This video talks about Ganesh, a deity being celebrated in the footage. Rajesh Vasudevan, an English teacher in India, talks about the components of Ganesh, the birth, how he became a god along with some Indian culture and how they intertwine.
I went originally to Rajesh Vasudevan to ask why is Ganesh missing a tusk? Why did he walk around Shiva and Parvati, his parents, as the universe to get a fruit? and What does his elephant head represent? As an answer I got so much more than I hoped for. Mr. Vasudevan spoke about the most significant aspects of Ganesh’s appearance and how that rolls into Indian culture. He spoke about the importance of parents and the focus of the Indian culture. He spoke about the birth of Ganesh and the elephant head and how it rolls into legend and life in India.
Ganesh is the god of success and remover of all obstacles, success and prosperity
Gana: subjects, groups
Ganesh, lord of all subjects
The body huge and bulky and animal: man is a mixture of both human and animal.
His eyes are too small for an elephant: concentration and focus.
Huge ears: moving like fans, push out all that is not required and pushing in all that is relevant.
Long trunk: a long nose looks ugly but on this god it does not look ugly, meaning appearance is not important, what you are as a human being is what is important.
Broken tusk: Ganesh uses his tusk to write, symbolizing, in the process of learning, a handicap, or obstacle is irrelevant.
Belly with a snake rapped around: all desires, master your greed and desires, be the master of your habits, do not let it master you.
The god takes the fourth place in the focus of Indian Culture:
Sage Narada had a fruit. He didn’t know who to give it to, Ganesh or his brother:
If he give it to Ganesh, Ganesh will be sad, and if he doesn’t give it to Ganesh he will be angry. So it was settled with a test: who travels all three worlds in the shortest time will be giving this fruit. Ganesh’s brother, without thinking about it, got onto his peacock, his ride, and left to travel the worlds. Ganesh’s ride is a rat, and would not be able to beat his brother. Instead Ganesh walked around his parents, and said, “You are my world, I am here because of you.”
When Ganesh was created, he did not meet his father, Shiva. One day Parvati wanted to take a bath, and asked Ganesh to not let anyone in. Ganesh stood at the door and kept anyone from coming in. The Shiva comes and demands to enter but Ganesh does not let him. A battle arises between the two and Shiva decapitates Ganesh. Parvati becomes aware of what is taking place outside the door and cries, “You have killed my son!” Shiva then repents by looking for an animal, and the first he finds he decapitates and gives Ganesh his head: an elephant’s head.
Ganesh is one of the most important deities in Hinduism and is deeply embedded in Indian culture. You can reed more about Ganesh here.
image found here
By Tiana Seger