Depiction of deities is symbolic and needs to be understood. When you understand their symbolism you relate better and thus benefit more by worshipping.
All deities are personified in different forms and have lot of symbolism with depth of meaning. Once you understand the symbolism you are able to concentrate better and thus benefit more through worship. Let us understand the symbolism of Lord Ganesh as follows:
Ganesh’s Elephant Head:
This indicates immense wisdom as a result of independent thinking, reflection and perfection.
Indicates broad mindedness or thinking big and for benefit to all.
Large Ears: Indicate that one should form a habit of listening attentively to others. One must listen to others attentively even if their suggestions are not followed.
The small eyes symbolise concentrated look. One must watch attentively in order to note details.
His small mouth discourages talkativeness. By talking unnecessarily one gives more importance to self and forms a wrong picture about oneself.
One Tusk (Ek-dant):
His just one tusk means that one should discard bad traits and only keep good and positive traits or values in life. In fact it also symbolises rising above the duality principle.
The Trunk (Soond):
It indicates well developed intellect out of wisdom also it indicates high efficiency and adaptability.
It indicates that one should digest everything viz. good or bad whatever comes in life in other words take life as it comes.
The Lord sitting on a mouse indicates that one should keep a check on one’s desires. It is only unending desires that keep one in a state of misery and discontentment.
1st Hand Holding a Lotus:
It symbolises awakening of the consciousness through Sadhna (spiritual practice).
2nd Hand Holding a Noose:
It symbolises control of the wavering mind.
3rd Hand in Blessing Stance:
The Lord removes obstacles and blesses the worshipper on his or her path of righteousness by removing obstacles and bestows intellect, refuge and protection.
4th Hand Holding Sweets (Sweet Laddoos or Modakas):
It symbolises the reward one gets due to perseverance or Sadhna (spiritual practice) in life.
Some Ganesh Mantreas with Meaning and Use
Here are some main Ganesh mantras with meaning. Recite the desired mantra with concentration by sitting in a calm place:
“Shree Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha
Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryeshu Sarvada”
O Lord Ganesha having a curved trunk, large body, and the brilliance of a million Suns,
please always make all my tasks free of obstacles.
“Om GanGanpataye Namaha”
This is Lord Ganesha’sroot mantra(moola mantra).It is also known as His ‘beej’ or seed Mantra and is used for Yoga Sadhana(Yoga practice) for merging with the over-self and getting supreme knowledge and peace. One can always use it before starting any new venture so that success comes without any trouble or obstacle.
“Om Ekdantaye Namaha”
‘Ekdanta’ refers to one tusk in His elephant face, which means the lord broke the duality or Mayaand helps you to have a complete one-pointed mind, since oneness of mind or single-minded devotion helps the devotee achieve desired results.
“Om Shree Ganeshaye Namaha”
This means ‘Praise to Lord Ganesha’. This is the mantra or prayer of love and adoration towards the deity. It is chanted to get Ganesha’s blessings for removingobstacles and auspicious starting of a project or any work or for general worship.
“Om EkadantayaViddhamahe, VakratundayaDhimahi,
Tanno Danti Prachodayat”
This is the Ganesh Gayatri Mantra. It means ‘we pray to the one with a single-tusk(elephant tooth) who is omnipresent. We meditate upon and pray to the Lord with a curved trunkand single tusk for blessings of greater intellect and a mind full of wisdom.’
Article by: Jyotirvid Pawan Kumar