Remover of obstacles,
Embodiment of wisdom
Devata of Muladhara Chakra
O Lord Vinayaka
The bestower of happiness
Who has Modaka in hand
O Elephant-headed Lord
Salutations unto Thee
Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha
source image: http://guruji.nl/?page_id=159
Lord Ganesha is the elephant-headed God. He is always worshipped first. In Hindu tradition his names are repeated first before any auspicious work is begun, and before beginning any kind of undertaking, such as marriages, journeys, expeditions, study, etc. his name should be worshipped. In many buildings (even offices and work places) in India there is a statue of Ganesha at the entrance where people bow or salute him before continuing to enter.
Lord Ganesha is an embodiment of wisdom and bliss.
He rides on the Vahana, the small mouse.
He is the presiding Deity of Muladhara Chakra (root chakra).
He is the Lord who removes all obstacles in the spiritual path and brings wordly success.
He is the Lord of harmony and peace.
Lord Ganesha represents OM or pranava. Pranava is the chief mantra of the Hindus. Nothing can be done without uttering it. Hence the practice of invoking Lord Ganesha before beginning any rite or work.
The two feet are his Jnana Shakti (shakti of thought, wisdom and intuition) and Kriya Shakti (shakti of manifestation, creativity, inspiration).
Lord Ganesha has the elephant head as that is the one figure in nature which is of the form of Pranava.
Riding on the mouse represents that He has killed egoism.
He holds Ankusa, which represents that he is the Ruler of the world.
Elephants are very wise. Wearing the head of an elephant indicates the embodiment of wisdom.
He is also the Lord of ganas, or groups, such as the group of elements, the group of senses etc.
There is a specific Vrata (vow, resolve, devtion) that involves the puja (ceremonial worship) of Lord Ganesha with Shodashopachara (16 Vedic Puja ritual steps) and appropriate Sankalpa (intention).
source image: wikipedia
source image: https://www.hindu-blog.com/2008/08/why-ganesha-is-depicted-in-form-of.html
Of course we do not come from India nor do we have the knowledge of the Vratas or the pujas. However, we can invoke Ganapati’s energy and wisdom within ourselves. As it is not really about praying to an Elephant-headed God, but about tapping into that energy, that shakti that is within us. Having a symbol or something we can use as a tool to do so, is sometimes helpfull.
Using your mala, chant ‘Om Shri Ganeshaya Namaha‘ and concentrate on the base of the spine.
If you feel blocked or the need to awaken stagnant energy, you can do a sadhana of Ganesha mantra.
Note that it is not only chanting one mala and voila.
An example of a Ganesha sadhana is:
3 malas of Om Shri Ganeshaya Namaha for 12 days in a row.
If you skip one day, you need to start over.
If you have done this. Try 12 days of 12 malas!
After that, it is good to maintain the energy by chanting one to three malas daily.
To face our emotional, mental and spiritual obstacles, we need to be rooted and connected. As a tree grows strong and high with deep roots, so it is important to have a strong foundation.
When we chant this mantra, we connect to its shakti (energy). So more than just repeating the words automatically, embrace its shakti and imagine yourself embodying this shakti to remove any obstacles that block you on your spiritual path and give way to wisdom and bliss.
But be carefull! When you embark on this journey, be ready to face your obstacles. Because it’s not that Ganesha just erases them, when you tap into his shakti you will have the strength and courage to face and dissolve them!
- Swami Sivananda. Hindu Gods & Godesses