Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Many hands on an elephant in the dark.


For some time now, I've been thinking that my blog, like my life generally, needs focus. Today I was distracted, for some reason, with random thoughts about various gods and religions. I don't think I'm ready to commit to any theme, but I think for the rest of this month -- with the holidays and all -- I'll be featuring a series of posts about various religions and spiritual miscellany.

We start with one of my favorite gods, the Hindu god Ganesh. You can't help but love Ganesh. He's got the head of a baby elephant for Christ's sake. You just want to hug him: he's so cute with that pot belly within which he has swallowed all the misery of the world. It's pretty clear why this charming god is one of the most popular gods in the Hindu pantheon.

Ganesh is a very useful god.
He is the lord of wisdom, intelligence, education, prudence, luck and fortune, gates, doors, doorways, household and writing. He is the remover of obstacles, and as such it is normal to invoke him before the undertaking of any task with such incantations as Aum Shri Ganeshaya Namah (hail the name of Ganesha), or similar. Throughout India and the Hindu culture, Lord Ganesh is first placed into any new home or abode.
FromWikipedia. I've heard that he is also the god of travel, which makes sense, as it ties in with his role as the god of learning.



I am also fond of Ganesh's sidekick, Mooshika, on whom Ganesh rides around the universe:
His vehicle is a mouse known as Mooshika, Mooshikam, Minjur, or Akhu, and this symbolizes the intellect, small enough to find out any secret in the most remote of places. It also signifies his humility, that he espouses the company of one of the smaller creatures.
Id.
The mount of Ganesh is a mouse called Mooshika, the "Little Hoarder". Mooshika Vahana is also called Mooshikam, Minjur or Akhu. A hyperactive creature, the mouse is symbolic of our indriyas (ten senses). Therefore Ganesh sitting on such a vehicle represents a deity of control over the indriyas.
From The Hare Krsnas

The picture at top is Japanese Ganesh icon. The worship of Ganesh in Japan has been traced back to the early ninth century. Apparently, he washed ashore there along with that other Indian export, Buddhism, by way of the Korean scribes who taught the Japanese to write with Chinese characters.



Next time: Haile Selassie

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