The Symbolism of God Ganesha
Dec 01, 2014
What do you know about the symbolism of this nice-looking god, chubby body and elephant head whose image we often see in yoga centers? According to Hindu mythology, Ganesha is the son of the goddess Parvati and the god Shiva, born while his father was away in the war against the asuras or demons. One day, Parvati entrusted Ganesha with guarding the palace while she took a bath. It was just at that time that Shiva returned home, to meet a young man whom he did not recognize and who did not allow him to enter his own home. Angry, Shiva cut off the head of his son without knowing who he really was. Later, before the tears of the disconsolate mother, Shiva promised Parvati that she would come down to earth and replace her son's head with that of the first being she found. Yes, exactly, the first being she ran into was an elephant. Like other representations of gods in Hinduism, the figure of Ganesha is an archetype that contains different meanings and symbolism. On the one hand, it is a symbol of the discovery of the divinity within ourselves and represents the balance between the feminine and the masculine, between strength and kindness. On the other, it symbolizes the ability to distinguish between reality and illusion: that is, wisdom. These are all qualities that we seek to cultivate through yoga. Ganesha is said to have the power to remove obstacles from our material and spiritual path. Today, the image of him can often be seen guarding houses in India, where he is invoked, for example, before taking a trip or taking an exam. Well Ganesha is the god of roads, wisdom and letters, a god who is considered a protector and giver of good luck. He is also known by the name of Ganapati. In the context of our yoga practice, chanting a mantra dedicated to him, such as Om Gam Ganapataye Namah, it can help us invoke that energy of overcoming obstacles that we all have inside.