When Shiva was away into his own space for years on end once, his wife Parvati decided to create a brave and loving kid out of her own mother’s love and breathed life using tantric ways. Shiva returned to see this 10-12 year old guarding the entrance to Parvati’s chambers, which infuriated him. In the battle that ensued, Shiva cut off his head. When Parvati saw that, she was very angry. To placate, Shiva took the head of one of his ganas (strange beings) and attached to the body of the boy. Since no one actually understood the ganas or how they actually looked, the closest approximation was the head of an elephant. And, so Ganapati took on the form of a God with the elephant head.
As people get ready to welcome Ganapati or Ganesha into their homes, let us take a moment to fully understand whom we are welcoming.
Every form and being that is worshipped in India is above all a certain type and level of consciousness. It is not for the social relevance of that form or being that she or he is revered. But for the type and level of consciousness it represents.
A mother’s love is unbounded and the way a mother looks upto the son – it is as if she is breathing the life of the entire existence into that one person. Many a women in this land have reached the state of Moksha just on the basis of how intense their love for their sons was. The intensity of their motherhood took them beyond everything.
That is the love that Parvati breathed into Ganesha, her son.
Shiva was not given into such relationships. He is one being in Spiritual history who shunned the society and relationships as long as he could. Only intense devotion (Sati and Parvati) or intense Sadhana (Saptarishis) could move him to engage. He was given only to the most intense and pure love and intelligence that this existence has to offer. Love and Intelligence within the existence that transcends the existence itself. When love and intelligence are self-annihilating, it is only then that they can transcend the existence.
Mother’s love is not annihilating. It is everything about embrace.
When a mother’s intense love was mounted with the highest form of intelligence which provided clarity and perceptivity and a way to understand the things in their context – existential context, only then can one attain to the highest nature.
That is what Ganapati is. He is not mere love and giving, he is ruthless intelligence that brings clarity and perception. Above all, the intelligence that is not about knowledge of memory but knowledge that comes from the source of existence. He is where the Purusha and Prakriti meet. Where the Yin and Yang come into one form. Ganesha is the existence and the means to transcend existence. He is life and way to go beyond life.
If we are open today, we may have the great fortune of imbibing that quality of the consciousness. Ganapati Bappa Morya! May Ganapati be our father and guide to that space which is beyond life and existence.