You may have noticed the elephant sculptures or Ganesha (or Ganesh) on our studio alter. Ganesha is most well known as being the remover of obstacles, both spiritual and physical. Ganesha can either place obstacles or he can destroy them.
That is his dharma – his job - and both are vital to his character.
Look at this particular Ganesha and you'll see...
His broad crown – which is an invitation to think big.
His small eyes symbolizing the importance of concentration and attention to detail for any task.
His big ears and small mouth remind us to listen more than we speak.
His round belly points to the importance to peacefully digest all that life throws at you, the positive and negative.
His single tusk reminds us to keep the good and detach from the bad.
The mouse under his arm which encourages us to enjoy desire without letting it control us.
An axe in one of his hands, which symbolizes being able to cut through all attachments.
His trunk which represents efficiency and adaptability.
Hand in a blessing mudra as protection on our path.
So, whenever you enter into something new, or run into obstacles. You can remember Ganesha, and the ability to stay with the task, face the obstacles, learn from them and so transcend them.
There are many stories about Ganesha you can read about. A lot of them are about Ganesha and his love for his parents, Parvati his mother and Shiva his father. The symbolism within these stories is that all of your experiences with regards to the people looking after you, deserve a lot of respect, good or bad, those experiences shape you on a very deep level.
Also, because Ganesha has an elephant’s head and a big belly, he seems approachable, imperfect. This also encourages us to accept ourselves, or others as we are, with all of our perceived imperfections…
You can see why we adore this friendly, approachable representation used to inspire transformation in our practice space. Mantras or chants for Ganesha are full of energy and can help to removing obstacles in our path. You can try this one at home on your own:
ॐ गं गणपतये नमः
Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha
This mantra wards off all the negativities from one’s life before beginning anything. Chanting this mantra ensures success in all the new ventures that one wishes to undertake.