Ganesha is one of the most popular Hindu deities. He is also one of the most easily recognizable because he has the head of an elephant. He is known as the Remover of Obstacles so many Ganesh devotees pray or chant to him when they are struggling but wish to succeed. Ganesha has 4 arms and rides a mouse named Krauncha. Ganesh is also the Lord of Beginnings, as obstacles are removed Ganesha helps guide believers down new paths. He provides prosperity and success. He is also the patron of arts and sciences. Ganesha also guards the Muladhara Chakra (root chakra), where kundalini resides.
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Story of Ganesha’s Birth
Parvati created Ganesha to guard her door as she bathed. When Shiva (Parvati’s husband) returned, he tried to enter Parvati’s chamber, but Ganesha wouldn’t allow it. Shiva was not accustomed to being disobeyed so he was furious. In his anger, he beheaded the boy. When Parvati emerged, she was very upset to find Ganesha beheaded and explained to Shiva that this was their son. Shiva realized his mistake and sent his men to find a replacement for the missing head– he instructed them to take the head of the first creature they found, which turned out to be an elephant. He placed the head on the boy’s body and breathed life back into it. He declared Ganesha to be his son and the leader of all groups of beings (ganas), so he is also called Ganapati. Shiva also declared Ganesha would be honored first from then on and he is found in front of many temples, guarding the gates.
Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha
Gam is Ganesh’s bij mantra or seed mantra
Ganapataye is one of Ganesh’s names
Namaha means “it’s not me” or “it’s not mine” meaning praise and credit for success or the outcome of the prayer should be given to Ganesha, rather than the person chanting the mantra
This mantra can be chanted aloud or within as you listen. This mantra removes obstacles, awakens kundalini, and clears a path to success.
Here’s a Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha Song from a great podcast I subscribe to, “Mantra, Kirtan and Stotra: Sanskrit Chants.”