statues of elephants are often used to draw in protection, good fortune, and wisdom. Those who align and resonate with Ganesha may choose to use his likeness in Feng Shui practices as well. Place a Ganesha statue in areas that need to have the energy opened up or cleared. In the office or workplace, his energy can help remove obstacles to success.