This Ganesha Equals Ardhanaareshwara

The festivities are back in Mumbai, with the queen of Arabian Sea bedecked as a bride and all around are sanskrit chants, blaring loud speakers, feverish dhol beats, out of tune aartis on mikes and ganpati bappa moriya. Every year, September reminds me of my first meeting with Mumbai’s favourite bappa. My first week in Mumbai and my aunt dragged me on a sleepy Sunday (I hope to get some empathy here) to bow to Siddhivinayaka – Mumbai’s protector Ganesha. I kept urging her about visiting the neighbourhood Ganesha temple and she kept babbling about Siddhivinayaka being very powerful or something like that. But was Siddhivinayaka more powerful than the friendly neighbourhood Ganapati – blind belief or Metaphysics? Seek, seeking, seek-ed……finally the story seeker has the answer now – its his trunk

Yes! Do this, when ever you visit Siddhivinayaka next, remember the direction of the trunk of the Ganapati on your car’s dashboard and notice the trunk of Siddhivinayaka while you are inside. His trunk is towards the right and therein lays his extraordinarie power and thus the source of immense adulation. What’s in a direction, you ask? Metaphysics answers that. Lets get to Ganesha’s birth because there lies the secret we seek.

Picture Ganesha’s parents –the ascetic Shiva and the homely Shakti. Recollect their most powerful stance together – yes, the Ardhanaareshwara. There lies the answer to Siddivinayaka’s power. In their most powerful stance together hermit Shiva is always poised on the right side of the body and Shakti, his domesticated counter partner is on the left. Here Shakti’s side is metaphysically important because she is on the side of the heart wherein lies all the desires of family, attachments, wealth, stature, society, relationships et al. Placed on the opposites Shiva and Shakti represent the extremes – the world renouncing hermit on the right and the world engaging householder on the left. Now isn’t the offspring supposed to be an amalgamation of both the parents, isn’t that what logical genetics teaches us?

Most of the Ganesh statues we see around us have a trunk pointed towards the left and such a Ganesha inherits the powers of his householder mother with his trunk pointing towards his heart and as an extension towards desires and attachments of the world and thereby lacks the ascetic powers from his father. But the Siddhivinayaka in Mumbai with his trunk towards the right, renouncing the desires of the heart, inherits the powers of his hermit father while with Riddhi and Siddhi by his sides as his wives he also embodies the householder mother thereby also inheriting her powers. Siddhivinayaka represents the true qualities of being the offspring of Shiva and Shakti – he represents his parents in their most potent demeanour – the Ardhanaareshwara form – while remaining as wise and merciful as ever and not to mention cute. Next time bowing to Ganesha take a peek at his trunk, you will know – which side he is on.

By the way, I know of a Ganesha who sits with two full tusks not one and a half, tell you the story in some other post. Do you know what his broken tusk represents?

Tell me your stories about Ganesha; you know I really love stories.