What do people know about Lord Ganesh
According to Hindu legend, Ganesha has a human body and an elephant head. One of his tusks has broken off and he has a big belly. He sits with one leg under the other. In its vicinity is tasty food that was offered as an offering. A mouse lies at his feet.
Every part of Ganesha's body symbolizes a spiritual principle. Ganesha's large ears and head indicate wisdom acquired through sravana (hearing) and manana (thinking). An elephant head on a human body represents the highest wisdom. Ganesha's head contains small, piercing eyes that can examine the tiniest detail of any object. These eyes have the inner vision to see the Spirit of God in everyone.
The proboscis represents the intellect or discrimination that arises from wisdom. The trunk has the special ability of coarser as well as finer actuation. A trunk can upset a tree, but it can also pick up a needle. Ganesha's thinking encompasses the realm of matter and that of the spirit (spiritual realm).
Two tusks symbolize the pairs of opposites: joy and pain, hot and cold, day and night, honor and shame. The fact that Ganesha has only one tusk indicates that he has transcended all dualities. Ganesha's big belly means that he has reached perfection and can consume and absorb all experiences.
Ganesha's four arms represent the four aspects of the subtle body: mind, intellect, ego and consciousness. He is holding an ax in one hand and a rope in the other. The ax symbolizes the destruction of all desires and ties. With the rope Ganesha pulls the seeker out of his worldly problems and connects him with eternal happiness. In the third hand, Ganesha holds a candy that represents the reward of spiritual search. In the fourth hand he holds a lotus flower, which symbolizes the highest goal of human evolution: enlightenment. Artists often depict Ganesha holding the ax and rope with two of his hands. Then they let one of his hands take a holy hand position (mudra), which grants protection and blessings.
Ganesha's vehicle is a little mouse. The mouse stands for egoism and worldly desires, which is the cause of all our suffering. Just as the mouse lives in darkness and steals, so our consciousness lives in ignorance and is constantly occupied with material gains, whereby our inner peace is stolen. Ganesha is completely in control of his vehicle, i.e. he has overcome egoism and wishful nature.
Ganesha, who rides his mouse, stands for a perfect human being who uses his limited body, feeling and thinking, represented by the mouse, to convey the limitless truth that Ganesha symbolizes. Body, feeling and thinking are limited. They are unable to express the unlimited Atman. The average person's intellect cannot grasp the truth.
South India worships Ganesha as celibate and unmarried. In northern India, people believed that he had two wives: buddhi, or knowledge, and siddhi, or wealth. In some parts of India, riddhi or success is considered consort rather than buddhi. These wives symbolize that meditation on "Aum" (Ganesha) not only brings spiritual enlightenment, but also knowledge and prosperity or success. Some consider the consorts to be traits related to Ganesha.
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