Symbolism of Ganesha
Ganesh is a Hindu deity that has many names and sometimes, many faces. The multi-headed Ganesha has many different names depending on the number of heads and is usually referred to as Ganpati. Ganesh, Ganesha, Ganpati are all interchangeable terms for the same deity. Ganesh is one of the many deities treasured in the Tantric tradition and is representative of the First chakra (root) in Kundalini Yoga. Here is an account of my relationship with Ganesh - he was the first incarnation of the Divine that my heart connected with so he is probably the most beloved of all deities to me. This being said, I am admittedly bias <3
Ganesha is a symbol of inner guidance. When we are going the way that is most productive for the growth of our soul, for our conscious evolution, the path is easy and obstacle free. When we veer from that which is productive for our Self, our journey becomes tumultuous and challenging usually until something breaks and we have no choice but to go back to the beginning. It is believed that Ganesh holds the entire Universe in his belly and it is this belief that qualifies him the title "Lord" Ganesha. "The forces of creation, maintenance, and destruction are held in harmonious balance by his will, and that is why this firstborn child of the Divine Mother is called "Ganesha," the lord of all entities and functioning forces of the universe." Ganesha can be an intimidating force when we are clutching on to that which no longer serves us. It is important to keep in mind that he offers guidance that comes to us from within and is not imposing any circumstances that fail to propel us into happiness, abundance and fulfillment. If we participate in the relationship instead of resisting it, we may find it to be most fruitful. The intention of Ganesha is not to destroy what you love or take away what you need, but to clear space for bigger and better things. We must have faith that whatever happens is for the greater good of our self and for the evolution of our universal consciousness. We can avoid the suffering associated with his "destruction" if we pay close attention to the signs he provides and follow our intuition undoubtedly.
I would like to address an aversion I myself once had to the acceptance of Divine incarnates (like Ganesha or Jesus or God, or any highly revered incarnate of Divinity). The relationship between we as humans and deities as embodiments of Divinity is often resented by those who feel their life is unfair, unhappy, and unfulfilling. It is a vicious cycle to be in the midst of feeling victim to all of life's circumstances and just waiting for the next proverbial (or maybe even literal) bomb to drop. The question surfaces, "If God (or whoever) is this all mighty, all knowing, all loving omniscient force why must I suffer? Why does suffering exist at all in the world?" We make the mistake of externalizing the power of creation and destruction, handing it over to some invisible elephant headed man in the sky. The benevolence in the relationship with Divine (how ever it manifests for you) is born through the identification of the Self in that which we hold dear. There is a quote that goes something like, "Love is the souls recognition of our self in another." Just as we find human love by seeing our self in someone else, so too do we find Divine love by seeing our self in the Divine incarnate that resonates most deeply with us. I love Ganesha because I see myself in him and I see him in me and the connection feels right. Furthermore, we externalize the Divine qualities of our beloved deities, turning us into something less worthy of worship than an imaginary symbol of Divinity. In identifying with a Divine incarnate, we learn to find the same righteous qualities within our self and from there we cultivate them until we are are the embodiment of Divine, manifesting in human form to spread Divine Love and help others realize their own inner Divine nature.
The journey of finding our true Self starts in nurturing our relationship with whatever spirit provoking medium we have. As a species, we have grown so far from self-love and self-acceptance we must externalize Unconditional Love to be able to believe it even exists. This is okay as long as we don't stop there. We must advance the relationship, growing more and more intimate until we identify so deeply with our beloved incarnate that we cannot see our self any longer without it, as if we'd lose the very essence of our "you-ness" if we ever had to be separated from this Divine relationship. Getting back to my original point, Ganesha does not demand our love and punish us with hardship if we refuse to accept him into our life. Just as God does not judge those who are not ready to recognize him..it is not just recognizing and loving God but also recognizing and loving our selves that he wishes, as these actions are really one in the same. This unwillingness to participate in a one-sided relationship of worship was the root of my resistance to accepting a Divine incarnate into my life. I was one of the people that felt neglected and abandoned by any sort of benevolent higher power because of all the negativity I perceived in my life and in the lives of those I love. I also had, and still sort of have, a big problem just blindly accepting authority, accepting God because it's "what I'm supposed to do." I felt as though God was super demanding and ego-centric to predetermine my destiny and thwart me every time I tried to make any sort of discovery on my own. This view of what it means to love God distanced me from any sort of relationship with the Divine and quite honestly made me want to rebel, like a teenager asserting their independence. Ganesha knew this about me so he purposefully came to me gently and affectionately through the romantic love of a man. The synchronicity surrounding my realization of my connection with Ganesh is indescribable, but incredibly comforting and reassuring; this experience is where I found my faith. It was through the symbolism of Ganesha and the relationship that grew between us when I wasn't even paying attention that I learned to trust my own intuition and began practicing unconditional Love for myself. Love of Self is Love of God.
If you're interested in going more in depth with your study of Ganesha, check out this blog - they do a great job of breaking Ganesha down so that we may better appreciate both the creative and destructive energies in our lives.
I am not Hindu or religious but I also do not deny myself the connection I experience with Divine incarnates such as Ganesha. I encourage everyone to approach religion with an open mind and more importantly an open heart. In keeping your self open, you may come to appreciate the positive qualities religion brings to humanity and focus less on its global destruction. It is only through love that we can illuminate the darkness! Please do not take anything you read here as fact, for this is a blog and this is my personal experience. My intention is to share whatever personal Truth I have found with you all in the hopes that it may resonate with even just one of you.
Thanks for reading. With love, Namaste
check me out on youtube