The Elephant Headed God

GaneshGanesha, or the Ganesh, occupies a supreme position in the Hindu pantheon. There are several versions of his creation; however, all of them involve decapitation and the replacement of his head with an elephant head. Here is but one version of this story.

Ganesh was created by Goddess Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva, the Lord of Destruction, as a guardian to her privacy that was often disregarded by her powerful husband. Parvati rubbed off the sandalwood paste on her body and out of it created the figure of a young boy. She infused life into the figure and told him he was her son and should guard the entrance to her bath.

Shiva came to see his wife, but the young boy blocked his way and would not let him in. Unaware that the lad was his son, Shiva became furious and in great anger, fought with the boy whose head was severed from his body in the ensuing battle. Parvati, returning from her bath, saw her headless son and was beside herself with sorrow. Shiva pacified her and instructed his followers to bring the head of the first living being they meet. The first creature they encountered was an elephant. They cut off its head and placed it on the body of Parvati’s son and breathed life into him. Overjoyed, Parvati embraced her son.

The most striking feature of Ganesh is thus his elephant head. It is symbolic of auspiciousness, strength and intellectual prowess. The elephant is the largest and strongest of animals of the forest. Yet he is gentle and amazingly, a vegetarian, so that he does not kill to eat. He is very affectionate and loyal to his keeper and is greatly swayed if love and kindness are extended to him. Ganesh, though a formidable deity, is similarly loving and forgiving and moved by the affection of his devotees. The largest animal in the jungle can destroy a whole forest. Ganesh is similarly most powerful and can be ruthless when containing evil.

The elephant uses its trunk to push down a massive tree, carry huge logs to the river and for other heavy tasks. The same huge trunk is used to pick up a few blades of grass, to break a small coconut, remove the hard nut and eat the soft kernel inside. The biggest and minutest of tasks are within the range of Ganesh’s trunk. This ability is symbolic of Ganesh’s intellect and his powers of discrimination. Taken all together, his size, his abilities, his dedication and his loving nature combine to make the Ganesh the “Remover of Obstacles.” It is no wonder Ganesha is so popular with a vast devoted following.

Ganesh is often pictured with a little mouse, either in attendance, or serving as a vehicle upon which to stand or ride. It is implied that the wise do not find anything in the world disproportionate i.e., a mouse carrying an elephant with a bulging belly and that the mouse is comparable to the intellect. It is able to slip unobserved or without our knowledge into places which we would have not thought it possible to penetrate. In doing this it is not concerned whether it is seeking virtue or vice. The mouse represents our wandering, wayward mind, lured to undesirable or corrupting grounds. By showing the mouse paying subservience to Lord Ganesha, it is implied that the intellect has been tamed through the Ganesh’s power of discrimination.

The sacred OM is the most powerful Universal symbol of the divine presence in Hindu thought. It is further said to be the sound which was generated when the world first came into being. The written manifestation of this divine symbol when inverted gives the perfect profile of the god with the elephant head.

Ganesh is the Remover of Obstacles. If there are obstacles in your life which you would like to eliminate and you don’t quite know how to do it (with or without the help of the Ganesh!), a psychic reader or psychic healer at the Center for the New Age can clear negative influences and bring your mind and body into balance. When you are in the ‘light,’ obstacles fall by the wayside and blocks to your consciousness are eliminated.

 


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Spirit guided us to this special place which centuries earlier was used by ancient people as a ceremonial site. We were guided by Spirit to open the Center at this place which is now the heart of spirituality in Sedona.

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Center for the New Age
341 State Route 179
across from Tlaquepaque
Sedona, AZ 86336-6111

888-881-6651 Free
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