Of the 33 million Gods in the Hindu pantheon, none is so widely loved and revered as Lord Ganesha. This friendly and slightly chubby pachyderm has found a place under every village tree and in every Hindu heart, home and temple around the world. Among one-sixth of the earth's inhabitants, no other deity is so popular, so frequently praised and prayed to. His giant belly is metaphysically said to contain the entire cosmos and His left hand holds the sweetest of all delights. Spiritual Liberation. Lord Ganesha is Protector and Confidant for Hindus, Generous Boon-Giver, Remover of Obstacles, Champion of Virtue and Gentle Guide through life's ups and downs. He is considered Good Fortune manifest. Time embodied and Abundance overflowing. In fact, there are 1008 names to describe His vastness and divine skills. So important is He, we felt compelled to assemble a few pages about His symbols, powers and winning ways.
LORD GANESHA, GOD OF THE GANAS, HAS BEEN PRAYED TO, WORshipped and adored in one form or another since time began; and time itself began with His creation. He above all others is the God, the great Mahadeva, to be invoked before every act and especially worshipped and prayed to when changes occur in our lives as we move from the old established patterns into new ones. Lord Ganesha is there to steady our minds and open the proper doors as we evolve and progress. The world prays to Lord Ganesha now as He leads us out of the agricultural era through the technological era and on into the new age of space. Many are still on the farms; others are in the offices and in the factories; while still others circle the planet, land on the moon and orbit through space. With a mind more intricate than the most complicated computers in the world all hooked together, but as simple as an on and off switch. He knows all aspects of transition from one era to another and is totally aware of the farmer in his field, the astronaut orbiting the planet, the corporate worker at his desk and the factory technician performing his tasks.
Worship of Lord Ganesha is immediate; one has but to think of His form to contact Him. Close your eyes for a second, visualize His murthi or form and a direct communication has immediately begun. This is similar to punching in a code on a computer terminal which gives immediate access to a central gigantic computer. All information and answers to every question are now available. Wherever we are, whatever we are doing, we can use the computer terminal of our brain and code in the divine image of Lord Ganesha and have complete access to His grand computer mind which has been programmed over eons of time and naturally encompasses the intricacies of the universe in all their ramifications and simplicities.
Our Lord Ganesha sits upon the Muladhara Chakra. This chakra controls the forces of memory. Worship of Him strengthens your memory and brings knowledge from within. So wherever you are – in the factories, the offices, orbiting in space or tilling the soil on the farm – He is ever there and you have intimate access by simply holding Him in your mind. Look into His eyes. Carefully visualize the large head. His trunk, the full body and each object that He holds. Train yourself to see Him within your mind with your eyes closed. This is the key. Hold His form steady in your mind with the power of visualization. Now you can talk to Him. He is listening. No, He will not speak back. Simply put all of your questions and your problems at His Feet, then open your eyes. Wherever you are remember this and, as a good Hindu, exercise this siddha. Through the day and the days to come, you will notice how He answers questions and solves problems through the course of your daily life, influencing events and decisions slowly and subtly, in an unseen way. Situations will change, unexpected doors will open while accustomed ones will close as you are propelled through His grace toward your inevitable glorious future.
All the major religions of the world have established institutions and societies to research, remodel and remold their spiritual community to be of service in the fast-moving technological age. The various sects of Hinduism, however, have allowed their members to leave the religion behind as they left the farms and vineyards, the paddy fields and orchards into the factories and offices as their countries industrialized. Efforts are now being made to remodel and remold our faith, to compensate for the failure to make Hinduism as vital and practical in this era as it has been in more rustic times. We must bring back truant members to our religion, and vivify the Gods. There is an unfortunate and totally erroneous assumption that the Gods are needed less as man pioneers new fields of technology and knowledge. The Gods are the essence of knowledge, helping us to bring through more sophisticated insights through both scientific inquiry and spiritual intuition, and assisting us in the wise use of that knowledge for the benefit of mankind. Hindus must teach the youth the greatness of the Sanatana Dharma, teach them that they need not leave their religion in order to enter into science, politics or any intellectual pursuit, teach them to worship the superconscious Mahadevas, to seek the able assistance of Lord Ganesha in all things. He is the first Ishta Devata of all Hindus, regardless their sectarian beliefs. Worship of Lord Ganesha leads the devotee most naturally to the other great Gods.