As she bid goodbye to her beloved Ganpati Bappa, yesterday, SHASHI DIP finds herself dwelling on the message he leaves behind for his devotees
Every year, we bid goodbye to Ganpati Bappa, knowing with absolute faith that our most revered and most merciful destroyer of all obstacles, will once again visit next year to ensure the wellbeing of his devotees. His yearly visit to our homes is marked by euphoria and enthusiasm all through his 10-day sojourn.
Devotees eagerly wait for Bappa and many keep their long list of wishes ready; some wait to share their sorrows and lighten their pain at failures of the past year, while others are just happy to offer him gratitude. Whatever be their reason to host him, everyone welcomes Ganesh home with prayers, pomp and gaiety, and with his favourite foods as they invite friends and family to pay their divine visitor a visit.
His idols adorn homes and elaborate pandals and the variety of sculptures, displaying the best craftsmanship and exquisite decorations make people joyous all through the 10-day celebrations on earth.
Some among the devotees focus on the spiritual inspiration they derive from his external form. This prompts them to dwell on his inner divinity and use the very same qualities to upgrade themselves.
It is not possible for all of us to understand and analyze His inner divinity and imbibe then in our lives, but we can at least try. Just by gazing at his divine external form, we can learn so much. If we do this, Ganpati Bappa will return to his abode in heaven, happy and content.
Let us begin today itself by dwelling on the vibrations we can imbibe from his beautiful name, Ganesha. The G in Ganesha stands for Knowledge; N signifies Salvation and Ish denotes the Lord.
His elephant head is a symbol of how an elephant can cut across a dense forest paving a path for the rest of the animals; similarly, our beloved Ganesh ji destroys all obstacles in the path of his devotees. The big head of Lord Ganesha signifies wisdom, intelligence and big thinking, while his small and sharp eyes signify concentration on the goal before us. His ears convey the message of how merciful Buppa is. His ability to listen to others and keep them in his memory is exemplary.
His swinging trunk demonstrates to us that we must face all circumstances of life calmly, with high adaptability and efficiency. His four arms represent omnipresence in all four directions. He holds an axe in one hand and that teaches us to be ready to axe all bondages. The rope in another hand reminds everyone to remain connected to the heart, while practising discipline. The laddu in yet another hand conveys the message that we too can aim for that sweetness once our sadhana is done. There is yet another hand that is always blessing his devotees. His big belly is a symbol of acceptance, while the small mouse he rides on fills us with inspiration that everyone can ride on one’s weaknesses and overcome them. He is always shown with one tooth, a symbol of giving up bad traits and keeping back only the best. His small mouth suggests that one must speak less, and only the Truth.
In this way, his physical form conveys a deep philosophy of life. and if not for the entire 365 days of the year, even if we dwell on these qualities during the few days of his earthly stay, or in the period immediately after, we can overcome so many of our obstacles and problems. If we do that, Ganpati Bappa will surely be satisfied by our efforts and will return happily, year after year, to our homes content in the knowledge that his devotees have learned and taken inspiration from Him.
As each person is transformed and uplifted, many social changes can be initiated and the betterment of the entire human society will then be a real possibility. That is exactly what Ganesha wants from his devotees.
Shashi Dip is a thinker, bilingual writer, poet, columnist, social activist and an author of the book ‘Waves Within (Horizon and Beyond)’. She is associated with various literary associations and has written more than 200 blogs, 500 quotes in Hindi/Urdu and English and 100 poems in both Hindi and English.