Who is Ganesha?
Ganesha (Gana = all beings or
celestial bodies; Isha = king) literally means king of all beings. He represents
that aspect of God that provides wisdom and removes all obstacles in life to be
successful in any pursuit.
Ganesha is also called Gajaanana
(elephant-faced) as His face is that of an elephant - the largest land animal.
The combination of a human body with an animal head is a symbolic representation
of a perfect human being, as conceived by Hindu sages. In fact, God also had
incarnated as a combination of a human body and a lion's head as Narasimha (Nara
= human being; Simha = lion).
Ganesha's elephant head
symbolizes wisdom, understanding, and a discriminating intellect that one must
possess to attain perfection in life. To receive God's blessings for achieving
success in any activity, Ganesha is worshipped first.
Ganesha is also addressed as
Ganapati (king of ganas ), Vinayaka (special leader), Vighneshwara (remover of
all obstacles), Gajaanana (elephant-faced), Lambodara (large stomach), and
Ekdanta (having one tusk).