4943 WordsMar 7, 201220 Pages
Vinayagar or Ganesha is best known as the God of new beginnings. This aspect of the God can be explained by the stories of his origins. The Padma Purana tells that Ganesha was the son of Shiva and Parvati and was born a perfect and normal child. At Parvati's invitation, the other gods and goddesses came to see the new baby and to bestow their blessings upon him. Unfortunately, Parvati's brother Sani had been cursed by his wife so that if he looked at anyone, that person was reduced to ashes. Parvati was so proud of her son that she insisted that Sani come to admire him. Only a quick sideways glance from Sani was enough to cause Ganesha's head to fly off his shoulders. Brahma was also present and promised that the transplantation of the…show more content…
His right foot or leg is often crossed over his left, again demonstrating the need for knowledge and reason to overcome emotion. Ganesha is often depicted holding tray of ladoos, a popular sweet, which represents wealth and prosperity. Sometimes he is seen to be holding a ladoo in in his trunk, demonstrating the discovery of the sweetness of the atman. There is a mouse at Ganesha's feet which represents the ego. When Ganesha rides this mouse, he is demonstrating the conquest of ego in order to obtain wisdom and humility. Mice are also known for their ability to gnaw through most anything, which further illustrates Ganesha's aspect as the remover of obstacles. While the above description of Ganesha is the most common, this god has 32 forms in which he may appear, along with 108 names, each with its own meaning. Ningyo has previously posted a diagram which illustrates the some of the symbolism of Ganesha's form. Other examples of Ganesha's characteristics can be found in the traditional tales which are told about this god. Ganesha's sacred day is the fourth day of each new moon. Ganesh Chaturthi, his birthday festival, falls in the Hindu lunar month of Bhadrapada, which corresponds with our late August/early September. During this festival, worshippers celebrate by holding fund raising events, participating in or viewing public musical and dancing performances, and by feasting and noisemaking. People create artistic
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