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Dr K K Aggarwal

Ganesha, the Stress Management Guru

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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If Lord Krishna was the first counselor who taught the principles of counseling, Lord Ganesha taught us the principles of stress management.

We should worship Lord Ganesha and become like him in the face of any difficulty or are stressed out.

The elephant head of Lord Ganesha signifies that in the face of a difficulty, we must use our wisdom, intelligence and think differently. We can think of it as the Third Eye of Lord Shiva. Elephant is considered the most intelligent animal. Wisdom, here, signifies thinking before speaking. Lord Buddha also said that we must not speak unless it is necessary and is truthful and kind.

The big elephant ears of Lord Ganesha signify that we must listen to everybody when in difficulty. Elephant’s ears can hear long distances. Elephant’s eye can see a long distance.In mythological terms, it symbolizes that we must acquire the quality of foreseeing when in difficulty. The mouth of Lord Ganesha represents speaking less (and listening more).

The huge tummy of Lord Ganesha symbolizes digesting all information gathered by listening to people in difficulty. The trunk is a symbol of using the power of discrimination to decide from the retained information. It is also a symbol of doing both small and big things by yourself. The elephant’s trunk is capable of picking up a needle as well as a tree.

The teeth, broken and unbroken, signify that we must be in a state of balance, both in loss and in gain. One should not get upset if a task is not accomplished and also not get excited if the task is accomplished. Ganesha also teaches us that we must not lose strength and control our attachments, desires and greed.

The four arms of Lord Ganesha are a symbol of strength. Ropes in two hands symbolize attachment; Laddoo or Sweet in one hand symbolizes desires while the mouse represents greed. Riding over the mouse signifies controlling one’s greed.

Lord Ganesha is worshipped when we are about to start a new work or when we are finding it difficult to complete a task. In both the situations, these principles of Lord Ganesha need to be inculcated in one’s habits.

Why is Ganesha worshipped in every pooja?

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Every Hindu ritual traditionally begins with a prayer to Lord Ganesh. The wedding ceremony too begins with a pooja of Lord Ganesha invoking him to bless the couple and to ensure that the ceremony goes off well.

Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, is the harmonious Aacharan or characteristic disposition of man. Remembered and ritually worshipped before starting a new venture, the entity of Ganesha has in store the facets of a complete man.

Ganesha’s head, that of an elephant, represents wisdom, intelligence and a healthy mind capable of making sound decisions. Think before you speak, implies Ganesha’s head.

The big ears of this elephant deity signify the lending of a patient ear to the echo produced by others’ deeds and speech. It is said that half the dispute is resolved by patiently lending an ear to the words of the other. It also denotes that one must patiently listen to all sides before reaching a decision.

Ganesha’s extremely small mouth characteristically represents the need for a limited dialogue and the vanity of talking too much. Over-expression through words causes unsought-for problems which could have been avoided.

Ganesha’s small eyes, highlights the need for a focused outlook in life.  Such an outlook not only re-defines and foresees the right goals, but also relieves one from the stress-manifested episodes in life.

The long trunk identifies with the power of discrimination. Ganesha’s long nose has the strength to uproot a tree and the competency of picking up a pin from the ground.  Such should be the approach of an individual who should be capable of perceiving the good and bad for himself, and then have the strength to overcome these against all odds.

The tusks and the small teeth of Ganesha tell us to maintain a balance between loss (broken tooth) and gains (whole tooth) in the life. Man ought to maintain his mental state so that ups and downs do not deter him from his honest endeavors.

The ample stomach of Ganapati Deva advocates the need for retaining information.  Acquiring knowledge, utilizing it and retaining it for years to come, is the crux of ‘big-belly commandment’.

The Char-Bhuja Dhari Ganesha, further represents strength by virtue of his four hands in which the Lord entraps his attachments, desires and greed.  Two of the arms of Ganesha, which hold a rope, symbolize control over the attachments. The laddoo or sweet in one shows command over desires and earthly delusions. The mouse sitting near the feet of Ganesha represents greed and gluttony upon which the Almighty rides, exhibiting control over evils.

Ganesha’s physical traits are an assembly of the characteristics most desired in an individual of substance.