Responding to an earnest request from N. Thiruvasagam in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for a book on Lord Ganesha to be released on Ganesha Chaturthi, Gurudeva, Master Subramuniya, and the Saiva Swami Sangam of Saiva Siddhanta Church set out to bring together the many different stories, symbols, insights and metaphysics of the great Lord of Obstacles, Vighnesvara. Taking into account a September deadline and the time that would be involved in mailing the transcript material to Malaysia, the Swamis worked hard during the first three weeks of August to complete the book in time. Numerous drawings were made and much research was done into the history of Ganesha worship, the meaning of the various symbols associated with it, and the many jewels of upadesha given by Gurudeva on this foremost God.
The story of the book began early in the summer when N. Thiruvasagam wrote to the Saiva Swamis at Sivashram and explained that every year one department of the government services in Kuala Lumpur sponsors a different Hindu festival and that this year his department was to sponsor Ganesha Chaturthi. Rather than have an elaborate celebration at a temple, he explained, they felt a much more permanent contribution could be made by producing a book bringing forward a practical understanding and knowledge of the timeless God, Lord Ganesha, and His worship for the Hindu of the modern world. He detailed to the Saiva Swamis a long list of questions about who Ganesha is, how He works, how we can most effectively bring Him into our daily life through worship and prayer, and many questions on the esoteric meaning of Ganesha's symbols such as the mouse, the noose and goad, and the swastika.
Gurudeva rallied the seven Saiva Swamis at Sivashram to meet the challenge and they set out to collect every piece of information they had in their library on Ganesha. They found a wealth of information and began to assemble it in book form. It became apparent as they proceeded that a unique and profound exposition of Hinduism was appearing, one that would have great value and application to Hindu souls throughout the world. It was completed in time and sent to Malaysia. The transcript got delayed in the mails but the printers, by working day and night, produced 3,000 copies by Ganesha Chaturthi. In the meantime, all the major temples in Kuala Lumpur had allowed stalls to be set up outside the temple gates to sell the book and a large poster was made, a duplicate of the cover of the book, to advertise it. A thousand copies were sold on that single day - a sign of the great love for Ganesha among Malaysians.
The books are continuing to be distributed by devotees in Kuala Lumpur, being sold door to door. The Saliva Swami Sangam at Sivashram immediately received a request to produce similar books on Lord Muruga and Lord Siva!
Article copyright Himalayan Academy.