One of the most popular Gods in India, lord Ganesh or Ganpati is considered a symbol of wisdom and a bringer of good luck. It is said that his elephant head epitomizes everything related to wisdom small shrewd eyes, long ears that miss nothing, a long nose that can smell out anything and his vehicle, a mouse, reflects how much importance a wise man gives to the smallest of life forms. Shown at gateways and on doors, either by visual or symbols, generally facing the rising sun in the east, Ganesh is revered across India as a great clearer of obstacles. Meetings, gatherings, weddings, functions and celebrations begin with a prayer of lord Ganesh and no new venture it a new company, a new house, a new shop is inaugurated without reciting a 'mantra' of lord Ganesh.
Ganesha or Ganpati is an extremely popular God in India. He is called Vighneshvara or Vighnaharta, the Lord of and destroyer of obstacles. People mostly worship Him asking for Siddhi, success in undertakings, and Buddhi, intelligence. He is worshipped before any venture is started. He is also the God of education, knowledge and wisdom, literature, and the fine arts.
Ganesha is also one of the five Gods the worship of whom was popularized by Adi Shankaracharya; the other four being Vishnu, Shiva, Shakti and Surya. The worship of these five deities is called the Panchaayatana Puja.
It is said that Ganesha was born when the eternal couple contemplated on AUM. If you view Lord Ganesha sideways, then you will see the symbol AUM in sanskrit. That's why Ganesha is called Aumkara and worshipped first. AUM is Pranava. What is meant by Pranava?(Pra is short for prakriti and navam means excellent boat) That is, AUM is the way to cross the ocean of worldly existence.
The trunk should be curved to the left for normal idols. If it is curved
to the right, it is called Siddhi Vinayaka
and needs special worship. One should be very careful in worshipping such
Why should we pray Lord Ganesha?
has a doctorate, job, works, earns money, begets children. But is anyone
truly happy ? No. They are all cycling on the ups and downs of life. In
essence, they have missed out on the true purpose of life. By holding back
and taking the ride of life, they have lost the true meaning.
Sometime we delve into maya and hope for things to happen, and sometimes they do and sometimes they don't but this hope is what holds us back from experiencing Her love. That's why I call upon my Mother's child, Lord Ganesha, to help me discriminate between the real and the unreal so that the mind is never enveloped by maya.
All we need is Him and He will decide what you want.
If you have everything and Him, it is fine.
If you have nothing besides Him, it is fine too.
If you have everything but Him, it is useless.
Ganesha, with His ears acting as a winnowing basket, will give His true devotees only what is needed for spiritual progress, and will not give them what they ask for. With Him in my heart, what else should I ask for ? Nothing. Will material pleasure ever satisfy the mind ? Never.
Ganesha worshiping Shiva
These are the famous Ashta(eight) holy places in Mahrashtra where Ganpati is believed to present in some form.
The famous Ashtavinayakas are: