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Hello, this is Tim and this is Vie and we welcome you to another episode of the spartan mind strength podcast. Today’s episode is about Ganesha.
Yes, it’s in honor of Ganesha Chaturthi.
That’s a fancy word.
Yes, it is. Stay tuned, we’ll be right back
And we’re back. Om Gum Ganapataye Namaha.
Yes. Om Gum Ganapataye Namaha. That’s right. You always ask Ganesha for help before you do anything major.
And Ganesha is considered the god or the deity of the people.
Yes. Ganesha is all about power to the people.
Yeah. I love Ganesha. Ganesha is the most beloved god, deity, archetype -
Whatever you wanna call it.
- In the Hindu tradition. And when we say Hindu tradition, we don’t mean the religion. We mean the tradition, the tradition includes many philosophies, everything.
And I love how every story is changed a little bit, depending on where it was actually told.
Exactly. Yes, every area has its own version of Ganesha and how Ganesha was created.
So there is, in the Vedic philosophy, is that the right term?
There is stories of Ganesha.
All sorts of stories of Ganesha.
Can you tell me where Ganesha was first brought up that you’ve been able to find?
Yes, Ganesha was officially brought up in the Puranas. Some people will say that Ganesha was brought up in the original Vedas, like in the Rig Veda, but quite a few scholars will argue that the name Ganapati that the Rig Veda talks about refers to God as the creator himself.
Okay. So not Ganesha the elephant headed cute, adorable little guy.
So Ganesha was officially introduced in the Puranas. And this is very interesting.
What is the Puranas first?
The Puranas are - they are not the Upanishads. They are part of the Vedic tradition that were composed probably at the same time or later, the opinions vary. And it doesn’t really matter.
Sort of like assholes.
Everybody’s got one. The Puranas talk about rituals that the people can do. So this is very interesting. The Vedas, the original Vedas, were talking about elaborate rituals that were very, very fancy.
You needed gold, silver, oils, incenses, fragrances.
Paying the brahmins, the priests and everything . So the Puranas said - so the Upanishads said, let’s ignore the rituals, let’s focus on the individual themselves, right? The experience.
Now the Puranas come in and say, well, rituals are good, let’s do rituals, but make them very, very simple, very, very accessible by using deities like Ganesha, like Vishnu, like Shiva, like Kali, things like, you know, deities that and make them very, very simple.
So they include chants and they include ceremonies that are very accessible to the people and they eliminate the need for the wealth that the brahmins were requiring. So you don’t need the brahmins.
Okay. So I know that one ritual that I’ve practiced is breaking coconuts, where all you need is a couple of coconuts and that gets rid of on a certain day for Ganesha. And that gets rid of karma, right?
Exactly. Exactly. Because Ganesha likes coconut, likes jaggery, which is like really, really good sugar and all sorts of things like that.
So the Puranas include - are like, you can think of them, like stories, like mythology that give power to the people. help the people connect with the deities.
Now there are all sorts of Puranas. But the scholars have actually identified 18 major ones.
18, 18 major ones. And, my most favorite story about Ganesha comes from the Shiva Purana. Basically it’s the Purana about Shiva, right
And, Shiva is Ganesha’s father.
Shiva is Ganesha’s father except, except, if you follow a legend from Nepal that says that Ganesha was created, manifested all by himself.
Which I find fascinating. But, yeah. In the other stories, Shiva is Ganesha’s father one way or another. And Parvati is Ganesha’s mother.
Okay. Now one of the stories comes from, you said where?
From the Shiva Purana.
Can you tell us about that?
Yes. I find it amazing.
Was that a good enough lead in?
So the Shiva Purana says where Ganesha’s elephant head came from.
So Parvati, Parvati wanted an attendant of her own.
What does that mean?
Basically wanted somebody to pay attention to her, you know, help her with different errands and stuff, because she was kind of annoyed that all the little gods, all the ganas, that’s what the Purana calls them, were under Shiva’s command.
So they all listened to him and they were not listening to her.
So she created Ganesha out of the scrubbings from her body without the intervention of Shiva
She said, I don’t need you, I’m going to take a bath - very, very interesting and create Ganesha out of my own DNA, right, you can think of.
And Ganesha was her attendant, right? So a major job of what he had to do is guard her place.
Because Shiva was away.
Because Shiva was away. So Ganesha had to guard her place. So Gnesha had never met Shiva, right.
Shiva comes home to visit Parvati. And Ganesha said, sorry, you can’t come in.
Can’t come in. I don’t know you. Get away.
Exactly, So that actually pissed off Shiva. So Shiva had his guys, right, the ganas. So Ganesha had to fight those guys.
Guess what, Ganesha was brilliant. Parvati had not created a dummy. So Ganesha actually defeated, the Purana says, Shiva’s guys.
So then Shiva said, oops, I got to do something about it. And the translation of the Purana, that’s actually from an amazing Indian scholar, Y Krishan, and we’ll have his info in there -
So Shiva had to actually devise a clever way to defeat Ganesha and they translate it as a stratagem. I had to look up that word. So stratagem means clever scheme.
So it’s similar to a strategy but different.
A very clever, it’s part of a strategy, the most clever part of the strategy. So Shiva cut off Ganesha’s head and oh boy, Parvati was pissed.
And Parvati created thousand shaktis.
And shakti is female energy.
Shakti is a female energy, a goddess.
And you don’t want to piss off a thousand women.
You don’t want to piss off a thousand women. Between the thousand shaktis and Shiva’s ganas, Shiva’s little gods, a tremendous battle broke out that actually could lead to the destruction of the gods.
And the gods said, we got to do something about it, we got to find peace in some way.
And Parvati said, okay, here is the deal. You have to restore Ganesha, you have to bring Ganesha back to life. And Shiva said to his little guys, okay, you’re going to bring me the head of the first living being that you’re going to find.
And the first living being that they found was an elephant, but he was one tusked elephant.
So he was missing a tusk.
Exactly. And that’s how Ganesha got his elephant head. And also Ganesha is often referred to as Ekadanta, which in Sanskrit means one - eka - danta is tooth of tusk.
So Ganesha is the Ekadanta. And then Ganesha was placed, was crowned as the leader or the Lord of the gods.
So he went from being his head cut off to being in charge of all of them.
Exactly. And that’s why no matter which aspect of the Hindu tradition you are going to look into, Ganesha is always honored first.
He is the Lord of the gods and he is the most beloved deity by the people because he’s very, very accessible, he gives power to the people.
Elephant is all about strength, strength and power, and finesse.
Very nice. So we’ll talk more about this in the next episode, but right now we’re at the actually 12 minute mark.
Yes. And happy Ganesha Chaturthi!
Until next time, much, much love from both of us. Na’maste kala! May we all be well, adapt, and thrive!