Do You Know Why You Should Worship Ganapathi?

Ganapathi, Lord of the Body and Mind

Aum, Gam, Ganapathaye Namaha

by Jayaram V

On this auspicious day of Ganesh Chathurthi, let us meditate upon the Supreme Intelligence who is hidden in all and the entire creation. He is Ganapathi, the lord of numbers, categories, and aggregates in creation as well as in the bodies from which arise all diversity. He has the light (chit) of Shiva and the power (shakti) of Parvathi. He is of the sky as well as of the earth. May he illuminate our minds with intelligence and help us find peace and happiness. Jayaram V

Of all the tattvas (realities) in the body or Nature, intelligence is the highest. It is the mahat (greater intelligence) principle in the macrocosm. The realities are also known as numbers (samkhya). They are said to be 23 excluding the Self. They are responsible for modifications and evolution (parinama) of life and forms. In the body, or in the field (kshetra) of Nature, intelligence is said to be the reflection of the soul's pure intelligence. It is in intelligence Nature manifests its subtlest, discerning power of the mind (chit-shakti) and will (atmashakti). From intelligence comes the ability to know, reason, judge, comprehend, discriminate and choose. It is intelligence which sets the humans apart from animals. It is also intelligence which awakens a human being in an animal body and makes him truly human.

As the lord (pathi) of the collection (gana) of realities (tattvas) in the body, Ganapathi personifies intelligence or intellect (buddhi). His elephant head symbolizes his unusually high intelligence. His large ears represent the power of keen hearing, and the tusk his ability to discriminate things. He was rightly chosen by sage Vyasa to help him compose the Mahabharata because he alone had the intelligence and the ability to undertake such a stupendous task.

Just as intelligence is the reflection of the Self, Ganapathi as intelligence (mahat) arises in the womb of Mother Goddess, Parvathi, as the reflection (son) of Shiva, who is both the lord of the body and the universe. The Bhagavata Tattva clearly declares, "Ganapathi is the lord of universal intelligence (mahat-tattva.)" Ganapathi as intelligence is the door keeper to the chamber of Prakriti. Without his permission, presence, and involvement Shiva (soul) cannot communicate with Parvathi (body). Hence, the legend associated with the birth of Ganesha rightly symbolizes the confrontation that took place between Shiva and Ganesha.

Lord Ganesha is thus an integral part of creation, the highest aspect of Nature, and a reflection of Shiva (the light of the chidakasam or sky) in the field of creation (the materiality of the earth). As the son of Shiva (sky or Self) and Parvathi (the earth or the body), he represents the best of both as the lord of the mind. In Hindu symbolism the organs in the body are the personifications of the gods in heaven. Their supporting power is breath (Shiva), and their resting place is the body (Nature). However, their actions are controlled by the intelligence. Hence, Ganesha is not only lord of the mind, but also the lord (pathi) of all the organs (ganas or deities) in the body. He is thus the lord of all the physical and mental aggregates or categories (ganas) in the embodied selves (jivas)

He is the discerning, deciding, reasoning and judging power in both gods and humans. As the intellect (buddhi), he is the lord of the mind. When we are overwhelmed with negative emotions of fear in the face of problems and self-doubt, the discerning wisdom of Ganesha in our minds comes to our rescue. When we take refuge in him (our intelligence), he helps us find answers and solutions using reason and intelligence and overcome our fear. Therefore, if you want to overcome fear and nervousness, you should take refuge in your intelligence which is Ganesha, and seek his help.

As your intelligence, Ganesha is your constant companion, friend, guide, and support. Only Ganesha can remove the delusions and impurities of your mind and make it stable and peaceful. You should nourish that intelligenc with the offerings of knowledge and wisdom. On this auspicious day, let us pray to him to purify our intelligence and illuminate our minds and hearts so that we may have sharp intellect and wisdom to think clearly.

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