According to Vedanta, from the primeval intelligence energy vibration Pranavam, Symbolized by evolved the universe. The latent consciousness in matter sprang forth and evolved in the form of living beings finally reaching the human stage.
The figure of Sri Ganesha along with his rat mount symbolizes the theme of the unfoldment of consciousness. The Ganesha theme is a sign post that shows mankind the way of directing the evolutionary energy to reinforce and realize the grater potentials.
The strange form of Ganesha represent the Divine power that prompts consciousness locked in earth to express its greater dimensions through living beings and equips the human being to transcend the obstacles in the material and spiritual dimension till one evolves to be the unconditioned reality.
Faith in a supreme power give relief and solace to man’s worldly afflictions. It brings him the strength and reassurance of communion with the reality behind the transcendental phenomenal world.
Man is in constant pursuit of happiness. Experience makes him realise that he cannot derive abiding happiness from the evanescent objects of the world. That which gives him much pleasure today often turns out to be a great source of suffering tomorrow. The thoughtful inquirers of India recognised that the real source of happiness is their own consciousness not their sense body or the objects of the world. This made them meditate upon the nature of consciousness which led them to the experience of a blissful eternal Reality which is the source of their consciousness and the phenomenal world.
Human phenomenon has an inborn urge to evolve from the biological to the psycho-social and spiritual dimensions. Every pursuit of happiness is in a way an expression of this urge although many lose sight of the harmonious natural path go awry and suffer. Other cultivate the moral and spiritual values of life the real way of human evolution experiencing an increasing sense of freedom and happiness. And a few of them even attain the bliss of supreme wisdom.
Man exists in a world of forms and qualities which like the colours latent in the transparent light have their source in supreme Reality. By nature the human mind is conditioned by these form and qualities. To draw strength and wisdom from the source mind has to be trained and refined so that it becomes a fit receptacle to contain and express the divine glory. As a practical aid for this communion the sages conceived suitable forms that symbolise spiritual principle. Worship of such divine form invokes these principles and the forms function as powerful conduit of divine grace and guidance.
The earliest literary works of mankind the Veda-s-contain invocations to various Gods and Goddesses. In the karma kaanda which deals with the practice of rituals etc. of the Vedas there are elaborate descriptions of the modes of worship and the manthra-s to invoke the spiritual power represented by them. It was in the age of the Upanishad-s the unique philosophical treatises on sublime spiritual truths special efforts were made to explain the inner significance of the Vedic concepts. In them the Rishi-s different names ekam sad vipraa bahudhaa vadanthi. They called the supreme truth as Brahman. They approved the worship of reality in different form as the worship would help to refine the mind and equip it to be receptive and comprehend the supreme Truth. They however warned against any fanatical sticking to the form aspect and advice to use them intelligently as a stepping stone to reality realising the fact that the reality symbolised by the form transcends all forms.
While the Upanishad-s contain sublime philosophical discussions on the Absolute the Puraana-s are replete with human mind, and in these the great Rishi-s embodied high philosophical and spiritual principles. These legends served to inculcate higher values in society. Several forms of deities were conceived by human insight and imagination but for an earnest seeker they will gradually reveal their secrets for which the keys can be found often in the same test. Likewise the forms of deities are pregnant with profound meaning. Those who explore their significance will find that their several heads and hands the various weapons the ornaments the garments and even their colours signify lofty spiritual principles. As the Upanishad try to make us aware of the highest principles relating to the eternal source of this wonderful universe the divine forms of puranic origin throb with the vision and power of that wisdom.
The form of Sri Ganesha differs from other Godly forms the face of an elephant having one tusk a human body with a bit pot-belly four hand the body entwined by a serpent and a rat as the mount of the huge figure! He is worshipped both for material prosperity and spiritual illumination. Sri Ganesha is the Presiding Deithy of the divine energy in man Kundalini which is capable of elevating human consciousness to its supreme state.
In the hymns on Sri Ganesha he is extolled as the very symbol of the supreme truth that transcend all qualities and form symbolises both the way and the goal of spiritual pursuit. This book will be though provoking even to the modern scientist for its rational approach to a great theme. I hope that the seekers of spiritual wisdom will find this a useful compendium. May Lord Ganesha grace illumine our path for harmonious life and spiritual fulfilment?