Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Significance (implied meaning) of various parts of the idol

Entire idol: Omkar, the unmanifest (nirgun) principle

Trunk: It is a popular belief that an idol with the tip of the trunk pointing towards the right and left are called right-sided and left-sided idols respectively; however this is not the case. One should not decide whether the idol is right-sided or left-sided depending upon which side the trunk is directed. It should be decided depending on the direction in which the initial curve of the trunk points. If the initial curve of the trunk in a Ganesh idol points towards the right and the tip of the trunk points towards the left yet the idol should be considered a rightsided idol. The reason for this is that, the initial curve of the trunk pointing towards the right indicates that the right (that is Sun) channel (nadi) of Ganapati is active.

An idol of Ganapati with the trunk curved towards the right is called dakshinmurti or dakshinabhimukhi murti (the idol facing the south). Dakshin means the southern direction or the right side. The southern direction leads to the region of Lord Yama (Yamalok), the deity of death while the right side belongs to the Surya nadi (Sun channel). One who is able to face the direction of the region of Yama is powerful

An idol of Ganapati with the trunk curved towards the left is called Vamamukhi. Vam means the northern direction or the left side. The Chandra nadi (Moon channel) is situated to the left. It bestows tranquility. Besides, since the northern direction is spiritually favourable and bestows Bliss (Anand), mostly the Vamamukhi Ganapati is worshipped. It is worshipped ritualistically in the usual manner.

Modak (a sweet delicacy)

'Moda' means Bliss (Anand) and 'ka' means a small part. So, modak is a small part of Bliss. A modak is shaped like a coconut, that is it is like the cavity 'kha' in the Brahmarandhra. When the kundalini (spiritual energy) reaches the 'kha' cavity, the spiritual experience of Bliss is obtained. The modak held in the hand signifies Bliss endowing energy.

'The modak symbolises spiritual knowledge (dnyan): hence it is also called dnyanmodak. Initially it seems that spiritual knowledge is little (the tip of the modak represents this); but as one starts studying Spirituality, one realises its vastness (the base of the modak symbolises this.) A modak is sweet in taste. The Bliss acquired through spiritual knowledge too is like that.'

Goad (ankush) : Destroyer of the energies which are harmful to the mission of acquisition of spiritual knowledge and Bliss.

Noose (pash): Worldly bondage. The noose wielded by Ganapati signifies that He will tie the noose around negative entities and take them away.

Serpent wound around the waist: The universal kundalini (spiritual energy)

Hood of the serpent: Activated (jagrut) spiritual energy

Rat: The rat which represents the raja component is within the control of Ganapati.

Ganesha's head symbolizes the Atman or the soul, which is the ultimate supreme reality of human existence, and his human body signifies Maya or the earthly existence of human beings. The elephant head denotes wisdom and its trunk represents Om, the sound symbol of cosmic reality. In his upper right hand Ganesha holds a goad, which helps him propel mankind forward on the eternal path and remove obstacles from the way. The noose in Ganesha's left hand is a gentle implement to capture all difficulties.

The broken tusk that Ganesha holds like a pen in his lower right hand is a symbol of sacrifice, which he broke for writing the Mahabharata. The rosary in his other hand suggests that the pursuit of knowledge should be continuous. The laddoo (sweet) he holds in his trunk indicates that one must discover the sweetness of the Atman. His fan-like ears convey that he is all ears to our petition. The snake that runs round his waist represents energy in all forms. And he is humble enough to ride the lowest of creatures, a mouse.
  1. Ashtavinayak
  2. Lalbaug Cha Raja
  3. Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple
  4. Ganapati Atharvashirsha
  5. Ganapati Pictures

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Ganesha, the god of good fortune and wisdom, is one of the most popular Hindu deities. People call upon him at the beginning of any task, because his blessing supposedly ensures success. Ganesha is portrayed as a short man with a pot belly, four hands, and an elephant's head with one tusk. He is the son of Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction, and his wife, Parvati.

He has been called the "pope" of Hindu gods in that he is the gateway though which one much pass to come into contact with any of the millions of other Gods & Goddesses in Sanatana Dharma which is the more proper name for Hinduism. He is also invoked before any important endevor is started

Several legends tell how Ganesha came to have an elephant's head.

One says that Parvati was so proud of her son that she asked all the gods to look at him, even the god Sani. Sani's gaze burned to ashes everything he saw, including Ganesha's head. Brahma, the god of creation, instructed Parvati to give her son the first head she found, which turned out to be that of an elephant.

According to another account, Shiva struck off Ganesha's head and later attached an elephant's head to his son's body.

Ganesha's single tusk is also the subject of various stories.

In one tale, he lost his second tusk in a fight with Parasurama, a form of the god Vishnu*.

Another myth claims that Ganesha lost the tusk after using it to write the epic the Mahabharata.

Ganesha is associated with the concepts of
Buddhi (intellect)
Siddhi (spiritual power), and
Riddhi (prosperity)
These qualities are sometimes personified as goddesses, said to be Ganesha's wives.

Festivals associated with Ganesh are "the Vināyaka caturthī (Ganesh Chaturthi) in the śuklapakha (the fourth day of the waxing moon) in the month of bhādrapada (August/September) and the
Ganeśa jayanti (Ganeśa's birthday) celebrated on the cathurthī of the krishnapaka (fourth day of the waning moon) in the month of māgha (January/February).

According to Kundalini yoga, Ganesha resides in the first chakra, called muladhara.
Mula means "original, main"; adhara means "base, foundation".
The muladhara chakra is the principle on which the manifestation or outward expansion of primordial Divine Force rests


Shri Ballaleshwar

The temple is constructed in such a way that after the winter (dakshinayan : southward movement of the sun) solstice, the sun rays fall on the Ganesha murti at sunrise. The temple is built with stones which are stuck together very tight using melted lead.

Like a few other murtis, this one has diamonds embedded in the eyes and navel, and with His trunk pointing to the left.

One speciality of this temple is that the prasad offered to this Ganapati at Pali is Besan Laadu instead of Modak that is normally offered to other Ganapatis.
The temple is located in the town of Pali, off the Mumbai-Pune highway, about 11 km before Nagothane on the Mumbai-Goa highway.
This is located 30Km to the South-West of Karjat Railway Station. Mumbai-Panvel-Khopoli-Pali is 124Km. Pune-Lonavla-Khopoli-Pali is 111Km.

Shri Chintamani

Ganesha is believed to have got back the precious Chinatamani jewel from the greedy Guna for sage Kapila at this spot. However, after bringing back the jewel, sage Kapila put it in Vinayaka's (Ganesha's) neck. Thus the name Chintamani Vinayak. This happened under the Kadamb tree, therefore Theur is known as Kadambanagar in old times.

The lake behind the temple is called Kadambteertha. The temple entrance is North facing.This idol also has a left trunk, with carbuncle and diamonds as its eyes. The idol faces the East side.

The temple is located 22 km from Pune, off the Pune-Solapur highway, and is hence the nearest from Pune

Shri Girijatmaj

It is believed that Parvati (Shiva's wife) performed penance to beget Ganesha at this point. Girija's (Parvati's) Atmaj (son) is Girijatmaj.

The idol faces north with its trunk to the left, and has to be worshipped from the rear of the temple

The temple is situated 12 km from Narayangaon, which is about 94 km from Pune on the Pune-Nashik highway. Nearest railway station is Talegaon.

Shri Mahaganapati

Shiva is believed to have worshipped Ganesha before fighting the demon Tripurasura here.

The temple was built by Shiva where he worshipped Ganesha, and the town he set up was called Manipur which is now known as Ranjangaon.

The idol faces the east, is seated in a cross-legged position with a broad forehead, with its trunk pointing to the left. It is said that the original idol is hidden in the basement, having 10 trunks and 20 hands and is called Mahotkat

Constructed so that the rays of the sun fall directly on the idol (during the Southward movement of the sun), the temple bears a distinct resemblance to the architecture reminiscent of the 9th and 10th Centuries and faces the east.

The temple is situated 50 km from Pune on the Pune-Ahmednagar highway in the village of Ranjangaon.

Shri Mayureshwar

The murti of Lord Ganesha, riding a peacock, in the form of Mayureshwara is believed to have slain the demon Sindhu at this spot.

The idol, with its trunk turned to the left, has a cobra (Nagaraja) poised over it protecting it.

This form of Ganesha also has two other murtis of Siddhi (Capability) and Buddhi (Intelligence).

The temple is situated at a distance of 55 km from Pune, next to the river Karha in the village of Moregaon

Shri Siddhivinayak

The idol faces North-direction. The stomach of the murti is not wide, but Riddhi and Siddhi murtis are sitting on one thigh.

This murti's trunk is turning to the right. The right-sided-trunk Ganesha is supposed to be very strict for the devotees.

This temple is situated off the Pune-Solapur highway about 48 km from the town of Srigonda in Ahmadnagar district.

Shri Vighnahar

The history encompassing this idol states that Vighnasur, a demon was created by the King of Gods, Indra to destroy the prayer organized by King Abhinandan.

However, the demon went a step further and destroyed all vedic, religious acts and to answer the people's prayers for protection, Ganesh defeated him.

The story goes on to say that on being conquered, the demon begged and pleaded with Ganesha to show a mercy. Ganesha then granted in his plea, but on the condition that demon should not go to the place where Ganesha worshipping is going on.

In return the demon asked a favour that his name should be taken before Ganesha's name, thus the name of Ganesha became Vighnahar or Vighneshwar

There is a diamond on the forehead and some jewel in the navel. Idols of Riddhi and Siddhi are placed on the two sides of the Ganesha idol.

This temple is located just off the Pune-Nashik Highway, in the town of Ozhar.

Shri Varadavinayak

Ganesha is said to reside here in the form of Varada Vinayaka, the giver of bounty and success.

The idol faces the east, has its trunk to the left and has been in the constant company of an oil lamp - said to be burning continuously since 1892.

This is the only temple where devotees are allowed to personally pay their homage and respects to the idol. They are allowed in the immediate vicinity of this idol to perform their prayers.

The temple is located three kilometers off the Pune-Mumbai highway near Khopoli (80 km from Pune), and is thus closest to Mumbai city. Karjat Railway Station, Karjat on Mumbai-Pune railway is 24Km from this place and 6Km from Khopoli.