Ganesha means God of the masses or groups. Ganesha

His name is composed of GAN = masses/ groups and ESHA = God, meaning that He is the God of humanity and all living and mythical beings.

Ganesha symbolizes the union of Shiva and Shakti – the supreme Male and Female energies of cosmic creation – and being their Son is born with Shiva’s knowledge, and Shakti’s strength

The elephant head symbolizes many things per different texts, one of which is STRENGTH, to crush obstacles and barriers, therefore HE is also called “Vighna-Harta” which means Remover of Obstacles.

According to the 1400 AD Mudgala PuranaGanesha’s 8 avatars (incarnations) are:

  1. Vakratunda (“twisting trunk”), overcomes the demon Matsaryāsura (envy,  jealousy)
  2. Ekadanta (“single tusk”) conquers the demon Madāsura (arrogance, conceit)
  3. Mahodara (“big belly”) vanquishes the demon Mohāsura (delusion, confusion)
  4. Gajavaktra (“elephant face”) tames the demon Lobhāsura (greed)
  5. Lambodara (“pendulous belly”) controls the demon Krodhāsura (anger)
  6. Vikata (“unusual form”) destroys the demon Kāmāsura (lust)
  7. Vighnaraja (“king of obstacles”), eliminates the demon Mamāsura (possessiveness, attachment)
  8. Dhumravarna (“grey color”) subdues the demon Abhimanāsura (pride)

The Mugdala intrinsically links Him with BuddhiRiddhi and Siddhi meaning He grants Wisdom, Affluence and Spiritual Power to those who subdue their baser self.

Adi Shankara’s Maha Ganesha Pancharatanam is a powerful prayer said to grant wishes,  Siddhi Vinayak Mandir in Mumbai is one of His famous Temples, and one of His mantras is:

Om Gan Ganpataye Namah

(*GAN is prounounced with a soft N)

Ganesha helps because His Nature is to help – it’s just a matter of asking  Ganpati Bappa Moreya


Happy Independence Day India

Wishing India the best with wishes that it finds its idealist roots again, those of Gandhi and Nehru, of bringing progress to villages and not villagers into urban slums, of tolerance not destroying temples and mosques.

On the midnight of August 14, 1947 Nehru said:

“Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance” Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru

That India of freedom, aspirations, ideals Rabindranath Tagore best describes in India’s National Anthem:

Aarti is offered as a token of highest love for God at the conclusion of most pujas.

According to some “Aa” means “towards or to”, and “rati” means “right or virtue”, and Om Jai Jagdish is one of the most popular Aartis in North India: