The Secret of Lord Ganesha I

The birth of Lord Ganesha is one of the weirdest tales i have ever come across…
Shiva’s wife Parvati decides to take a bath… While bathing, a lot of dirt comes off her body (may have been meditating many years… these things accumalate :)), and being creative (pun intended) puts that dirt into the form of a really handsome child… and being a Goddess blew life into the child and asked him to wait outside (she could be modest too) and not let anyone come in till she finished her bath (and accessorizing)…
So the little kid goes out and waits and soon enough along comes Shiva, and asks the boy to step aside and let him go in. Boy refuses. Shiva gets angry. Shiva shouts and threatens. Boy doesn’t budge. Shiva chops off boy’s head! (Children in those days faced pretty harsh disciplining)
Parvati is very upset when she comes to know Shiva has killed her son … son?! Shiva must have thought… when did that happen?!!… in any case to make her feel better, Shiva chops off the head of a passing elephant and attaches that to the body of the fallen child and gives Him life… Parvati is aghast at how her son looks and says everyone will mock him… no one will respect him… Lord Shiva smiles benignly and says that He will give a boon to the little Ganesha that before any Pooja or ritual of any kind is started, He, Ganesha will have to be worshiped first!
Parvati is quite mollified by this, but demands a vehicle for Ganesha… Shiva presents Ganesha with a mouse as his vehicle… Parvati was very happy with that and the family lived happily for many eons to come (ever after really as far as us humans are concerned)
And that’s how Lord Ganesha was born… like is said it is a very weird story with plenty of really big loop holes and questions! To start with Parvati must have been really REALLY dirty for so much dirt to come off her… Then Shiva is the Lord of the Universe, if a small kid told Him to come back later, He could have gone somewhere, looked after a galaxy or two, meditated or something :)… but no, He chops off the kid’s head!
Then He puts an elephants head on the child and gives a mouse as a vehicle… no sense of proportion whatsoever!, should have been the other way round! Give a mouse’s head and the elephant as a vehicle…
We could go on and on… but as usual there is a secret to the story…

What follows is the interpretation of this story…

Parvati is the Celebrative aspect of our consciousness. Parvat means mountain: The Earth herself rising up in celebration…

Now Parvati was dirty, meaning, the celebration had gone out of life, feeling of sadness, etc had arisen, and she decides to take a bath (be alone)…When you are not feeling good (your celebratory aspect is dirty), you say, give me my space, leave me alone…

The dirt that comes off her and she gives life to is the Ego… She tells the Ego see that no one disturbs me while i am not feeling well… dont let anyone come in!

Thats exactly what most people do when they are not feeling good: people usually isolate themsleves, feel separate from everyone and dont like others around them…

This is the significance of Parvati animating her ego and asking it not to let anyone disturb her because she is feeling dirty.

Lord Shiva is the protector of Parvati. So when He sees her that way with her ego standing guard, keeping the Bliss of the Self out, He does what any protector would do… Kills it!

Chopping off the head signifies killing the ego… Now, when you have had your ego trampled upon, you are going to feel even more hurt and bewildered, which is where Parvati flares up… to appease her and teach her, Lord Shiva replaces the child’s (ego) head with an elephant head.

The Elephant in Hindu mythology is held in great reverence. In old times, if a lover wanted to praise his girlfriend, he would tell her she is like an elephant… That was supposed to be the ultimate praise! Please don’t try this today… you just might get flattenedSmile

The big head symbolizes Knowledge. The eyes of the elephant are kind, full of compassion and innocence: the most beautiful in the animal Kingdom. So Shiva replaces the head of ego (ignorance) with Knowledge and innocence! That’s not all, if you have ever seen an elephant walk, stately and strong, you can see that nothing can stand in its way! So Shivji removed the ego and replaced it with Strength, Grace, Knowledge and innocence. What a superb combination! And the perfect gift for an angry, sulking wife!Smile

Lord Shiva then names the child, Ganesh. The Lord of Knowledge and Wisdom.

In a few hours more will be revealed about the mouse and some other really fascinating aspects of Ganeshji…

Stay tuned!

Jai Ganesh!




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