My friend Rajan Parrikar’s photo feature on Ganesh — the One with the Broken Tusk, the One with the Huge Body, the One with the Brilliance of a Million suns.
The invocation to Ganesha, the Remover of Obstacles,
Nirvighnam Kuru Mey Deva
Sarva Kaaryeshu Sarvada
Rajan explains for the benefit of those who don’t know about the Big Fat Guy:
The story is told that the elephant-headed Ganesha and his brother Kartikeya, the god of war, were once locked in a dispute. To break the impasse they sought the counsel of their parents, the great God Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
Lord Shiva proposed that the boys compete in a race of 3 laps around the universe. Kartikeya mounted his peacock and dashed out of sight, hoping to open up an early lead. Ganesha, on the other hand, was in no hurry. He walked over to Shiva and Parvati, went around them thrice and bowed, saying, “You, my dear parents, are the manifest universe. I have completed the race.”
This parable illuminates Ganesha’s character – loving, highly intelligent; a fount of wisdom. Immensely loved in India, He is acknowledged as a scholar nonpareil, music runs in His blood, and as his portly figure suggests, He is a confirmed foodie. It was Ganesha who transcribed the great Hindu epic Mahabharata in real time while the sage Vyasa dictated it.
Go check out the Ganesha slide show by Rajan.
Also, see the post with very very cool photos of Ganesh statues.