Face of Lord Ganesha

Lord Ganesh has taken many incarnations in the three Lokas (the heaven, the earth and the hell). According to the wish of God Shiva and Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesha incarnated as their son. The goddess Parvati had started preparing for a bath. As she didn’t want to be disturbed during her bath and since Nandi was not at Kailash to keep guard of the door, Parvati took the turmeric paste (for bathing) from her body and made a form of a boy and breathed life into him. This boy was instructed by Parvati to guard the door and to not let anyone in until she finished her bath. After Shiva had come out of his meditation, he wanted to go and see Parvati but found himself being stopped by this strange boy. Shiva tried to reason with the boy saying that he was Parvati's husband but the boy did not listen and was determined to not let Shiva enter until his mother Parvati finished her bath. The boy's behavior surprised Shiva. Sensing that this was no ordinary boy, the usually peaceful Shiva decided he would have to fight the boy and in his divine fury severed the boy's head with his Trishul thereby killing him instantly. When Parvati learned of this, she was so enraged and insulted that she decided to destroy the entire Creation. At her call, she summoned all of her ferocious multi-armed forms, the Yoginis arose from her body and threatened to destroy all. Lord Brahma, being the Creator, naturally had his issues with this, and pleaded that she reconsider her drastic plan. She said she would, but only if two conditions were met: one, that the boy be brought back to life, and two, that he be forever worshipped before all the other gods. Shiva, having cooled down by this time, agreed to Parvati’s conditions. He sent his Shiva-dutas out with orders to bring back the head of the first creature that is lying dead with its head facing North. The Shiva-dutas soon returned with the head of a strong and powerful elephant Gajasura which Lord Brahma placed onto boy's body. Breathing new life into him, he was declared as Gajanana and gave him the status of being foremost among the gods, and leader of all the ganas (classes of beings), Ganapati. The word Gajana is made up with two letters in Marathi language Letter 'Ga' means to go for destruction and letter 'Ja' means to take a birth. It means the word 'Gaja' means the birth and destruction of the universe. Ganesh is OM and OM is Ganesh. Lord Ganesha is the symbolic form of Om. Om is a symbol of beginning, middle, final states of universe. This way the name or the form of elephant is symbolic. Face of Ganesh- Lord Ganesha has a human body and elephant's head. Elephant's head was joined to Ganesha. There was some special symbolic meaning behind it. Among all the animals elephant is very clever so his head was joined to Shaktiputra. It means the superior power. An elephant is a very intelligent animal and his ears, nose, eyes are very sharp and highly sensitive. These high qualities one could not find in any other animal. To represent OM in human form ancient holy sages and philosophers might have used elephant's head and human body. The story of Lord Ganesha having a head of an elephant and human body was created before the Vedas. Because of the high qualities matching to infinite universal divine knowledge elephant's head might have been used.

Ears of Lord Ganesha

Lord Ganesha is the supreme authority and has total universal divine knowledge. He is a leader. The leader should have wisdom and knowledge. The leader should be able to recognize the importance of a thing and the power to recognize and discard useless things. The idea behind using the elephants face or head is to show each quality symbolically, which originally a leader or finite authority should have. The ears of Lord Ganesha looks like a 'Sup'( a sift pan used to sift grains) which is used in every house. This suggests the quality that discards useless things and keep only good things.

Trunk of Lord Ganesha

The trunk and eyes of Lord Ganesha also have very much important meaning. Elephant's sense organs are highly sensitive that it can see and pick up the small needle form the floor by smelling and seeing it. He can realise the presence of any animal from a long distance, by smelling with its trunk. To show the far seeing and highly sensitive qualities in leader, like Lord Ganesha, philosophers used the trunk as a symbol. Elephant lifts fruits and stones together with the trunk. It eats fruits and throws the stones. It shows one should try to accumulate good things and after scrutinising, one should throw the bad things out.

Teeth of Lord Ganesha

Lord Ganesha has two teeth. One is half broken and one is complete. The complete tooth suggests faith and half tooth suggests the intelligence. To progress in the life one should have full faith and intelligence.

Hands of Lord Ganesha

Lord Ganesha has four hands. He has an Ankush(goad) in one hand, a Pash(share/noose) in second hand, a Modak in third hand and fourth hand is used to give blessings. The Ankush indicates one should keep control on desire and emotions. The meaning of Ankush is to keep check on something. The Pash indicates that a leader should have the power to control and guide followers. The Modak is a stuffed sweet. The stuffing is made up of coconut crush/powder, sugar, jagary, khus khus. TThe outer covering of modak signifies the sweet rewards one will get when they travel the path of enlightenment.

Stomach of Lord Ganesha

Lord Ganesha is also called as 'Lambodar'. Which is Lamb + Odar. Here the meaning 'Lamb' is big and 'Odar' means stomach. The one who is having big or huge stomach. It points to the necessity of digesting all that life has to offer—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Legs of Lord Ganesha

During the description of Lord Ganesha, one of his legs is raised up and the other one is touching the ground. This signifies that we should have equal contribution to the spiritual and materialistic world.

Vehicle of Lord Ganesha

One must have seen the idols of Lord Ganesha in which he is sitting on a mouse or a mouse is nearby him. The mouse(or Mushaka in Sanskrit) is the vehicle(Vahana) of Lord Ganesha. Lord Ganesh's tiny pet and vehicle, his mouse, bowing down close by, is there to indicate that though a little desire is good, it is essential for one to master it.You have to ride your desires and not vice versa.