Symbolic Description of Lord Ganesha

Lord Ganesha is rich in symbolism. A Ganesh statue/ image can be created in many postures and forms, each aspect containing many layers of meaning.

Some of the most popular sacred symbols connected with our beloved Ganesha are:

  • His big head symbolizes enormous knowledge and wisdom. It also indicates that one must think big, learn more and use your intellect to your full potential.
  • His tiny eyes speak about having high concentration and attention towards the minute details of life. To see beyond what you can see and use all your senses.
  • His trunk signifies adaptability and high efficiency to be successful in one’s ventures.
  • Ganesha also has a single tusk which signifies one-pointedness. It represents that one must retain all the good and give up on all the bad.
  • His big ears symbolize the discipline to listen more. Hear everything around you but shaft unnecessary information and only then assimilate your ideas.
  • Ganesha’s small mouth signifies that one must talk less.
  • In his right hand, he holds a hook (Ankusa) and in his left hand he holds a noose (Paasa). Ankusa is used to symbolize that you need to tame your mind and keep it under control and closer to you with the help of Paasa. It signifies that ego & pride must be conquered and you must learn to control your wavering mind.
  • In one of the lower hands, he holds a plate of Modak. Modak signifies the sweet rewards one will get when they are working on the path of righteousness.
  • In another lower hand, he holds a lotus. A lotus grows in stagnant water but raises above the water line with purity. You should also rise above all your circumstances, clean and pure.
  • Ganesha’s big belly represents that one should learn to accept and digest all that life has to offer. Good, bad, ugly, beautiful everything.
  • Ganesha’s one foot on the floor and one foot raised, signifies that an individual should live life with “one foot in the material world and one foot beyond the world”. That means that our worldly affairs should be given due care and attention, but that we should also cultivate a spiritual dimension to our lives which is removed from the ups and downs of everyday life. It symbolizes a balance, where spirituality and worldly endeavors are beautifully harmonized.
  • Finally the rat, his vehicle. Rat is a symbol of human desires and how the desires grow continuously. The rat is constantly at his feet, that shows one must ride on your desires but also keep them under your control.

All of the symbols associated with our favorite Elephant-headed God can be interpreted in more than one ways. We can surely learn many things from him which can only help us to grow in our lives!

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