Ganesha is the god of knowledge. Here are a few life lessons from the story of Ganesha that this mother would like her child to learn.
Who doesn’t love the God with Elephant head? The charm of Ganesha is mesmerising and I have been in love with Him since childhood.
I always felt Ganesha will be upset if I do not offer him laddoos on Ganesh Chaturthi. Strange it may sound, but for me Ganesha has been a lovable child whom I adore and always feel that he keeps tugging my hand on Ganesh Chaturthi until I give Him His sweets.
When in India, I always made it a point to bring some laddoos for Him on this special day. Here, in South Korea everything has to be DIY. I have been celebrating every festival here with DIY arrangements because I feel close to my home when doing so. After the birth of my son, I do it more sincerely so that he gets a feel of the richness of our culture, understands the scientific logic behind acceptable tradition and enjoys the festivity and happiness every occasion brings. He is too small even to remember all these now. But I need my practice so that when he is of understandable age, I perfect myself as the conveyor.
Here are some of the things I would like to tell my son about Lord Ganesha which I think will inspire and help him in his perception of life, build up his confidence when needed and make him see the good things around. I should mention that these are totally my perspective and I do not wish to offend any religious sentiment. I thought of Ganesha’s story as one of our own rather than of God and I take these lessons to be carried forward in life.
Ganesha with His elephant head and trunk, huge belly, broken tooth and large ears looks elegant, and his sparkling passionate eyes radiate joy and beauty. Everybody loves Him. I would tell my son that physical imperfections are normal. God is yet to create the perfect human being. In fact, I doubt He ever will.
You may not have the perfect nose or eyes but what is important is you should have a strong and loving character. Never judge somebody by their looks. Appearance is important in the way a person carries himself. But not from what he was born with. We do not have anything to do with what we were born with. But yes, we can do our best with whatever we have.
A loving heart is far more beautiful than a just beautiful face. Again, every face is beautiful if you know how to see. “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”. Never let it get to your head if you are complimented or commented on for your looks. Be humble enough to accept both. Build your persona in such a way that you are much more than your appearance.
We all know the story of how Lord Shiva cut Ganesha’s head and later on replaced it with that of the elephant.
Because of this misfortune, Ganesha who already had divine power with him being born to Parvati, now had the wisdom of the elephant which is considered the most intelligent animal after man. He also got the boon that He will be worshipped before any other God. Thus, Ganesha became the God who is prayed to first for any auspicious occasion. Having Ganesha at home is considered to bring happiness and prosperity.
Similarly, any misfortune or failure may seem like harsh punishments of life. But never get disheartened by them. Take them as your lessons which time may teach you to become a better, wiser and stronger person. Life will bring in a series of tests for you. Some you will pass and some you won’t. THAT is life.
Do your best in every situation and definitely try to win the trophy. But do not fear failure. Sometimes trees need a pruning to give out abundant foliage and best fruits. Despite all odds and fears and stress and failures, never lose hope and do not give up.
Ganesha is all-loving and always forgiving in nature. But do you know the story of Ganesha and the direction of His trunk? It is said that the direction to which His trunk faces signify Ganesha’s temperament. To the left is related to moon and denotes His cool and calm nature. To the right refers to His fiery attitude which He got from sun.
People say it is better to have a trunk facing-left Ganesha in your home for He is easy to please and do not get enraged soon in this form. Ganesha with trunk facing right needs a special way of puja failing which you have to face His wrath.
Now the logic, sense and truth behind this notion is not what I intend to discuss here. What I would like you to take away from this story is that not everybody in any situation deserves your good nature. At times being too good can be self-destructive. Do not allow anybody to take you for granted or take advantage of you at your cost. You cannot help others if you are not at ease, peace and comfortable in your own life. Act as required and stay away from or remove poisonous situations and people from your life. Forgive everyone but do not forget and repeat the same mistake again and again. People deserve second and sometimes, more chances but not at the expense of your well-being. Move the trunk to left or right as seems fit.
This is my personal advice to you and a little deviated from the direct story. I say it not on behalf of Parvati but as me in my shoes.
Parvati asked Ganesha not to allow anybody to cross the gate while she had her bath and she meant it to be followed irrespective of whoever may be the one who comes. Ganesha did that and we know the fate. Everything was well and good in the end in that story.
Being mortal, my only suggestion to you is that do not follow me blindly when you grow up. Now when you are a toddler, I often tell you not to do something just because I said so. It is difficult for me to make you understand the logic now. At this young age when you are not yet matured enough to think for yourself, I might insist on you following my advice stating my reasons. But once you are grown up and matured, do not go according to what I say just because I am your mother.
Mothers are always right, they say. To a great extent, it is true. Instinct, age, experience and knowledge mingled together and having walked this earth a bit longer than you, the wisdom of previous generation for certain things in life is worth following. But we are human and world is changing. What worked for us may not work for you. The world is evolving and theories are changing every day. What we said or did may not be universally true.
So, while I do not ask you to doubt each and every thing I tell you, please follow your heart if you feel what you think is right even if it doesn’t match with my thoughts. On my part, I promise to be open to your thoughts and do my best to understand your point of view. Your well-being is my priority always and your happiness is my desire.
May Lord Ganesha bless you with good health and prosperity. May He hold your hand as you travel in your journey of life. Ganpati Bappa Mourya!
Image source: pixabay