Ganesh Chaturthi –a Spiritual Journey


Spiritual journey is all about inner well being and Ganesh Chaturthi is the best time to take spiritual resolve by praying to Lord Ganesha to bestow inner spiritual strength to help us attain success in our spiritual and worldly endeavors.  Lord Ganesha, the endearing elephant-headed God, also known as Vighna Harta removes hurdles and obstacles from the path of those aspiring for spiritual enlightenment.

Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most widely celebrated Indian festivals by the Hindus worldwide. It’s the birthday of Lord Ganesha, falling on the 4th day of the bright fortnight of Bhadrapada (August-September) followed by ten days of celebrations.

During the Festival Lord Ganesha (who was created from Goddess Parvati’s energies) is demonstrated or manifested by statues made from clay, that are installed at homes and in public places; followed by ten days of celebrations filled with fervor and fanfare. While some families have the tradition of keeping Ganesha for one day, some keep for two days and some keep for all ten days. On concluding day clay idols are immersed in water, depicting merging of energy with the divine.

The cycle completes the spiritual journey from form to formless, revealing to us that the formless spirit that is all pervading is all powerful and above disparities. The ten days of festivities are aimed at taking us closer to consciousness about this eternal formless truth.

The underlying essence of all the various rituals performed during the festival guides us towards seeking this eternal truth. It teaches us that we may look different but all of us are made from one formless spirit or the divine energy that can’t be destroyed or compared on the basis of shape, color, caste, creed etc.

The way the idol is sculptured (the symbolic philosophy of the form) represents the process of evolution.

Lord Ganesha is worshiped as the Lord of power and wisdom. His large elephant head and ears are teaching us to gain as much knowledge as we can and store it within. The half closed eyes are saying that we should while looking and living in the outside world should also be constantly introspecting within ourselves at our own thoughts and actions. The sweets in His hand represent that we should be caring and compassionate towards others. The large belly represents that we should be able to forgive like we accept ourselves to be forgiven.

At Lord Ganesha’s feet is his vehicle, a mouse which is a representation of Kaal (Time). As the mice slowly but surely bites into anything and destroys it, similar time is moving forward every day not stopping for anything and not waiting for anyone. Even as time is moving forward, nibbling away at our lives, we remain engulfed in Maya (illusion) blinded by our Ahamkara (Ego). The only way we can free ourselves from this Bandha (bondage) is through knowledge and wisdom. Thus the mythological representation of Lord Ganesha, the God of Wisdom, having the power to ride over the Time, depicted as the mouse.

His two feet represent -the power of knowledge & power of action. Lord Ganesha is also known to preside in our Muladhara Chakra, the Energy Centre in our body where the Kundalini Shakti resides.

This is the significance of Lord Ganesha having a human body, head of an elephant, with a mouse as a His vehicle.

He is an embodiment of wisdom and bliss and also worshipped as the lord of peace and harmony.

Let us pray to Lord Ganesha this season to guide us to seek the eternal formless truth.