Creating a Simple Lord Krishna Puja to Celebrate Janmashtami

The significance of Lord Krishna is that he used his life to explain the great teachings in Upanishads. He taught us to remain neutral, live in the moment and celebrate every day of life.

krishna and Ganesh statue

Krishna Statue for Janmashtami Puja

Keeping in mind that Lord Krishna taught us to rise above rituals and take action; the best offering is to perform one’s duty by realizing the Braham within. Janmashtami is a day to reflect, calm the mind and feel a connection with Shri Krishna. Above all, the greatest puja is to read the Bhagavad Gita, sit in silence and contemplate.

  • Puja suggestions dedicated to Lord Krishna:Place a Krishna statue and Ganesha statue in a clean, quiet space
  • Have a lamp and prepare a plate with flowers, fruits and sweets
  • Meditate and pray to Lord Ganesha
  • Light the lamp
  • Meditate and pray to Lord Krishna
  • Offer flowers, specifically tulsi leaves and light incense
  • Chant the mantra – “Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya”
  • Offer the fruits and sprinkle water on the Lord Krishna sculpture and Lord Ganesha sculpture
  • When completed, remove the fruits and offer as Prasad with others

The significance of Lord Krishna is that he used his life to explain the great teachings in Upanishads. He taught us to remain neutral, live in the moment and celebrate every day of life. However you chose to worship, Lord Krishna is happy with any offerings to him in true devotion.  View a video of Lord Krishna puja.

Cruising for Ganeshas & Buddhas in Bali!

“My favorite days in Bali are spent on my rented motor scooter cruising through the markets, stores and back village workshops”
~Kyle~

 

Bali….I was amazed that I got through India without getting sick. In my 10 years of 15 trips to India I have managed to get a wide range of illnesses ranging from ordinary bugs to full-on, 105 degree temperatures. I dodged the bullet this trip! I was amazed! I jumped on the plane to Bali and patted myself on the back. Well done Kyle!

After arriving in Bali I sat down to a nice dinner at a respectable restaurant then quietly went to sleep that night. I awoke at 5am with an acrobat in my stomach. Yup, sick off the first meal I ate in Bali! That is what I get for counting my blessings to early! I spent the next day going through the lava stone workshops of my friend Christian, looking for quality Buddha statues that his family has been producing in Bali for the past 20 years. He consistently has the best quality Buddha carvings as well the best coloring for the statues. His artists can produce any color or texture in the stone. Each year I have seen a consistent improvement in the statues.

Lava stone Ganesh statue

On previous trips I have always shied away from Bali style Ganesha statues.  I was so used to the refined lifelike appearance of Ganesh in my travels through India, that the more crude Ganeshas of Bali did not seem attractive to me.  However, this year I opened my eyes and really saw the Bali style Ganesh for the first time and I liked what I saw.  There is a quote that I love about Ganesh;  “If you take home a stone and worship it in full faith, over a course of time you are bound to see the image of Ganesh.”  I truly saw Ganesh in the stone!  His fat almost tribal qualities are a perfect variation to the Indian style Ganesh.  As usual I bought too many of them!  I can never say no to a good statue!  In roaming thru his workshop I was consistently fighting back the desire to sit down and go to sleep or just fall over.  But I made it through the day…then on to Ubud, the cultural center of Bali to visit my Buddha wood carvers!

6 foot wooden buddha statue

My favorite days in Bali are spent on my rented motor scooter cruising through the markets, stores and back village workshops in Ubud. I must go into 30-40 shops a day. It is not easy to find quality wood Buddhas in Bali. There are hundreds of shops selling wood Buddhas however, over the years I have only found a small handful of artists who actually carve with true feeling for the work they are doing. Two artist that consistently make beautiful Buddhas are Mr Sayub and Mr Wayan. Wayan and his son carve my large standing Buddha statues on a blooming lotus base. This year he has carved two of them for me. One 8 feet tall and the other 6 feet tall. The detail and time taken on the flowing robes of the Buddha set his Buddha apart from other standing Buddhas!

wooden buddha statues in Bali

My other artist who I always look forward to seeing is Sayub. He makes small Buddha statues each usually with a very unique hand position. The thin fingers of each statue and minute detailing in the robes in my opinion crown him the current king of Balinese wood work…at least for Buddha statues! I also managed to pick up some very large wood statues including a 7 foot Kwan yin, 8 foot meditating Buddha and two other 7 foot standing Buddhas. After a couple of days of searching for Buddhas and cruising through rice fields on my scooter it was time to return to the coast.

I noticed in the shops in Ubud that there was some new metal work in Bali and I was determined to find out where they were being made. The statues were of Hindu gods and goddesses in various forms. The style was more similar in style to Cambodian Hindu and Buddhist statues with many arms and small weapons. I thus headed into Denpasar, the capital to check the markets. I knew I would not find the source here but I did find many shops that were selling the statues I was looking for. After many questions to many dealers I finally nailed down the source of the metal Hindu statues which I went to the following day. My search was rewarded and I choose some beautiful images. My favorite being a dancing Vishnu statue like no other I have seen before. The statue reminded me more of a Nataraja figure. I find it so fulfilling to start on a search for new sculpture mediums and designs and then achieve my goal. There is nothing like finding new artists!!!

By this time in my trip I really needed a reward. I spent the past 23 days working, flying, scooting, exploring every day and deserved a day off. I went to the quite surf beach of Padang Padang and got a bungalow on the ocean and spent the next day surfing and enjoying the ocean and stillness. My body and mind appreciated the day of mental tranquility and relaxation! Here is a video I shot from my bungalow. Yes, it was paradise!

Then I was off to Bangkok, Thailand and the last leg of my trip!

Quotes about the Hindu God Ganesh

 

Hindu God Ganesh quotes
“O, Elephant Faced One!

You are so near
and we are far from You.
You are in and we are out;
You are at home, while I’m a stranger.

Yet, You have destroyed my egoity.

I shall sing Your Praise forever

and lay my garland of songs at Your feet.”

Saint Nambiandiyadigal

“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

“He is worshiped with red flowers.
 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”
Ganapati Upanishad

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.

“In heaven Lord Ganesh will establish the predominance of gods, on earth that of people, in the nether world that of serpents and anti-gods”
~A Hymn from Sri Bhagavat-Tathva~

“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.”

“If you take home a stone and worship it in full faith, over a course of time you are bound to see the image of 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.

Dancing Ganesh Statue at Calgary Zoo

Hindu God Ganesh Dancing Stone Statue

Dancing Ganesh in front of Calgary Zoo

In 2006, the Calgary Zoo, with the help of a private donor, commissioned Lotus Sculpture to custom make a nine-foot tall, 5-ton statue to be displayed in front of their new Elephant Crossing exhibit. The sculpture, which was modeled after the Hindu god Ganesh, was beautifully hand-carved with polished Indian black granite and took approximately one year to complete. The statue’s proportionate size, with the head of an elephant and bulbous trunk, uplifted arm, slight chest, potbelly, huge thighs, and chubby feet fit together with perfection. Much thought, and many fine details were carved into this work of art.

The zoo, with consideration of their guests, removed all of Ganesh’s religious symbols before it was erected. The statue was meant to show the link between elephants and Asian culture, not to represent a religious icon. Once installed, the ‘dancing elephant’ still brought about a ‘handful’ of complaints and unwanted controversy to the exhibit. A Canadian Christian group organized a campaign to protest the statue, citing “selective religious partiality and indoctrination”. Despite the few grievances, the zoo did not remove the sculpture. It still stands peacefully today (for now).

Unfortunately, it was recently announced that the Calgary Zoo will be closing the Elephant Crossing exhibit, where it holds one bull and three female endangered pachyderms. The climate is too cold for the small herd. The time-frame of their departure could take up to five years, as one female is pregnant and not due to give birth until February 2013. Likely, once born, they will not relocate the group to another zoo until the baby is at least four-years-old. The elephants will go away one day, but the $11-million, taxpayer-funded building will remain and house a new species. The zoo anticipates continuing the focus on an Asian theme, with animals that are better suited to the climate of Calgary. Hopefully, with keeping in line of the Asian theme and culture, the beautiful, carefree, and loving Ganesh statue will remain the gatekeeper of the exhibit and for all visitors to enjoy.
Click here to view the stone dancing Ganesh statue

Stone Hindu God Ganesh Statue

Dancing Ganesh Stone Statue

.