Who is Ganesh? Is Ganesh a Real Being?
Some of us think of Ganesh as a fat elephant man with tiny little feet dancing through the universe eating lots of sweets.
But this idea of Ganesh is a simple one.
The real stories of Ganesh teach us to open the mind and to consider a universe of limitless possibilities. The mythology of Ganesh shows us how to go beyond what is possible. And enter the realm of impossibility.
Many people think yoga is about religion. Or the think you have to pray to imaginary creatures like Ganesh.
But these deities, such as Ganesh, are symbols that represent human potential.
The symbolism of Ganesha represents the possibilities of what we can overcome.
They also represent the potential of what we CAN become.
Who Is Ganesh? Why is Lord Ganesha worshipped first?
One of the more enchanting, yet underutilized features of the Blue Osa resort is the Balinese beach-hut style meditation temple. It faces the pool near the spa.
Inside the orange walls, you will find a statue of Ganesha, the elephant god.
Bring your yoga mat, a cushion, or just yourself. Invite the gentle sound of the waves in the distance to lure you into a meditative state.
Bring a mantra with you and draw upon the energy of this deity to remove obstacles in your life.
“Gam Ganapataye Namah” is a traditional one that honors Ganesha.
“I invite balance and strength into my life,” may also resonate.
Ganesh is The Great Balancer
Ganesha is the great balancer: steady, strong and grounded.
He rules the root chakra, Muladhara. Our root chakra governs our four basic needs. Our need for food, sex, to sleep, and survival.
His large belly represents hunger for knowledge, truth, and fulfillment of worldly pleasures. An aspect of Ganesh is his overwhelming ability to eat. In this way, we learn to increase our capacity to absorb and contain prana.
All songs and mantras to Ganesha ask that our root chakra become open. “May we remain grounded, steady, clear and strong.
The huge ears of Ganesh show that he is a great listener and counselor; he encourages us to align with our desired outcome and move towards it with conviction.
He is also known as the “Great Balancer” because he rides on a mouse. His ability to balance his huge body on this diminutive creature requires extreme discipline, skill, patience and attention.
Through this symbology of Ganesh, we learn to release and move past our old perceptions and challenges in life.
Ganesh helps us to focus and train our mind. Instead of concentrating on our setbacks and what is not working, we learn to focus on our goals and the strategies to reach them.
Why Is Ganesh the Remover of Obstacles
Even though he is known as the “Remover of Obstacles” it is not as if he simply rides in and clears away external roadblocks.
Instead, he invites a change in perception: that we see obstacles as opportunities, and that sometimes the obstacle is the actual destination.
These life’s challenges can act as a right of passage that have arisen as a beautiful opportunity to transform our minds and souls.
Ganesha is the lord of beginnings and you can pray to him at the beginning of an endeavor to ask for blessings and ease.
In Hindu culture he is often honored at the start of rituals and ceremonies for this reason.
What are the powers of Ganesha?
Yogi Aaron is Blue Osa’s owner and founder. He chose Ganesha for the temple because he believes it is good to start your sadna (or yoga practice) by honoring him.
Guests are able to pay their respects to Ganesh when they first arrive. By gazing upon Ganesh, they begin to initiate a week of practice and journey inwards.
Ganesha is also important deity for business, and acts as a protector for the property.
Lastly, Aaron chose Ganesha for the temple because of the deity’s connection with the divine mother. The rituals of the Blue Osa experience is all about honoring and receiving the gifts of this incredible place on Earth.
Traditionally, Ganesha has a noose in his left hand, which is supposed to gently capture all difficulties.
The axe in his upper right hand helps him propel mankind forward on the eternal path remove what is getting in the way.
He usually holds a broken tusk in his lower right hand as a symbol of sacrifice, and in his other hand, a rosary, suggesting our pursuit of knowledge should be continuous.
The snake around his waist represents energy in all forms.
How Do You Bring Ganesha Into Your Life?
Often times we come on retreat because we need to shift something in our lives. Perhaps we feel overwhelmed about a big decision we need to make, are confused about our next steps, or just feel a general sense of discouragement.
A yoga retreat can do so much to reinvigorate the soul. Ganesha is connected directly to our root chakra, our sense of security and of manifesting our earthly desires.
Your entire retreat experience can be about reconnecting and grounding to the nature that surrounds you.
Use the symbolism of Ganesha as medicine.
Some questions or Ganesh practice you could journal about during your time at Blue Osa include:
- How can I change my perspective of this obstacle?
- Can I shift my attitude and see it as an opportunity?
- What do I need to do to feel more steady and grounded?
- How can I think outside of the box?
Remember, Ganesha’s purpose or Dharma, is not just to remove obstacles. But sometimes to place them in our way to teach us important life’s lessons!
During the challenging moments, ask how we can move through these situations and remain balanced and grounded.
I know!!! It is easier said than done!
BUT our own happiness is ultimately a choice!
The more we can get curious about our circumstances and determine our role’s in them, the more opportunity we have to learn.
Make a point to visit the Ganesh Temple at Blue Osa during your yoga retreat at Blue Osa.
You never know what kind of wisdom you may download after a good sweaty yoga class first thing in the morning.
Ganesha’s wise, strong and steady presence may inspire some unexpected answers.
As mentioned above, Ganesh rules the 1st chakra, which governs our basic needs. Find out how to get more control over your life with the help of Ganesh. Yogi Aaron discusses…