is the son of Shiva and Parvati. Gajanana is the one who
has the elephant face. He is represented by the head of
an elephant with one broken tusk, and a human body. There
are number of legends accounting for his elephant head.
Vinayaka means “supreme leader”. The meanings
of Vighneshwara and Vighnahara mean the master of obstacles
and the remover of obstacles respectively. It is a firm
belief among Hindus that Ganesa alone can remove every obstacle
in the way of success. Therefore by tradition and spiritual
authority, Ganesa’s Grace has to be evoked before
starting any project. At the beginning of every action,
ceremony and endeavor, Ganesa is worshipped and prayers
are offered to Him for the success of what is being started.
is said to have written down the Mahabharata dictated by
Sage Vyasa. He is the lord of Ganas, attendant spirits(Ganapati).
He is portrayed as a pot-bellied, short, stout person, with
four hands. He holds his favorite sweet, Modak, in one of
his hands. In the other hand, we holds a shell, in the third
a discuss, and in the fourth a water Lilly. His vehicle
is a mouse (Musika).
On the fourth day of the month of Bhadra, a worship service(Puja)
is celebrated annually to mark the birth of Ganesha. It
is a widely observed festival. Clay images of Ganesha are
installed at homes and community centers and worshipped
with great fervor. (It is considered unlucky to look at
the moon on this night.) After five or seven or ten days,
the images are taken in procession and immersed (Visarjana)
in a body of water (River, Sea etc.)
believe that Ganesa despite having a big belly and huge
body is subtle in intellect. He rides on a mouse. One may
think, how is it possible. The answer is: Ganesa’s
body may be big but his subtle mind makes the body very
light so that a mouse can carry Him. The famous prayer for
Ganesa is as follows:
Bhoota ganadi sevitam, Kapiththa jamboo phal saara bhakshitam
Umasutam Sokavinasa karanam, Namami vighneswara pada pankajam.
I bow at the lotus feet of Vighneshwara who has the face
of an elephant, who is worshipped by all beings and ganas;
who enjoys the essence of fruits like kapiththa and jamboo;
who is the son of Uma(Parvati), and who destroys sorrow.