Invoking Ganesh

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Invoking Ganesh – Project Overview

Here is an overview of our Invoking Ganesh project. This post provides links to pertinent aspects of this project, so that you won’t have to sift through the archives to find out what you want to know.

If you would like to try this project for yourself, you can start on Day One: Revisiting Ganesha, and then continue on thru to the last day: An Acronym For Ganesha; posting your thoughts, ideas, results, joys and disappointments as you go. This is an active blog, and if you post, we will notice and reply… and give you the benefit of our own experience and our support if it seems pertinent or appropriate.

This project also spawned a new little website dedicated to the beloved Remover of Obstacles, Loving Ganesha. All of the posts that were shared here have also been shared on that little site, along with everything else I came up with that didn’t have a place here on the Prosperity Project.

The complete listing of the daily posts for the Invoking Ganesh project:

Progress Reports Anyone?

Our project on Invoking Ganesh is about to come to a close, and it’s time now to take a look back and make note of what changed in our lives as a result of this project.

For me, the changes have been dramatic and good. I was lifted out of a deepening depression and began once again to feel hope for the future. The plumbing issues, that I have been struggling with for the last few years have been resolved. And I have had the grit and determination to change my food choices in order to feel better physically.

All of those things happened spontaneously for me almost as soon as I made the decision to Invoke Ganesha with an altar and a ritual. So, I am a true believer, and will be continuing the practice daily.

That being said, this does not mean that everything in my life is coming up roses. I still have a fair amount of drama and stress, and a lot of unresolved problems. I’ll be very curious to see what happens with them as the months go by.

What about you? Did you notice any differences in your life? Did you practice the mantra daily? Or make an altar? Or do a ritual? Did you enjoy the videos? Or find anything useful or interesting during the course of the project? Is there anything else you’d like to say or share?

Adopted By The Elephant God

If you are willing, and if you are wanting, the Lord Ganesha lifts you out of the fog of the materialistic conscious mind, establishing a connection and a relationship with you. This is a personal relationship with the Deity. There is nobody in between – just you and the God, Lord Ganesha.

It’s like being adopted in a way. If you were an orphan or abandoned on the streets of Sao Paolo or Madras, or on the streets of where ever there are little kids running around, you would be “free”. You could go through life listening to no one and exercising unrestricted free will, free instinctive will.

If you had a developed intellect, then you could exercise an intellectual will. You could do anything that you wanted to do, absolutely anything. Of course you would find that as you attempted to fulfill your desires, you were limited, sometimes prevented, by the natural forces within and without. But you could attempt anything.

If you were fortunate enough, foster parents might come along to help you. They would adopt you and take you into their home. Your new mother would begin to lovingly guide and direct your life. She would tell you, “You can play as you like in this room, but not in the others.” She is a wise mother and knows that you are accustomed to having your own way, so she lets you play freely within the confines of your own room.

But if she catches you playing in another room, she might say firmly, “You may play in your room, not here in this room.” You have lost your “free will” in being adopted by a mother and father, you are a part of their family now, and your well-being , your education, your training all now come under their will, to which you must adjust yourself and obey. They will watch over you and discipline you morning and night. They will protect you from getting into trouble with your “free will”.

It is the same when you evolve a relationship, a personal relationship with the Deity Lord Ganesha. He will not allow you to use your free will to get into difficulties. Guiding your carefully and protecting you along your way in your natural karma through life is His concern.

Little by little, slowly, imperceptibly a relationship evolves, a very personal, loving relationship, between the devotee and the elephant-faced God. Psychic protection is granted, physical protection, mental and emotional protection are all granted as boons by Him.

He will not allow His devotees to use their free, instinctive willfulness to make more kukarma by getting into difficulties. Rather, he will guide them carefully, protecting them every moment along the way so that their natural birth karmas may be worked through and sukarma created by right living. This is His main concern. Lord Ganesha loves and cares for His devotees. Once the devotee is connected to Him through the awakening of the muladhara chakra, loneliness is never experienced.

Ganesha is a truly wonderful, loving God. He has an extraordinary knack for unweaving complicated situations and making them simple. He can unweave his devotees from their karma, simplifying and purifying their lives. But this only happens after they have established a personal relationship with Him. Soon thereafter, changes begin to happen in their lives; and when they go through difficult times, they no longer become angry or live in fear or worry.

When difficult times come, they know it is because they are being unwound from accumulated and congested, difficult karmas or being turned in a new direction altogether. They know that at such a time they have to consciously surrender their free, instinctive willfulness and not fight the divine happenings, but allow the God’s divine will to guide their life. Such is the spiritual path of total surrender, know as prapatti.

from Loving Ganesa
by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

The Ganesha Mudra

The Ganesha Mudra is a powerful hand lock which, when incorporated into your yoga practice, can lift your spirits, relieve tension and boost confidence! It is the physical embodiment of perseverance. To achieve it, you should begin in a comfortable seated position with a long, straight spine. Then:

  • Bring both hands in front of your chest with bent elbows.
  • Position your left hand, palm outward, so your thumb points down toward the solar plexus and your pinky points up toward the collar bone.
  • Form a claw by bending the four fingers of your left hand and clasping them with the four fingers of your right hand. Your right palm should be facing your chest.
  • Take a deep breath in through the nose. Fill up.
  • Upon exhaling, forcefully pull both arms apart while keeping the claws locked. Feel that resistance open your shoulders and chest.
  • Inhale again and relax your arms, always maintaining the Ganesha lock. Exhale and pull apart.
  • Repeat this process six times, breath to movement.
  • Interchange the direction of your hands, with your right palm facing outwards and the left palm facing inward.
  • Repeat six more times.

Release the Mudra, feeling all tension melt away with it. Bring your unclasped hands to your heart, palms facing inward. Focus on slow, deliberate breaths, absorbing the restoration of equilibrium to the body, mind and soul.

Why does it work?

By uniting this Ganesha yoga pose with potent breath, blockages and obstacles are evicted from the body. With no refuge in the openness that’s been created, the clutter of the mind also dissolves. And since it’s his job to destroy what’s in the way, Ganesha has been known to place obstacles in the path of those who need to be “checked.” If something blocks your path, invoking Ganesha’s symbolic destruction with this Mudra can help to create space for what you seek!

Often honored at the opening of important rites and ceremonies, Ganesha represents new beginnings. His presence reminds us it’s only after we’ve removed the obstacles that we can begin anew. Sometimes, we must demolish the ego to rebuild a stronger foundation for personal growth. The yoga mat is the perfect place to lay that base!

Release After Resistance

The Ganesha pose can remove negativity and stress by stimulating resistance in the upper body. Sometimes, it’s only after release that we notice the heaviness of the weight we were carrying. What are you resisting? What’s holding you back? What obstacles can you remove to free yourself from what doesn’t serve you? Surround yourself with Ganesha, and all can become clear.

Here’s a Ganesha Mudra Meditation

The meditation is to be done while holding the Mudra pose.

  • Fully inhale. Fill your lungs up to their fullest capacity.
  • Fully Exhale. Empty your lungs until they are completely empty.

Every time you exhale draw your navel in, tense your chest and arm muscles and feel as if you are trying to get out of the grip, but you can’t. Stay relaxed in your face, top shoulders neck as you feel the tension. Completely exhale until your lungs are empty while visualizing and mentally repeating the obstacle (what’s holding you back).

  • Then inhale to fill your lungs while releasing the tension. Maintain the clasp.
  • Repeat this 6 times. For a total of 6 cycles.

When I do this I like to visualize myself exhaling against any resistance I might be feeling at the moment. It helps me to release the tension. I feel myself dissolving it and it opens me up and creates space.

When I inhale I visualize myself opening myself up to what I am focusing on (writing, finishing something I have been putting off), and the possibilities of exploring/learning something new.

Integrate what you are experiencing at the moment and use the Ganesha Mudra Meditation for that.

When you are done; visualize a clear path; visualize openness. Believe the pathway is clear for you to continue what you want/need to do. Believe that everything will have an outcome that will serve you in the best possible way possible.

There are many factors you can’t control, but be in charge of what you can control. Your thoughts, your actions is always within your control.

Give it a go, and see if/how it can support you. Make it your own. This meditation takes no more than 3 minutes.

Sources:

Ganesha Lord of the Root Chakra

As per Kundalini Yoga Sutra, the human body receives its subtle cosmic energies from seven chakras that are ruled by different gods. The Muladhara is considered the “root” or “foundation” Chakra indicating “support” is one of the seven main chakras, located near the base end of the spinal column, primarily associated with the action of excretion. Muladhara Chakra is associated with survival and safety and teaches us the life lesson of standing up for ourselves.

An individual with a healthy Muladhara Chakra can be spotted out for a strong sense of security and practicality with a healthy physique. On the other hand, if this first Chakra is blocked, a person may lose the sense of belonging, have a weak physical structure, problematic bones, weight issues, and a fearful outlook towards life in general.

Lord Ganesha rules Muladhara Chakra, the root Chakra associated with family, stability and wealth. Mula means “main, root or original” and adhara means “base”, meaning that Lord Ganesha is the root cause of our familial happiness and domestic peace that are absent without his blessings.

Also in Ganapati Atharvashirsa it is given that “lord Ganesha continually dwells in the sacral plexus at the base of the spine, Muladhara Chakra. He resides permanently in every living being at the Muladhara. He guides all other chakras, thereby leading the forces that propel the wheel of life.”

Therefore, Lord Ganesha is the primal force that supports the foundation of every aspect of your life. He removes all the obstacles in all your undertakings. One should meditate on him every day in the morning. One can also use Ganesha Yantras or Rudraksha beads ruled by Lord Ganesha to strengthen your Root Chakra.

Source: The Rudra Centre

Another Ganesh Mantra

Ganesha Mantra Text

Aum
Gajananam Bhootganadhisevitam
Kapitthya Jamboo Phalcharu Bhakshanam
Namami Vighneshwar Padpankajam
Aum

Translation

Elephant-faced, worshiped by the existing beings, of all living beings,
tasting the elephant apple (kaith) and jambolana (jamun),
the son of Uma, destroyer of grief,
I bow to the lotus feet of Ganesha who is Lord of all.

Here’s a cool video…

Source:

I found this cool video and accompanying mantra at the Sanatan Society, a website that is chock full of information about Mantras, Ayurveda, Yoga, Tantra, Hindu Gods and a lot more.

What’s In A Name?

Names are important when it comes to invoking a God, and I’ve seen a lot of variation from website to website on Ganesh. Sometimes it’s Ganesh, other times it’s Ganesha, and then sometimes it’s Ganapati. So I decided to look it up, and this is what I found:

The word Ganesha comes from the Sanskrit words “Gana eeshaha, Ganeshaha”. Ganesha is the right term and Ganesh is a short form used to name a first born boy in the family of Hindus. Hence we can use both.

There is no difference between Ganesh and Ganapati.

  • Gan + Ish = Ganesh : means Lord of People.
  • Gan + Pati = Ganapati : means Lord of People.

Ganesh, by the way, has 1008 names. Here is a super cool recitation with music, it’s by Suresh Wadkar from the Album, Shree Ganesh Sahasranamavali.

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