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  • Dinesh Shahra

Ganpati Baappa Morya..

In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha is the deity of beginnings and the remover of obstacles. The name Ganesh is derived from Sanskrit terms gana, which means a group or the common people and isha, which means lord or master. When translated, Ganesh means Lord of the People or Lord of the Group. In Hinduism, there are about 108 names derived from the Sanskrit language dedicated to him, such as Ganesha, Ganapati, Vignharta, Lambodara, and Ekadanta to name a few. Apart from the religious and social purpose, Ganesh Chaturthi also has a deep spiritual significance. Lord Ganesha’s birth story conveys something very symbolic. Goddess Parvati while taking bath, makes the form of Ganesha with turmeric paste. She breathes life into the form and makes him as a young boy and appoints him as a guard. When Lord Shiva comes in, Ganesha doesn’t recognize him and doesn’t allow him inside. This results in a fight and Shiva severes the head of Ganesha. Finally, when the truth is recognized, an elephant’s head is fixed on the headless boy.

Goddess Parvati taking bath symbolizes the first step in the spiritual path: preparing the ground by purifying oneself. Ganesha guarding the door is your awareness guarding the contents of the mind, which symbolizes the second step in the spiritual path where you remain as a witness. When Lord Shiva or the self realization comes, the head or the ahamkara, the feeling that one is the doer of his actions, is severed. Elephant symbolizes wisdom. Wisdom replaces ahamkara, through which one can access both material and spiritual prosperity.

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