O Lord Ganesh, salutations to you on your birthday!
Lord Ganesh is beloved in India, and each aspect of his physical form holds symbolic significance. His huge ears listen to everyone’s prayers. In one of his four hands, Lord Ganesh grasps a rope, and in another a staff; he uses these to guide his devotees down the right path. He raises a third hand, palm facing outward, in a gesture that dispels fear. In his fourth hand, Lord Ganesh holds a bowl full of sweets, modaka, symbolizing the wisdom that leads to the bliss of liberation*.
On the Siddha Yoga path, Lord Ganesh is honored as an embodiment of divine Consciousness. He is the god of wisdom and the intellect, the lord of auspicious beginnings, the remover of obstacles, and the one who grants spiritual attainments. We might invoke Lord Ganesh before starting a new endeavor or whenever challenges arise along the way. By his grace, we may obtain the strength to overcome life’s obstacles through our own effort.
On Ganesh Jayanti, you can honor Lord Ganesh and invoke his blessings by chanting Mangaladata Kripasindhu. Gurumayi wrote and composed this namasankirtana, which extols Lord Ganesh as “the remover of obstacles, the bestower of auspiciousness, the ocean of compassion.” Its melody is set in the joyful Bhupali raga, which evokes deep peace within.
*Further information on the iconography of Lord Ganesh can be found in John Grimes’s book Ganapati: Song of the Self (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1995).
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