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Ganesha

God of wisdom and good beginnings.  (elephant face)
Mercury / Moon
(Asian: Hindu)

Ganesha rules kundalini energy, the first chakra, psychic energy, and the training of the mind. He is the patron of scribes, poets, and merchants. His name may also be spelled Ganesh or Ganesa. Ganeshaís many names and titles include Bhoovanpati, Lord Of The Lord; Devadeva: Lord of All Lords; Dharmik (one who favours righteousness); Dhoomraketu; Durja, the Invincible; Ekadantha or Ekdanta (one-tusked); Gajakarnaka; Gajanana; Gajani; Ganapati or Ganapathi; Maha-Ganapathi; Ganadhyaksha; Gunina, Lord of All Virtues; Heramba; Kapila; Kaveesha, Lord of Poets; Lambodara (the pot-bellied one); Lord Ganesha; Lord of Hosts; Lord of Beginnings; Lord of Categories; Lord of Obstacles; Lord of Wisdom; Lord of Power and Wisdom; Manomay (conqueror of oneís heart); Phalachandra; Pillaiyaar; Remover of Obstacles; Shakti Ganapati; Shambhavi (son of Parvati); Shubhan (auspicious); Siddhivinayaka; Skandapurvaja; Sri Ganesha; Sumukha; Surpakarna; Vakratunda; Vignaharta; Vignaraja; Vigneshwara or Vigneswara, Lord of All Obstacles; Vikat (of the monstrous figure); Vinayaka (the one who has no overlord); Lord Vinayaka; and Yashvasin, The Popular.

The rat, mouse, bandicoot, and elephant are Ganeshaís sacred animals. Red is his color. Sesame, arugampul grass (Cynodon dactylon pers., also called couch grass and dogís tooth grass), erukkam flowers (Calotropis gigantea), shankupushpa flowers, and water lily or lotus are his sacred plants. The peepul (Arasa maram) is his sacred tree. Ganesha has more than fifty symbols, which include a shell, disc, mace, swastika, noose, elephant goad, and water lily. Om gung Ganapathare namah is his mantra.

Ganesha is honored on January 16. The feast of Ganesh Chaturthi, held on the Full Moon in August or September, celebrates his nativity. Honor Ganesha at that time by making donations to a charities, giving blood, feeding the poor, or making a clay figure of him, putting it on the altar for two days, and then throwing it into water. It is said that he will grant your wish if you honor him during his festival.

Invoke Ganesha for wisdom, prosperity, wealth, happiness, writing, literature, learning, intelligence, energy, bliss, power, travel, business, success, art, protection, forgiveness, wishes, prudence, discernment, thoughtfulness, good luck, money spells, new enterprises, self-knowledge, integration with nature, success in an undertaking or enterprise, removing obstacles, welcoming prosperity, averting negativity, fulfilling desires, preventing impediments, protecting the home, protecting the world, protecting privacy, overcoming difficulties, learning not to hold grudges, and blessing your son with virtue and character.

Ganesha can be invoked by chanting or reciting his names and titles. He is usually invoked before moving, traveling, getting married, opening a new business, starting in a new school, beginning a course of study, and so on. An offering of 108 different kinds of leaves is considered a perfect offering to Ganesha. Other appropriate offerings include plantains, his sacred plants, and small umbrellas, especially those made from his favorite grass and flowers.

The thoppikkaranam is also performed in his honor. This involves squatting and rising again, repeatedly, while holding each ear in the opposite hand. Performing 108 repetitions is a perfect offering, but fewer will suffice. Placing Ganeshaís image near the door of a home draws all of his blessings to the household.

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