Lord Ganesha or the elephant god has an elephant face and a huge belly, due to his fondness of sweets. He is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. He is the benevolent protector of the innocent, yet the ruthless destroyer of all evils. His mount is a rat. The size of his mount tells us about the significance of even the very smallest of beings.
Every religious ceremony is started, even today after invoking his blessings by reciting the shloka “Om Ganeshaya Namaha” (I bow to Thee Lord Ganesha). Above is an artist’s impression of Lord Shiva, his wife Parvati and their sons, Ganesha and Muruga, in their heavenly abode on the mount Kailasha. There are numerous interesting stories about the various Gods, their rivalries, jealousy and follies they commit just like humans There is an interesting story behind the birth of Lord Ganesha.
Ganesha is known as Vighnavinayaka or one who removes all obstacles. He is considered to be the god of wisdom, prudence and prosperity.
Lord Ganesha’s images and pictures are seen presiding not only over the lintels of the doorways of many Hindu homes but also in hospitals private nursing homes and clinics, as a harbinger of good luck.
Ganesha is also looked upon as the god of good harvest and hence after his immersion, clay is brought from the waterside and sprinkled on farms and in storerooms for luck & and for a good harvest in the future.
Ganesha Chathurti (festival celebrating the birth of Lord Ganesha) is a very popular festival celebrated by Hindus all over India. The worship of this god has been followed right from the Vedic times. The worship of Lord Ganesha has also spread to Java, Nepal, Cambodia, Tibet, Thailand, Vietnam and Sri Lanka where he is considered as a guardian and savior of mankind from ghosts and demons.
Lord Ganesha is also known as Vidya Ganapati(the God of education). Scholars and students all over India pray to this God for knowledge. All children love hearing stories at bedtime. It is a common sight in many houses in India, where children gather around their grandparents after dinner, clamoring for stories. The most popular are the stories about Gods, Goddesses and asuras or rakshasas. These stories are passed down from generation to generation.
Few Stories of Lord Ganesha
How Did Lord Ganesha Got Head of an Elephant
Once upon a time Mother Parvati wished to take a bath. She created a boy from the dirt of her body and asked him to stand guard outside while she cleansed herself. Meanwhile, Lord Shiva returned home. When he tried to enter the house, the boy prevented him from doing so. In anger, Shiva cut off the boy’s head. When Parvati saw this, she burst into tears. In order to console her, Shiva sent out his troops (gaNa) to fetch the head of anyone found sleeping with his head pointing to the north. They found an elephant sleeping thus and brought back its head. Shiva then attached the elephant’s head to the body of the boy and revived him. He named the boy Ganapati, which means commander of his troops. He granted him a boon that everyone would worship him (Ganesha) before beginning any work.
Who is Elder?
Ganesha and His brother Lord Subramanya (Kartikya) once had a dispute as to who was the elder of the two. The matter was referred to Lord Shiva for final decision. Shiva decided that whoever would make a tour of the whole world and come back first to the starting point had the right to be the elder. Subramanya flew off at once on his vehicle, the peacock, to make a circuit of the world. But the wise Ganesha went, in loving worshipfulness, around His divine parents and asked for the prize of His victory.
Lord Shiva said, “Beloved and wise Ganesha! But how can I give you the prize; you did not go around the world?”
Ganesha replied, “No, but I have gone around my parents. My parents represent the entire manifested universe!”
Thus the dispute was settled in favour of Lord Ganesha, who was thereafter acknowledged as the elder of the two brothers. Mother Parvati also gave Him a fruit as a prize for this victory.
FOR YOUR INFO –
Hindu prayers are made of several components that are important to the ritual. Learn what is involved in traditional Hindu prayers and what each component of the prayer means.
Video – How to Pray in Hindu Temple
The Typical Hindu Prayer Consists of Four Parts.
The first part is invoking the deity or the particular lord you want to pray to. You usually start it with some kind of hymn for the deity, or any kind of universal prayer. This is the typical posture for prayer. Once you invoke the lord, and it is like a guest who has come to your house, and then you treat the guest with lighting the lamp. You also light incense, to make the room filled with good aroma.
Prayers Include Offerings to the Deities
For each step, you ring the bell. And you offer different goodies, depending on whatever you have prepared, and allow the god to consume this fruit, and slowly ringing the bell to keep the lord amused. And once the lord has finished with the food, whatever is left you take with you. And that is the Hindu kosher: anything we eat should first be offered to the lord. And whatever we eat is a remnant of the lord already haven tasted it.
From – Happy 🙂