We are in the midst of our yearly celebrations of Lord Ganesha. 11 days every year we bring Ganesh ji home and treat Him and by extension ourselves to food, music and daily parties. Lord Ganesha sits on his mighty throne and watches performances by people of all age groups. He watches us all gobble down kilos of ladoos and sweets of all kinds. He hears bands playing out at deafening decibels and over-enthusiastic dancers doing things that I personally don’t call dancing. There are tambola nights and fashion shows. There is a general air of happiness when Lord Ganesha resides at homes and in our societies for odd number of days like 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 or the whole 11 days. Happiness turns to a bit of emptiness when He leaves.
I have celebrated this festival all my life. We used to bring Lord Ganesha home in my maternal home and my post marriage home too. This year like always the stage was set and He arrived as usual looking his cutest self. On the first day when I did my puja and sat down in front of Gannu Baba I just wanted to sit there and gaze at him. Up until last year I would ask for spiritual growth and courage to face whatever comes my way. This year was different. Asking for anything, be it spiritual growth also, seemed unnecessary. I just sat there in contentment.
This was a first! It made me happy…. It made me feel connected.
So, my curious George of a mind wanted to understand this very organic transition of my own self. The next day again after aarti I sat down and felt the same quiet settle upon me. The quiet of presence. The quiet of just witnessing and not participating. I was loving it a lot and I wanted to know what changed in me. As I looked at the very wise Lord Ganesha, my childhood attachment to Him came flooding back in my mind. So I started my exploration of self from there.
I felt that as a child I had loved and understood Gannu Baba at a very pure level. Then I lost this very understanding and turned him into a genie who came every year with wishes to grant.
What was Lord Ganesha in his truest essence to the child in me who had that deep connection to him? Immediately the pure innocent child within answered…….
• He is the one Divine who is chubby and owns up to it. He can change it for sure. After all He is a Divine and the son of Lord Shiva. But he is too cool to be defined by his tummy. For a person like me who has struggled with weight all my life I loved his acceptance of himself. It inspired me to accept my healthy and active body without a need to change it. PURE ACCEPTANCE
• He is the one Divine who has an elephant’s head. He was beheaded by His own father who then realized His folly and asked His men to go bring the head of the first being they encounter and they happened to encounter an elephant. Ganesh ji made it work and with style. It inspired me to work with what I have rather than mulling over what I could have had. PURE INNOVATION
• He was often made fun of because of his weight. He went on to achieve the status of being the first God to be prayed to in any puja. The highest honor ever! He didn’t let others’ sniggers deter Him from acquiring the sacred space of worship through his own knowledge and wisdom. It inspired me to see myself with my own eyes and not the eyes of society. PURE SELF-WORTH
• He chose a mouse as his designated vahan….! I call it pure gall….. I call it defying the narrative created about you and playing it to your own advantage. It inspired me to never take calls based on what others would make of it. I should just do me! PURE AGENCY
• He is the patron of intellectuals, bankers, scribes, and authors. It inspired me to work only from intellect and logic. It inspired me to write more. PURE INTELLECT
• It is said that Lord Ganesha, the Lord of wisdom, wrote the Mahabharata as it was recited to him by Sage Ved Vyasa. This was done on the condition that Vyasa would not stop while reciting the epic and that Lord Ganesha would not stop while writing, besides the condition that Ganesha would not merely write it, but also understand every verse of it. It inspired me to be present in every act I committed. It inspired me to understand rather than just perform. PURE PRESENCE
• If you’ve ever noticed the idol of Lord Ganesha carefully, you must have noticed the broken tusk. As legend goes, when Ganesha was writing the Mahabharata, the feather he was writing with broke. So, to stick to the condition of writing continuously, Ganesha broke his tusk and wrote with it. It inspired me to never fall for ‘if’s’ and ‘but’s’. There is always a way to keep going. PURE RESILIENCE
• Lord Ganesha and his brother Karthikeyan found a unique fruit in the forest one day. Both grabbed it simultaneously and both refused to let go of it. The matter was taken to the parents as is the case with all sibling squabbles. Lord Shiva recognised the fruit and said it will give eternal life and immense wisdom to the one who eats it. So to decide who would have the honors, Lord Shiva said the one who could circumvent their world 3 times and return first would be the winner. Karthikeya immediately hopped onto his pet peacock and flew speedily to complete three revolutions across the Earth. Ganesha was a little stocky compared to Karthikeya and His vahan was a mouse who couldn’t fly. Having listened to Shiva’s proposal properly, Ganesha started walking around Shiva and Parvati and completed 3 circles around them. When asked by Shiva, Ganesha replied that Shiva had asked them to circumvent their world. And for Ganesha, His parents were more than the world. They were the entire universe. Shiva was touched and impressed by Ganesha’s wisdom and saw Him as the rightful owner of the fruit. It inspired me to know my definitions, to understand the assignment perfectly, to use technicalities to my advantage. PURE GENIUS
• The legend goes that Lord Ganesha was a brahmachari. Legend also has it that Lord Ganesha had wives – Buddhi (intelligence), Riddhi (prosperity) and Siddhi (spirituality). And his sons are Shubh (auspicious) and Labh (gains). His daughter is Maa Santoshi (satisfaction). I don’t know what’s the truth and what is conjecture. But the dots I can connect tell me that Lord Ganesha brings all of the above wherever he is worshipped and revered. A family package. It inspired me to develop skills that become synonyms of me. PURE COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS
* Another story goes that one evening Lord Ganesha was returning home after eating Modaks to his hearts content. On the way He slipped and fell off his mouse and out came tumbling all the Modaks. Gannu Baba collected them all and eat them again. He then picked up a snake passing by and tied the snake on his belly to keep the Modaks in. It inspired me to retain the things I love and never give up on them. PURE INGENUITY
• Lord Ganesha is also the ‘remover of obstacles’. Vignesvara. But did you know He plays a dual role of a supreme being powerful enough to remove obstacles and ensure success or create obstructions for those whose ambition has become destructive? He is balanced and does what is required. His titles do not hold Him back. It inspired me to take the tough call of who deserves my help and who is holding back humanity from ascension and needs to be severed for the greater good. PURE SERVICE
As I continued my daily time with Gannu Baba more epiphanies emerged. For all of us, who have lived long enough to be in our twenties or beyond, its a given to have a few regrets and a few worries. Regrets are our past and worries are about the future. When I was taking Lord Ganesha as a genie I was in the mindset of past and future. I kept wishing and praying for a slimmer body or societal acceptance or materialistic acquisitions.
But in that moment a thought came that many of those wishes were never fulfilled. When this thought came I looked back and realized that although the wishes were not fulfilled, things have only improved for the better year after year. Lord Ganesha taught me through obstacles removed or placed, through wishes granted or denied ….. to be ME! Me that was the little child who loved Lord Ganesha without any prerequisites. The little child who had neither regrets nor worries.
To come back to the truest, purist inner me. The me in this moment who is neither defined by my past nor anxiously awaiting my dues in the future. Like a child! That is how, now I don’t want to wish for anything. Not even spiritual growth or courage. Because I am in the PURE NOW!
To continually be in this PURE PRESENCE is the goal… detached but present. It’s PURE CONSCIOUSNESS….. it’s PURE BLISS!!!!!!
I bow down to this most unique God – Lord Ganesha ….. may we find Him within us….. we shall all be saved for sure!
P.S: When I started writing this blog the content was clear in my mind and then one of our Coreites, Akshita messaged me asking whether I was writing a blog on Pure Consciousness as she sensed it. How Lord Ganesha defined Himself made me smile and do naman to His Divine Self. Om Ganeshaye Namah