It’s a new year, a fresh start, and perhaps a great time to remove obstacles from your path. Ganesha is one of my favorite characters from Indian mythology. He is the elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati, and widely known as the obstacle-remover. The Sanskrit word “Ganesh” comes from the word “vighna,” which means obstacles or hindrances. Ganesha’s elephant head symbolizes purification of the ego. Ganesha is the Lord of fortune, peace, and spiritual success. He represents wisdom, knowledge, and the ability to overcome setbacks. During Hindu ceremonies, Ganesha is invoked first to clear the path.
Ganesha rides around on a rat. Some say this rat is symbolic of Ganesha’s ability to overcome hindrances. Whenever I think of Ganesha’s rat, I think of the rats in the New York City subways lurking around in dark, underground tunnels. Those tunnels are much like the challenges of the unknown we face in life. The mere fact of going into the depths of darkness can be unsettling for anyone, especially when the ego is talking us out of moving forward. The ego likes to be in control, but if you let it take over it can keep you stuck in space that you don’t really want to be in. If you look deep, oftentimes, it is not a particular obstacle, but rather our own ego-inspired thoughts getting in the way.
To get through these dark places of our own mind, we can invoke the energy of Ganesha to clear the way, change our thoughts, and open to something new.
The mantra for Ganesha is Om Gum Ganapataye Namaha.
As you chant this mantra to Ganesha, bring to mind a particular obstacle or challenge standing in your path. Using the sound currents from the mantra, imagine yourself breaking through that obstacle with superpower Ganesha energy. Visualize a strong, beautiful elephant clearing the path ahead of you, bringing in sunlight, and making way for something new.
Aim high, but do not be attached to the results turning out in any particular way. Jai Ganesha! May 2019 bring health, happiness, and prosperity to all.