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Dr K K Aggarwal

Why is Ganesha worshipped in every puja?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Every Hindu ritual traditionally begins with a prayer to Lord Ganesh. The wedding ceremony too begins with a puja 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.

2% versus 10% sugar

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White sugar is a slow poison. In our ancient Indian era, people used to consume either sugarcane juice, jagry or brown sugar (khand). There is no mention of use of refined white sugar. White sugar has high glucose index and is slow poison as over a period of time, it is responsible for high levels of insulin in the blood and subsequently,

insulin resistance.

Traditional soft drinks today have over 10% sugar and sweats have 30-50% sugar. Any sweet has minimum of 30% sugar but if made of chashni (concentrated sugar), the amount of sugar may be upto 50%. WHO recommends 2% of the sugar in oral rehydration solution as treatment of diarrhea and as rehydrating solution. The best way to take a soft drink to dilute it three times with water and soda and make it 2% solution which in a lemonade drink makes it like the ORS.

Both jagry and brown sugar are safe. The classical summer refreshing drinks are lemon, jagry and salt. Similarly, other refreshing drinks are sattu, khas khas, rose petal water etc. which can be made with jagry. Similarly, unripe mango panna or ripe mango shake can also be made using jagry or brown sugar.

A typical Laddu which is offered to God is never made in vanaspati ghee and refined sugar. They used to be made in desi ghee and either unrefined sugar or jagry.

Why Lord Ganesh despite having pot belly obesity ate lots of laddu yet did not suffer from diabetes? If he was offered present day laddu made with refined white sugar, he might have developed diabetes in that era.