This week begins the global celebration of Ganesh, the most beloved Roop or Vibhuti (representation) of our Creator. The Utsav or celebration of Ganesh is simply the greatest celebration of the year – the most joyous, the most emotionally rewarding and the most uniting. Beloved of little children & worshiped by the oldest & most accomplished, Ganesh (Gan-Ish – Lord of the people) or Gana-Pati (protector of the people) converts all of India and the entire Global Indian Diaspora with a radiant happiness that is impossible to describe.
It is exceedingly important to understand that Ganesh is NOT a god, distinct from others. But Ganesh is a Roop or Representation of God and hence the entire Universe resides in Ganesh & so do all other deities. As the Eternal Atharva-Sheersha says:
- “You are the Only Creator, You are the Only Preserver, You are the Only Destroyer, You are verily the Entire Brahman. … The entire Universe has been created from You; the entire Universe resides inside You; the entire Universe dissipates into You; … You are Brahman, You are Vishnu, You are Rudra, You are Indra, You are Divine Fire, You are Divine Wind, … You are the Primordial Sound… Illuminate us with Your radiance”
What is created & worshiped is termed as मनुस्वरूपं Manusva-Roopam or human form of Ganapati. The earliest description of Ganapati is given in Shlok or Verse II.23.1 of Rg-Ved:
ॐ गणानां त्वां गणपतिं हवामहे कविम् कवीनां उपश्रवस्तम् ज्येष्ट राजं ब्रह्मणां
We sing praises of You, the Gana-Pati of the Gan, the poet of all poets, the greatest among all intellects
Besides the giver of intellect to people, the most invoked attribute of Ganesh is as remover of obstacles:
वक्रतुण्ड् महाकाय सूर्यकोटि समप्रभ निर्विघ्नं कुरु मे देव सर्व कार्येषु सर्वदा
You are of a curved trunk, a huge body and with radiance that is like 10 million suns;
God, please make my path always free of obstacles in all tasks.
The physical form of Ganesh forms the Original compound Sound Om which accompanied the creation of the first life on earth.
The ancient text called Maandukya UpaNiSad identifies the universal life form or Aatman with Om:
- “This Aatman is the word Om-kaar with its elements – a-kaar, oo-kaar, ma-kaar. (सः अयं आत्मा अक्षर ओंकार अभिमात्रं अकार ऊकार मकार इति) … This Om-kaar is Atman (एवं ओंकार आत्मा एव)“.
The three components of the Om sound are linked to the body of Ganesh as:
- a-kaar (अ-कार) as the two feet of Ganesh,
- oo-kaar (ऊ-कार) as the immense stomach of Ganesh, and
- ma-kaar (म-कार) as the great Mandal on the head of Ganesh.
This is the most popular description of the physical or human form imagined of Ganesh, who is fundamentally beyond our comprehension and vision. The physical construct is called Moorti, the entity that converts the A-Moort or beyond-tangibalization nature of Ganesh into a Moort or tangible form. That is why there is virtually no limit to the creative forms in which the Ganesh roop can be created.
1.Baal-Ganesh or a Child’s View of Ganesh
The first photo below is simply the most moving for us:
There are no strata in the Gan (followers/people) that worship and follow Ganesh. His love is given to everyone, especially to children regardless of their social standing. Witness the magic of a big happy smile on a child’s face:
2. Creative Representations of Ganesh
The Ganesh Moorti below is made from raw bananas & bamboo in a village in Goa. The bananas are distributed after ripening among the villagers
The two below are so different and so creative:
3. Historical Ganesh Moorti
- Advaita @AdiShankaraa – #Ganesha on the crater of Bromo volcano in East Java, Indonesia. Hindus of East Java known as ‘Tenggerese’ give offerings regularly. Tenggerese are devotees of Shiva. They practice Hinduism with a tinge of Buddhism and Animism. #GaneshChaturthi #GanpatiBappaMorya
4. Global Following
In what is probably the first ever act of its kind, the US Consulate participated in Mumbai’s Ganesh Utsav:
गणपति बाप्पा मोरया From all of us at the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai, here’s wishing all of you a happy
We all know that Indonesia is the largest Muslim nation in the world. But did you know that the 20,000 Indonesian Rupaih note is adorned with a Ganesh Moorti?
- Akancha Srivastava @AkanchaS – In Spain they asked permission from the authorities of the church to allow the Ganpati procession to be taken on the road in front of the Church.The Authorities told them to bring the GOD inside to bless them all. #GaneshChaturthi2018
5. Eternal Ganesh Stotram (Prayer)
Below is the famous & eternal Atharva-Sheesham, the invocative prayer composed by Atharvan, the son of Brahma-Dev. We think it is a perfect recitation and demonstrates visually how to pronounce each term:
Our recommendation is to play this clip as you perform your day to day tasks. The Atharva-Sheersham will help you focus & concentrate while making you peaceful within.
स्वस्ति अस्तु भवतु
May You Attain Svasti
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