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Lord Ganesha, also known as Ganapati or Vinayaka, is one of the most widely worshiped deities in Hinduism. He is revered as the remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences, and the deity of intellect and wisdom.

Here are some key aspects and symbolism associated with Lord Ganesha:

Elephant Head

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Lord Ganesha is typically depicted with the head of an elephant, which symbolizes his wisdom, intelligence, and ability to overcome obstacles. The large ears represent the importance of listening, and the small mouth signifies the need for careful speech.

Potbelly

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Ganesha's round, potbelly is often seen as a symbol of contentment and the ability to digest both the sweet and bitter experiences of life with equanimity.

One Broken Tusk

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Ganesha is often portrayed with a single broken tusk. This tusk represents the sacrifice he made to write the Mahabharata epic when the sage Vyasa needed a scribe. It also symbolizes the idea that one may need to "break" or let go of something to gain wisdom.

Mushika (Mouse)

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Ganesha's vehicle, or vahana, is a mouse, which represents humility and the idea that wisdom can control the mind's restlessness. Ganesha's ability to ride a mouse signifies his mastery over the human ego.

Four Arms

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Ganesha is often depicted with four arms. Each hand holds a symbolic object, such as a noose (to capture obstacles), an elephant goad (to remove obstacles), a modak (to represent the rewards of overcoming obstacles), and a blessing or gesture of fearlessness.

Sankat Mochan

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Ganesha is widely known as Sankat Mochan, the remover of obstacles. Devotees seek his blessings to overcome difficulties, both material and spiritual, and to clear the path for success and fulfillment.

Lord of Beginnings

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Ganesha is associated with new beginnings and is invoked at the start of any venture or ceremony to ensure a smooth and successful outcome. His blessings are sought before the commencement of important events, such as weddings, business ventures, or examinations.

Lord of Arts and Sciences

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Ganesha is also revered as the patron of arts and sciences. He is considered the divine source of creativity, inspiration, and knowledge, making him a beloved figure for artists and scholars.

Modak and His Favorite Sweets

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Ganesha is known to have a sweet tooth, and his favorite sweet is the modak (a rice flour dumpling filled with jaggery or coconut). Modaks are offered to him during worship and festivals, signifying the sweetness of life.

Vignaharta

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This is one of Ganesha's titles, signifying his role as the "one who removes obstacles." Devotees believe that invoking Ganesha's blessings and grace helps in overcoming challenges and hindrances in life.

Lord Ganesha's symbolism and significance extend to various aspects of life, and he is venerated across diverse traditions and cultures. He is a beloved deity, and his worship is an integral part of Hindu religious and cultural practices.

Yoga Poses Associated with Lord Ganesha

Vakrasana

(Twisted Pose)

Story:

Vakrasana, the Twisted Pose, is associated with Lord Ganesha's divine form. Lord Ganesha is often depicted with a rotund body, symbolizing the universe. This asana reflects the idea of turning and twisting, just as the universe is in a constant state of motion and change. Vakrasana encourages practitioners to embrace change and maintain flexibility in both body and mind.

Why is it significant:

Vakrasana represents the ever-changing nature of the universe and encourages practitioners to embrace change and maintain flexibility in their practice and life.

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How to do the pose:

  1. Sit with your legs extended.

  2. Bend one knee and cross your foot over the opposite thigh.

  3. Twist your upper body in the direction of the bent knee.

  4. Hold for several breaths and repeat on the other side.

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