Brief Explanation of Lord Ganesha mythology and symbolism
(from Copyrighted handout by Sreedevi K. Bringi, 2018)
Lord Ganesha rules over the semi-divine beings (ganas) of the earth elemental realm linked to our root chakra. He represents our need to stabilize ourselves in our life tasks with awareness of impediments/obstacles and cultivating the capacity to overcome them. It is auspicious to pray to Lord Ganesha before starting any new activity/practice/job/studies/travel etc. In Hindu Tantra, Lord Ganesha is the elder son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
His elephant head reminds us of the majestic nature of the crown chakra/highly developed intellect with keen perception (large ears) and sensitivity (trunk). His full belly denotes the abundance of siddhis (mystical powers). The rat he rides on is the disciplined mind. The snake tied around the belly shows the self-controlled capacity for siddhis or divine powers that are abundantly manifested in Lord Ganesha. The broken tip of his tusk is the tool he made to write down the Mahabharata epic dictated telepathically by revered author Sage Vyasa – since Ganesha was chosen as the scribe for this gigantic writing project. The broken tusk is also a reminder to us to not get attached to the outer appearance of perfection and beauty (a bull elephant’s pride is his pointed tusks!)
Mantras & Sacred Verses for Ganesha
oṁ gaṁ gaṇapataye namaḥ
Sixteen Sacred Names Mantra
Sacred Verse (a shloka)