Who is Ganesha ?
Friday 29 August 2014, by
Student: I would like to hear more about the significance of Ganesha. Is he a symbol?
ShantiMayi: Ganesha is not a symbol. He has symbols, but he is not a symbol.
He is living deity breathing like you. He is as real as you are.
His ears are so that he can take every drop of the Guru’s word, of his fathers word, his father was the original Guru: Shiva. First and foremost only Guru was Shiva; the destroyer of ignorance.
Ganesha’s ears are so huge, so that nothing is lost.
And his trunk… this elephant trunk can move and can uproot trees and pick up a peanut.
It has the ability to uproot trees and be so delicate that it has the sensitivity to pick up one peanut.
Ganesha rides a rat! His vehicle is a rat because he shows the highest wisdom is not rational and does not have to conform to our idea of ‘how things should be’.
It is not irrational, but it is certainly not rational.
It is not illogical, but it is certainly not logical that an elephant so big and so mighty could ride a vehicle of a rat.
There are many reasons for the symbology.
For that symbology alone you can find twenty reasons, thirty, maybe infinite reasons.
Ganesha holds a noose; he holds a noose to draw up his disciples out of the sea of samsara.
And he has a goad, it means: get going, don’t rest here, this is not a place of resting. Carry on! Push! Push yourself past your limits! Push yourself past your ignorance! Push yourself to excel!
And he moves the obstacles, which are illusions, out of your way.
He also holds amrita. He has a little vessel in his trunk, this is the nectar. This is the sweetness, the nectar of the teachings, the nectar of the heart, the nectar of the oneness, the nectar of the Truth. Drop by drop you get it, not poured on you. It is such a little vessel and he keeps it right next to his heart.
This particular Ganesha has also a something like the Vajra in one of his hands.
It is this round shape, which is totally expansive and also contracting, but here it falls into duality; the drop into duality, you understand?
In another hand he holds his tusk. There are many stories of this tusk.
One story is that his father, Shiva, had an axe, wherever he aimed and threw it, it hit the target. He always hits the mark, like the Guru’s word never misses the mark. Hitting the mark is known as Siddha, which means perfection.
You cannot even comprehend how accurate that is: the Guru’s word and this axe of Shiva.
One time Shiva was in battle and he took his axe and he aimed it and the axe went of course and Ganesha ran and put his tusk up, so it could not miss the mark. Never miss the mark! The axe took half of his tusk. It means that which is broken is also perfect.
Ganesha is also the male, protective energy.
His belly is big because he is full. He has it all right in the belly, not at a distance, so close it is.
Everything is present, he needs nothing.
And he has a mans-body, a human body. That must say something, isn’t it? It says that this capacity is in every human being.
So his symbols are powerful and his heart is very sweet, and the beauty of Ganesha is that he is also very comical. He is very comical, he is very funny, very joyous, very much laughing, he dances, he is silly and he is also like a great king: he is royal.
Once I told Ganesha: “No matter what happens in my life, I will never forget you. I will make your name famous all over the world, although it already is.” So I could hardly do anything of that. So I decided to make the foundation ‘Ganesh foundation’. He is my foundation. These symbols are the very foundation of the Mahayana teachings.