is the elephant-faced Devata (God) in Sanatana Hindu Dharma.
He is the Lord of success and auspiciousness, remover of all obstacles. He is the son of Devi Parvati and Lord Paramashiva.
Once Devi Parvati, the Cosmic Mother decided to have a personal bodyguard for Her. She took out the perfume paste, Sandalwood and Turmeric paste and applied on Her body and made it into the form of a child and did the PranaPratishtha – breathing of Her own life energy into it. Immediately the form became a small boy and He was named Ganapathi by Devi Parvati.
Form of Ganesha
Elephant face with one tusk broken, a huge belly, four hands with pasha, ankusha (a noose and a goad), a bowl of modaka, sweet dish and an abhaya hasta, blessing hand. He has a mouse as his vehicle
Ganapathi is a powerful form of the Cosmos. The pasha on His left upper hand is the rope that does not allow thoughts to become engram. The ankusha or the goad on His right upper hand is a small instrument to control a huge elephant. It represents “Unclutching”. With this ankusha even the thoughts are removed. His upper two arms represent His pure inner space.
When Vyasa wanted Ganapathi’s to pen down the great epic Mahabharata that was overflowing through Vyasa, Ganapathi did not find anything to use for writing. Immediately He broke one of His tusks and used it for penning down the story without any interruptions. The broken tusk represents spontaneous decision-making capacity, courage to sacrifice for the higher cause.
The modaka – sweet balls on His left lower hand represent that life will be sweet if the above-mentioned qualities are there. His elephant face represents extraordinary awareness and sensitivity (elephant has an extraordinary power of sight and smell). His pot belly represents the whole Cosmos, He is indeed Cosmic intelligence. The mouse represents playfulness. The cobra on His waist represents He is the source of the Kundalini energy.
Ganapathi represents the great philosophy. He carries the ankusa which represents the power of unclutching, he carries the paasa which represents ability to distance yourself from emotions, the broken tusk which represents the sacrifice and spontaneity, and the modaka – if you have all these 3, your life will be sweet. He is embodiment of intelligence and innocence together, son of shakti and life given by Mahadeva. and life was given back by Mahadeva. So He carries both the elements of Shiva and shakti. He is the ultimate boon giver.
When Swamiji was 3 years old, Ganesha Himself appeared and partook the food offering that Swamiji offered to Him. Not only that, Ganesha has drunk the food offering offered by thousands of the devotees of His Divine Holiness who were initiated into that power of feeding Ganesha.
Actually, even with Subramanya there was no involvement of Devi. It was just from Shiva. Other than his spear there is no Devi component in Subramanya. Devi gave that spear to him. But with Ganapathi, Devi made him from the body perfume.
~ HDH Nithyananda Paramashivam
Meet the Deity
Introduction to KAILASA’s Ganapati