Here in the west, gods with four arms and elephant heads seem both foreign and exotic. When I was first introduced to these icons years ago, I found them strange and was unable to clearly identify with the multitude of gods within the Hindu culture as well as within the context of my own beliefs.
Of course, that has now changed as I honor and salute the many deities from this rich tradition. One thing many people clearly do not understand is that various spiritual practices are simply systems that you can follow to help in the process of growth and transformation.
The deities themselves are merely metaphors embedded with deep and mystical meanings and are often closely associated with various forms of yoga practice. The mind needs symbols which enable it to focus on specific aspects of the divine. After all, the divine has many faces and is not limited to an individual mental construct.
While yoga itself is more science than religion, if you choose to incorporate some Hindu iconography into your practice, Ganesha, also known as the Remover of Obstacles, is a powerful symbol you can use for your own personal development.
So how can the elephant god help us in our lives especially on our journey as entrepreneurs? There is an interesting parallel that both yogis and entrepreneurs alike share in common. In fact, may of the mentors I follow in business are practitioners themselves. The reason is that the quest for freedom and self-betterment lies at the core of both pursuits.
If you find yourself unable to open up to the rich mystical traditions of the east, perhaps this is an obstacle in and of itself and one that can be examined, observed and removed if real growth is desired.
The Hindu pantheon is filled with the lore of both gods and demons. These demonic spirits generally represent ego and ignorance and can manifest as a mass of spiritual distractions and obstructions. They symbolize a multitude of negative influences affecting matters of personal virtue by placing obstacles in your path and hindering your growth.
These blockages can exist in your relationships, health and your business, at both a personal and professional level. Ganesha becomes the mediator between the worlds of the demonic and the divine by both placing obstacles in your path and removing them as well.
Obstacles are merely put in place to teach us lessons to promote growth. The righteous, through right action and knowledge are rewarded with the removal of these hindering conditions.
The process of personal development clearly focuses on removing obstacles that thwart growth. As we begin to become more self-aware, gain self-knowledge, identify self-imposed limitations, set goals and achieve milestones, we become ever closer to the realization and fulfillment of our dreams of a happier life.
When we are stuck in illusion and fear or whatever the case may be that holds us back, invoking Ganesha is a powerful practice and meditation when faced with blockages of any kind in your life.
Below, you can listen to the “Invocation To Ganesha” sung in traditional Sanskrit by on of my favorite western yoga teachers, Richard Freeman. I’ve included the written version of the mantra as well as its translation for your review as well.
Listen along and feel the power of the mantra vibrations while simultaneously contemplating its deeper meaning. This makes for a profound meditation and gives you another tool in your arsenal for personal development.
Make friends with Ganesha and he will be your constant companion on the path to freedom and self-growth.
om gananam tva ganapatigam havamahe |
kavim kavinamupamasravatamam |
jyestarajam brahmanam brahmanaspata a nah |
srnvannutibhissida sadanam ||
We invoke thee,
O leader of all the hosts.
The wisest of the wise.
The Sage of Sages with
treasures beyond measure.
The King of Brilliance.
The lead chanter of
prayers. Come with your
blessings, listen to our
prayers. Have a seat in
our sacred space.
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Your Partner In Success,