Let us celebrate Ganesha Chaturthi realizing the inner meaning of the aspects of Ganesha. Let us get away from the materialistic attachments and emancipate ourselves from the noose of illusion and annihilate ego by surrendering our self to the Lord who assures shelter and attain the sweetness of bliss of spiritual enlightenment.
The one who has realized the SELF will enjoy the fruit of it. This is what is conveyed in this Puranic Story.
Once Sage Narada on his visit to Kailasa handed over a mango to Shiva and Parvati and said that it was an unusual mango which would confer eternal wisdom on whoever relishes it. But there was a drawback the mango should not be cut and had to be consumed by a single person. Shiva and Parvati wished to give it to their sons Ganesha and Karthikeya now they were puzzled as to who should have it. Narada suggested a solution to the problem. He said that the fruit could be given to the one who first succeeds in circumambulating the universe thrice. Shiva and Parvati approved to Narada’s suggestion. Karthikeya without delay mounted on his peacock and set out to achieve the task. Ganesha on the other hand simply circumambulated his parents thrice and put forth his right of the fruit.
When insisted to explain, Ganesha modestly said that his parents were his universe and that there existed nothing apart from them. Respect for parents would be the moral of the story on the gross level. However if one looks at the subtle level the real meaning of the story extends beyond the gross level depicted moral.
The subtle message in this story is that Self realization which is illustrated here as mango can be achieved only if one tries to find the Absolute here portrayed as Shiva and Parvati inside as Absolute is eternal and present every where. Mind which is potrayed here as the act of Karthikeya is searching the outer world and hence is incapable of attaining the Absolute. Mind that goes inward like Ganesha is the one which is capable of realizing it and attaining wisdom. Ganesha in this short story reveals the fact that self realization can be attained only with one’s vision focused on the Absolute which is inside.
Agamas have portrayed Ganesha in a very peculiar form. If one does a deep contemplation on the various inner meanings of the form, we end up having a lot of ideas and as we all know He is the Lord of creativity.
The elephant head of Ganesha symbolizes His wisdom, auspiciousness and scholarly skill. His vast ears depict capacity and His readiness to listening to the endless anguishes of the mankind. Huge tummy of Ganesha signifies the boundless space that can hold the whole manifested universe. The four arms of Ganesha are symbolic of subjective evolution. In His right arm He holds an axe, a noose in His left arm, a sweet modaka in His lower left arm and the lower right hand reveals the hand that showers blessings.
In every seekers approach towards liberation, the axe disunites the unwanted materialistic attachment and bonding, the noose cautions the seeker against the entanglement in Maya; the modaka represents the attractiveness of bliss and the hand that shows the sign of “Abhaya” promising protection and confers unlimited deliverance.
The mouse which is the vehicle of Ganesha represents the ego which creeps into even a small opening if not vigilant. Ganesha riding over it represent the victory over ego. Further the picture of an enormous Ganesha on a tiny mouse motivates nothing is impossible.