The symbology of Ganesha story

21/05/2017 by Equipe do Vidya Mandir

One of my hobbies is painting, I do not have the gift of the thing but I'm having fun ...

I used to make oil paintings but since I moved from the town I started with Acrylic.

As I finished a painting of Ganesha I leave you a reading about his Symbology.

The text belongs to the Vidya Mandir Team

Ganesha is the son of Shiva and Parvati. The name derives from the combination of the Sanskrit words Gana (crowd, army) and Isha (Lord) = Ganesha - Lord of all beings. The myth about Ganesha, as it is written in the Puranas, tells us that Shiva was very absent from home and spent long periods of retreat in the mountains. At such times, Parvati ordered a guardian not to allow anyone into his palace without her permission. All the guardians, however, failed to follow Parvati's command when it came to Shiva wanting to enter his own home. Parvati then decided to put a person who obeyed only her orders and not even let Shiva enter, and created from her own matter a doll giving him life as his son, making him his private guardian.

One day, Shiva himself, coming back from Kailasa, wanted to enter Parvati's palace while she bathed, and the boy stopped his passage. No argument was enough for him to change his attitude of unconditional obedience to Parvati. There followed a fierce struggle between the army of Shiva and Ganesha, who fought bravely against all and resisted for a long time until his head was mortally severed from the trunk by the trishula of Shiva. Parvati, seeing his dead son, threatened to crush the world with his anger. Shiva, then, realising the scope of his act, repented and asked Parvati for his forgiveness. She consented to forgive him on the condition that he restore his son to life. Shiva then commanded his Ganas to go northward and bring the head of the first living thing they met on the way. It so happened that it was an elephant with one of the broken tusks they found. Then Shiva put the head of this elephant in the body of the boy and it revived, with elephant's head. Shiva recognised him as his son, giving him the name of Ganesha.

As all the legends contain within them a greater meaning, let us discover the symbology of the story of Ganesha. First, the little book shows that Ganesha has a physical body "created" by Parvati, a symbol of the perishable matter, that is, that is human. It also shows that he "does not know" the father (Shiva, the Supreme Reality). When Parvati asks for his protection he obeys it unconditionally (takes care of the matter, is attached to it). When his father "arrives", he fights with him (he does not want to lose his individuality), he does not recognise him, but he fights bravely and wants to do his duty. The father admires his courage but, being unable to let him win, cuts off his head (ego, mind, arrogance) and he "dies." Parvati, angry at the "death" of the son, shows the matter not wanting to lose its "name and form". Shiva places a "new head" on the son, who is reborn in the hands of Shiva, being born of the Supreme. Parvati, content with Shiva's promises that his son will be revered at the beginning of rituals and ceremonies, and before any endeavour, shows that the "loss" of individuality is the gain of the Absolute, of Fullness. The sage overcomes all obstacles and then "dies," "loses his head," to gain a "new" given by Shiva, the Absolute.

The first two steps to self-realization, Svaranam, hear the Teaching, and Mananam, reflect on it, are represented by the huge ears and elephant's head. The trunk represents Viveka, the capacity for discrimination that always emerges from Wisdom. The intellect of the common man is always trapped between pairs of opposites (the prey). The sage is no longer affected by these pairs of opposites (cold-heat, pleasure-pain, joy-sorrow, etc.), having attained a state of equanimity (represented by the broken prey) and with its discrimination comprises the material and transcendental world , Such as the trunk that does coarse work (plucks trees, etc.) or subtle (picks up a leaf from the ground). The wise never forgets his true nature (elephant memory). The huge belly represents its ability to "swallow, digest and assimilate" all obstacles, just like the Teaching listened to, transforming itself into that Living Knowledge. The mouse at his feet symbolises desire, with its greed and greed, often stealing more than it can eat and stocking more than it can remember. The sage has the desire under full control. This is why the mouse looks up and waits for its permission to "eat" the objects of the senses. It also represents his vehicle, that is, the wise trying to pass his Infinite Wisdom through his finite equipment (body and mind).

Source : The symbology of Ganesha story

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