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The god of gifts

india Updated: Sep 18, 2012 23:54 IST
MN Kundu

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi. Ganapati, the god of gifts, is invoked as the god of wisdom wherefrom flows all fulfillments. Hence auspicious activities by Hindus start with an offering salutations to Ganesh, meaning collective wisdom.

Aggrieved at the suffering of mankind, Parvati prayed to Lord Shiva for a solution. Shiva advised her to concentrate on the Kutastha centre from where this wise offspring was born. But the child was beheaded at the sight of Shani. Again at the intervention of Shiva, an elephant kid’s head was placed on his shoulder with large ears, small mouth, penetrating eyes and long trunk symbolising management principle of more listening, less talking, more penetrating and sensing things.

When Vyas was ready to compose the Mahabharata, he sought stenographic assistance. Ganesh was chosen as the most suitable. But Vyas imposed conditions that he would never stop while giving dictation and Ganesh would not write anything without understanding the meaning fully. But Vyas composed complex, inscrutable verses — Vyaskut— as Ganesh would take time to understand.

Once, both Ganesh and his brother Kartik demanded a necklace from their mother Parvati. Parvati said that between the two, one who would be quicker to travel the entire universe seven times would get it. Kartik started with his peacock thinking that Ganesh would fail with mouse as his carrier. Ganesh moved around his mother seven times and sat down quietly. When Kartik came back, Ganesh said he had completed the task. His mother, as the primordial energy, was at the root of the universe and the entire universe was her manifestation. Ganesh was the triumphant one and proud Kartik learnt a lesson. Invocation of him gives psychological support.