Ganesha: Remover of Obstacles
by Delight Yoga
Have you seen the elephant-headed statue in our studios? Ever wondered why we have those at our entrances? To celebrate Ganesha Chaturthi this week, we would like to shine our light on the elephant-headed Hindu god.
The Story of Ganesha
The Hindu God Ganesha is the son of Shiva and Parvathi. The story of Ganesha is a very fascinating one.
A long time ago, when Shiva was away fighting for the gods, Parvathi was alone at home. One day, she needed someone to guard the house when she was going for a bath. Unable to think of an alternative she used her powers to create a son, Ganesha. She instructed Ganesha to keep a strict vigil on the entrance of the house and not allow anyone into the house while she was taking her bath. So Ganesha stayed on strict vigils.
In the meantime, Shiva returned happily after a glorious victory for the gods. But when he approached the house, Ganesha stopped him by the entrance. Ganesha, acting on Parvathi's orders, did not allow Shiva to enter the house. Shiva was enraged beyond control and in a fit of rage cut of the head of Ganesha. Parvathi came back from her bath and was aghast at the scene. She explained the situation and became very angry at Shiva.
Shiva wanted to make it up to her, by putting life back into Ganesha. To do so he needed the head of the first living creature that came in eyesight that was sleeping with his head to the north. He sends his soldiers to search for the creature and they found an elephant. So Shiva recreated his son with the head of an elephant. Parvathi was still not totally happy with the deal and wanted more. Shiva agreed to give Ganesha a boon that people would worship Ganesha before the beginning of any undertaking, before the start of any work.
Remover of Obstacles at our Entrances
Today, Ganesha is seen as the god that removes obstacles, the guardian at entrances, the protector of spaces.
You can see the statues of Ganesha at the entrances of temples and sacred buildings and also at all our Delight Yoga studios. It is a way to protect the space from anyone who wishes to enter.
As well as removing obstacles, Ganesha is also known to place obstacles in front of us, so that we may overcome them, in order to learn and grow.
Before any festivities or sacred rituals, Ganesha mantras are chanted as a way to bring protection and to remove any obstacles that may lie ahead.
Salute to the supreme Lord Ganesha
Whose curved trunk and massive body shines like a million suns
and showers his blessing on everyone
Oh my lord of lords Ganesha,
kindly remove all obstacles, always and forever
from all my activities and endeavours.