“His four arms stand for His immense power in helping humanity. The noose and goad borne in two of His hands stand for His all-pervasiveness and grace. The broken tusk held in the right hand shows that He is the refuge for all. His huge belly is indicative of His tolerance and also signifies that all things, the entire Universe, are contained in Him. His feet stand for the bestowal of siddhi and buddhi, attainment of desires and knowledge. The modaka (sweet goody) in His hand is symbolic of jnana, conferring bliss. His mount, the shrew, represents the worldly desires which are to be overcome.”
M. Arunachalam, Festivals of Tamil Nadu
Unfailing, merciful, the origin of the worlds,
He appears at the beginning of creation, alone, beyond Nature, beyond the Cosmic Person.
He who meditates on His form
becomes great among the yogis”
In sculpture the position of Lord Ganesh’s trunk has a symbolic meaning. If the trunk turns to the Ganesh’s left, that is the direction for success in the world. It is a position associated with grihastas, or householders. To his right, the trunk represents moksha, good for renouncing the world. When one chooses a Ganesh sculpture that is proper for their own spiritual path the trunk position is one thing that is good to keep in mind.
“Shiva asked his two sons, Kartikeya and Ganesh to circle the world and return. Kartikeya hurried off on his peacock but Ganesh simply walked around Shiva and Parvati. He explained that for him, his parents constituted the world. Shiva granted him a boon, saying that before undertaking any important task people would pray to Ganesh.”
In the comments section below you are welcome to add any other prayers, quotes or sayings about Lord Ganesh that you may know. We will add them to the page as they are posted.