The Symbolism of Ganesha

Ganesha, the chubby, gentle, wise, elephant-head with human body, is one of Hinduisms most popular deities. Ganesha is worshipped by almost every Hindu. Ganesha's statues are found almost in every temple, every village every household.

In Hindu rituals and worship, Ganesha is invariably worshipped first. Although not stemming from Buddhism directly, Ganesha is also associated with it. Centuries ago Buddhists from India spread the word of Ganesha causing him to become an important figure to worship in China and Japan. 

There are many stories surrounding how Ganesha came to be but the most common is that Ganesha is the son of Shiva and Parvati. He was created by his mother using earth which she moulded into the shape of a boy. When Shiva was away, the boy guarded Parvati while she bathed for protection. Unexpectedly, Shiva returned home and, on finding the boy, and outraged that he was claiming to be Parvati’s son, Shiva called for his gang of demons, who fought with the boy. However, the youngster easily held his own against such fearsome gang. Shiva had to play a trick on the boy, by distracting him with Maya's beauty so he could cut off his head. At the commotion, Parvati ran from her bath and yelled at Shiva for killing their son. Feeling sorry, Shiva ordered a new head to be found for the boy, the first animal available was an elephant, so Ganesha gained a new head and became the most distinctive of the Hindu gods. 

Because of his powerful parents, the way he was created and his look, Ganesha is known to have many powers. A few of his biggest ones are...

  1. He is the first god to awaken in our consciousness and the first god to preside over our inner transformation.
  2. He is the remover of obstacles, he removes ignorance, the biggest obstacle in our spiritual transformation.
  3. Seated in the Muladhara chakra, he opens the blockages of inertia (tamas) present in the body and facilitates the passage of Kundalini and the free flow of spiritual energy.
  4. As the harbinger of good, messenger of God and lord of the divinities, he fulfills the desires of his devotees and opens to them the doors of prosperity and abundance.
  5. His vehicle is the lowly mouse. His association with it symbolises his control over fear, hesitation, weakness, doubt and nervousness, which the mouse symbolises. He removes these obstacles to facilitate success and achievement for those who pray to him.
  6. Lord Ganesha is the enjoyer of food. As the eater of various forms of food. He symbolises the individual Self.
  7. Lord Ganesha is the lord of Siva ganas. In the body, the ganas symbolize desires, thoughts and impulses. They are responsible for the instability and the modifications of the mind. They are also responsible for our distractions and failures in life. As their lord, Ganesha helps us in stabilizing our minds and experiencing peace and sameness.

 There is also meaning behind what he looks like and what he carries with him. The photo below goes into greater detail about the meaning behind his look.

Feng Shui Tip: Place Ganesha in any areas of your home that need some help or clearing, on your altar or in your car. With all deities, don't place Ganesha in low energy areas such as on the floor, or in the bathrooms or laundry.

Need a Ganesha to light your way? Shop our Sacred Statues Collection to find the perfect one for you.  

Bex Murphy - Doer of all things at Mala Earth, community connector, social media superstar & most importantly mumma of two