Friday, 24 June 2011

What does a snake around Ganesha’s stomach represent?

Ganesh Chaturthi or Ganesha’s Birthday comes on the 4th day of Bhadarva Shukla-Paksh of Hindu calendar in (August/September). Milk is offered to idols of Lord Ganesh at home and at temples, and worshippers visit Ganesh temples for Ganesh Puja.

 Ganesha’s vehicle is the Mooshak.  Lord Ganesh is very fond of modak. On one of His birthday’s Mata Parvati, cooked for him twenty-one types of delicious food and a lot of  of modak. Ganesha ate so much that even his big belly could not contain it. Then he set out moving on his mouse at night.

Suddenly the mouse stumbled as it had seen a snake and became frightened with the result of that Ganesha fell down.

His stomach burst open and all the sweet puddings came out. But Ganeshji stuffed them back into his stomach and, caught hold of the snake and tied it around his belly. Seeing all this, the moon in the sky had a hearty laugh. This unseemly behavior of the moon annoyed him immensely and so he pulled out one of his tusks and hurled it against the moon, and cursed that no one should look at the moon on the Ganesh Chaturthi day. If anyone does, he will surely earn a bad name.

The symbology behind the mouse and snake and Ganesha’s big belly and its relationship to the moon on his birthday is highly philosophic. The whole cosmos is known to be the belly of Ganesha (hence, his other name is Mahodara) .Parvati or Shakti is the primordial energy. The seven realms above, seven realms below and seven oceans, are inside the cosmic belly of Ganesha, held together by the cosmic energy (kundalini ) symbolized as a huge snake which Ganesha ties around Him. The mouse is nothing but our ego. Ganesha, using the mouse as a vehicle, exemplifies the need to control our ego. One who has controlled the ego has Ganesha consciousness or God-consciousness.

At other times, the snake is shown around Ganesha’s neck. Here, it represents kundalini, the coil of psychic energy that lies at the base of our spine.

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