The ideal worship
Lord Ganesh is said to be the son of Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati according to mythology. It is further said that Lord Ganesh was created by the will power of the Goddess. From his very childhood, Ganesh was very handsome, intelligent and valiant. When Parvati was doing some rigorous tapas, Ganesh was entrusted with the duty of guarding the entrance of the cave. Lord Ganesh stood like a firm rock and did not allow any one inside lest her mother should get disturbed. This culminated in a battle between Ganesh and Lord Shiva after the latterï¿½s followers suffered from miserable defeat in the hands of the divine boy. Ultimately the boyï¿½s head was chopped off by Lord Shiva who could not recognize that the boy was no other than his son. Subsequently, when Lord Shiva came to know about such a mishap, he tried to collect the cut off head and reinstate. But the original head could not be traced out. Therefore an elephantï¿½s head was set on the body of Ganesh and life was re-infused.
From that day onwards, Lord Ganesh has been wearing an elephantï¿½s head. Thus goes the legend about Lord Ganesh.
Lord Ganesh is normally known as Bighna Binashak.
He is prayed very often as-
"Bakra tundam Mahakaya surya koti samaprabha,
Nirbighnam kuru me deva sarva karyesu sarvada."
All the deities that are worshipped are attributed some shapes or forms based on their characteristic features. Lord Ganesh is the God of intellect. Intellect is the resultant created by the dual powers i.e. Satta and Shakti. Satta means the all pervasive omnipotent consciousness i.e. Existence. Shakti is the primordial energy of the infinite consciousness. While the former is the potential energy, the latter is the kinetic energy. The former is static and the latter is dynamic. The dynamic energy is inherent in the potential energy at the aggregate level. The conjugation of the two (one in two or two in one) creates the intellect i.e.buddhi or mahat tattva and there after the entire creation in stages from the subtle to the gross i.e. Ego, mind , sense organs, organs of action, five basic elements such as ether, air, fire, water , earth and further products in permutations and combinations.
Before we set ourselves to do any thing, we make application of intellect, whether of our own or otherï¿½s. That is why Lord Ganesh is worshipped first. By the application of intellect only we tide over various problems encountered by us. We also undertake remedial measures for the non-recurrence of the same. That means the conscious energy in form of Ganesh remaining invisible showers his grace upon us by infusing intellect in different degrees as per our merits. In other words, intellect is the greatest gift conferred on us by Lord Ganesh.
Lord Ganesh has large ears, which indicate that we must listen as much as possible to acquire knowledge. His eyes are small indicating that we must envision things minutely from subtle angles to have a proper grasp of the happenings around us. His nose is large which means that we should smell things properly. Obstacles can be avoided or got rid of if we can smell or foresee the happenings properly. His vehicle is a mouse which is capable of penetrating into the nooks and corners by cutting all knots and opening routes. He has a big belly, which is indicative of receiving or containing more and giving out less. The form that has been ascribed to Ganesh thus is indicative of right conducts by which obstacles can be minimized or circumvented. In his hands he holds a sweet, an axe, a flower etc .The weapon in his hand indicates restraint .It also indicates cutting of all doubts, fear and anxieties. The flower in his hand means a good and pure mind .The sweet in his hand means the sweet of knowledge that makes our lives sweet or pleasant.
What we normally do is that in stead of worshipping the Lord of intellect with a pure mind, we indulge in idolatry, mechanically observe some rituals and thereafter go for immersion. The essence is lost sight of while greater attention is given to luxurious puja pandals, decoration and entertainment. In the process we worship the Lord for a very brief period and there after become oblivious of His Greatness. Therefore we do not get sufficient results from out of it. We do not get his grace. There is no end to our sufferings. Some even start blaming or disbelieving the Lord for His so called apathy to mankind.
Sadguru Arjun, the propounder of "The Philosophy Divine" very lucidly explains how our worship will be effective. Ganesh being a divine Godhead possesses divine qualities. He showers grace upon them who possess divine qualities. According to mythology there are fights between the devas and asuras. If we possess asuric temperament, we cannot get divine grace. The devas will never bless the asuras. If the intellect, which has been gifted to us by Him, is misused then also His Grace will be withheld from us. If we become vain and egoistic, create divisions and maltreat others who are but His children, we cannot at the same time expect favours from Lord Ganesh. Hence, before approaching the devas for their grace, we must ensure that we have given up our asuric or demoniacal qualities and purified ourselves by inculcating divine virtues. Then only divine grace will be bestowed upon us. The devas are more intelligent than the human beings. We cannot just extract boons of higher values from them by simply offering them some Prasad. To get any thing good from them we must be eligible recipients. It may be recollected that the boon to Bhasmasur (a mythological demon) turned out to be a bane for him.
In his Amrit Bindu Sadguru Sri Sri Arjun further says, "First, purify your heart. God will be reflected on a pure heart. Try to understand Him whom you worship. Without knowing Him if you expect any thing from Him remember all your worships have gone in vain.
By worshipping in a casual manner you do not get His blessings. Only by strong faith on Him and obedience to His Will, His blessings will be showered upon you.
He who cannot beg any thing of Him can only reach Him. He, who begs, gets only the desired objects in stead of getting Him.
Knowing Him and His greatness and also conforming to His laws yield more than merely worshipping and asking for some thing."
The sages of yester years who had realized the very essence of worship prayed thus-
"Sarve bhabantu sukhinah sarve santu niramaya,
Sarve bhadrani pashyantu ma kashchit dukhabhak bhabet."
They never prayed for any selfish gains. They never prayed for the ill of others. They were universal in their approach.
Therefore, we should also aim at refining our mind, heart and intellect, which are alloyed and sullied by ignorance. Therefore the Vedic message is, "Let noble thoughts come to us from every side."