Lord Ganesha has no form. In reality, he is just a formless divine energy who has been given a form by the Saints so that the devotees can decipher him easily. Moreover, according to Hindu Mythology, he is the son of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva. The devotee is loved so much so by the elders and the children that artists love making Ganesha paintings and artefacts. In fact, the demand for Ganesha paintings is higher than any other religious painting. So, let’s have a look at some of the stories attached to him and the meaning of the elements present in his paintings.
The Meaning –
Gan literally means a group. Ganesha has ‘Gan’ in his name as the universe is made up of strong groups of energies. It is said that Ganesha is the lord of all these energies. He is the one who is Achintya, Avyakta and Ananta which means he is beyond thought, expression and is eternal.
The Story of Lord Ganesha’s Birth-
There is a very interesting and superficial story pertaining to the birth of Lord Ganesha. The lord was made by Mata Parvati out of the mud. She made her because she wanted someone to guard the house while she is bathing. So, after putting life in the child she made out of mud, she commanded him to not to open the door for anyone till the time she doesn’t return the house. Ganesha was guarding the house and wasn’t letting anyone enter the house. However, as soon as Shiva started approaching towards the abode, Ganesha started opposing him and asking him to go back. Shiva got full of anger AS Ganesha wasn’t ready to understand that Shiva also stays in the same house as that of her mother Parvati. At that time he just knew that he needs to follow the order of her mother. Thus, both of them firmly continued to oppose each other’s say and after a heated argument, Shiva cut the head of Ganesha.
When Maa Parvati saw this, she started crying and got furious. As soon as Shiva realized how wrong he has done, he asked other lords to bring a child whose is sleeping with his head in the north. They got an elephant’s child, after cutting his head Shiva stuck the head to Ganesha’s torso and this is how he brought him back to life.
Why does Lord Ganesha have a head of an Elephant?
An elephant is a symbol of strength, authority, and courage. Ganesha having his head also symbolizes that just like the elephant, Ganesha is mindful, courageous and strong. The trunk of the elephant also shows the balance between knowledge and power. No one can imbibe all these qualities other than the divine.
The symbolism of elements present in conspicuous Ganesha Paintings–
- The bulbous and round belly of Ganesha not just shows how fond of food Ganesha is but also speaks volume about his generousness and acceptability.
- The upraised hand is shown to tell how protective Ganesha is. This is a way of Ganesha to tell his devotees that he is with him. On the other hand, the hand lowered is like an invitation for the devotees to bow down so that he can bless you.
- Ganesha carries Ankusa and Paasa. They signify awakening of the soul and control, respectively. They both are to control the ample of energy released, without control, it can go in the wrong direction and can become dangerous.
- The mouse is used by the lord as his vehicle. It is used to show that just like the mouse can cut something as thick as the rope with his teeth, all of us can also cut and get over the coverings of ignorance.
Rishis, a long ago, chose to turn the divine source of energy which we believe in, into some form. Thus, we should always keep Ganesha in our minds and should at least have one of his paintings in our space. Share this blog with everyone who loves Ganesha.