Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the grandest celebrations in India. Every year, the 10-day festival is celebrated with pomp & splendor, as devotees decorate their homes, welcome statues of Ganesha and immerse themselves in prayer and devotion.
But let’s talk more about the Ganesha statues themselves. Did you know that each statue has numerous symbolisms? For example, do you know what his trunk symbolizes when it’s on the right side, and what it means when it’s to the left? Did you know that even though the statues all look the same, there are subtle differences that mean different things? If you didn’t, then you’re at the right place. Here’s a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know before purchasing a Ganesha statue.
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Let’s start by looking at the history of Lord Ganesha, and how Ganesh Chaturthi came into being. This will help you better understandwhy people feel the need to buy these statues.
Who Is Ganesh?
If you are unfamiliar with the Hindu philosophy, then let us explain it this way. If Hindu Gods were a cricket team, then Ganeshawould be the captain of that cricket team. With the head of an elephant, and a mouse as his vehicle, he is known to be the ‘Remover of Obstacles’ and the “God of New Beginnings”.Mainly worshipped by Hindus, you will find a Ganesha symbol of some sort in every devotee’s house.
It is considered auspicious to pray to Lord Ganeshabefore starting something new. This is why new bikes and cars are often taken to Ganesha temples, and a Ganesha idol is worshipped at the start of every new business. It is believed that that upon worshipping the Lord, you enter a state of peace and calm, which is a great mindset to kickstart your work in.
He’s also a legendary scribe responsible for writing parts of iconic Indian scripture. As such, he’s got many ties to learning and education. You’ll see a lot of students carrying a symbol of him to their exams.
Are Ganesh Statues Only For Hindus?
Primarily, yes, Ganesh is a Hindu God – as stated above. However, it’s not uncommon for non-Hindus to have statues of him in their home. The things he represents and stands for are things a lot of people can relate to. Many people like to have statues of him in their home for the assurance of divine protection.
There are also plenty of links between Hinduism and Yoga. So, People who practice Yoga will often go out and buy Hindu deities, like Ganesh, for their home.
You will find no against owning a Lord Ganesha symbol. If you like what he stands for, then that is reason enough to get him established in your space. Even atheists enjoy having a Ganesha statue. This is because of the simple reason that it is more than just a religious act- it’s a spiritual one.
What Does Ganesh Look Like?
As alluded to earlier, Ganesh has a very unique appearance. His main feature is the elephant head on top of a human looking body. But, did you know that this head is representative of something? It’s meant to symbolize intellect, while the trunk shows his ability to discriminate between things. In Hindu scriptures, Ganesh uses his trunk to help him carry out a variety of tasks too.
Along with this iconic elephant head, there are numerous symbols within his appearance. Ganesh has a trident tattooed to his forehead, it’s used to symbolize the past, present, and future. It is also a nod to his father, Shiva, who is represented by this trident symbol. He also has a rope that represents the ability to pull worshipers to their highest goals. Ganesh is often depicted with a bowl of sweets in his hand too. This is a symbol of the sweetness of life and represents self-enjoyment.
Many Ganesh statues will also show him wielding a small axe. This relates back to him being the breaker of obstacles. The axe is used to retrench pain & suffering, and to prod man towards the path of righteousness. Ganesh is also known to have one broken tusk on his elephant head. Symbolically, this shows his ability to keep what’s good and throw away what’s bad. Another key feature of Ganesh is his large belly. This is also a symbol, His belly is used to digest all of the good and bad things in this world.
These are a few of the key features you will see in the depiction of Lord Ganesh. Some people prefer to purchase statues with as many of these symbols as possible. It’s thought that the more symbols you see, the more protection you get from this God.
What Types Of Lord Ganesh Statues Are There?
Lord Ganesh statues come in a wide variety. You get ones that are quite simple and ones that are more complex and in-depth. It’s common for Hindus to purchase Ganesh statues that are more detailed and have lots of symbolic messages. Plain and simple ones are more popular for people looking to decorate their home.
However, by different features, we don’t just meanthe material of the statue. You will also find some that differ because of the posture of Ganesh. Below, I’ve listed a few different types of Ganesh statue that you’re likely to see:
Perhaps the most common type of statue is one depicting Ganesh sitting down. It’s highly likely this is the one you’ll find when you visit people’s people’s homes. While seated, Ganesh is thought to be meditating, this represents calmness. He is sat down and keeping watch over you and your family, ensuring everyone is well protected. Now, you know why these statues appear in homes quite frequently.
Even within this statue-type, you will see a variety. Some sitting Ganesh’s are depicted with cross legs while others have one leg on the ground. The change in leg position isn’t a random thing, it holds meaning. Cross-legged will obviously symbolize meditation, as mentioned above. But, when one leg is on the ground, it shows he is concerned. It represents Ganesh being concerned for the lives of those who worship him.
The second most common type of statue is one where Ganesh is standing up. Again, this is another statue that people will have in their home. A standing Ganesh statue is very different to a sitting one – both in appearance and symbolism. You get a true sense of his size when he is standing up and can see the large belly more clearly. When he is stood up, it symbolizes power and attitude.
Not surprisingly, there are different types of standing Ganesh too. Some statues show him with more bends in his body than others. Plus, there are some with both legs on the ground, and others where one foot is resting on a mouse. This mouse Mooshak, his vehicle or mount. Its purpose is to show Ganesh has the ability to “chew” through any problems that present themselves to him.
A dancing Ganesh can easily be confused with a standing one. While they are both upright, there are many differences between the two. When Ganesh dances, it is known as the ‘Dance of Destruction’. This is why it is not common to use this statue for the purpose of worshipping. However, it is widely used for decoration and gifting.
It’s common for Ganesh to be stood on his mouse when dancing. This signifies how strong the mouse is, and that no weight can crush it. Through the blessing and power of Ganesh, the mouse too achieves great wisdom and strength. So, these statutes do still have some symbolic meaning to them. But, they’re to be avoided if you want a Ganesh statue for worship.
A reclining Ganesh statue is used to signify luxury and comfort. They’re often used by people to decorate rooms in their house. In this depiction, Ganesh is often seen as royalty and dressed in posh clothes.
Again, this is not seen as a statue that people should use for worship. They’re more commonly used for home decor. This is because it’s another creative depiction of Lord Ganesh. Much like dancing, he’s seen doing something creative to add an element of fun to the statue.
Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations culminate into the immersion of huge Ganesha idols into the sea, rivers, and lakes. The idols are mostly made up of plaster of Paris and do contain toxic chemical which causes considerable harm to the marine life. In a bid to reduce the environmental damage, many devotees have begun installing Ganpati idols that are both innovative and eco-friendly.
They are handmade with love by farmers and made using 100% biodegradable raw material, which makes it more than just eco-friendly. Each idol comes with a seed embedded within it which when put in soil germinates into a plant. This Ganpati is a great way to leave a positive long lasting impact. BEven if you’re immersing it in the lake, it only cleanses the water, as it is made primarily with Cow Dung.
What Do You Need To Know When Selecting A Statue?
Choosing the right statue can be much harder than you might think. Firstly, you have to think about all of the information that was just presented to you. What posture do you want your Ganesh statue to be in? If you’re using it for worshipping purposes, then you must choose either sitting or standing. But, if you’re buying one as decoration, then you can choose any.
There is also one key thing to look at when picking your statue; the trunk. The placement of his trunk is very important as it has symbolic meaning. If you intend to keep your statue at home, it’s advised you buy one with the trunk on the left-hand side. This is thought to signify calmness and happiness, making it ideal for your home.
Statues with trunks on the right-hand side are meant to symbolize rituals that must be completed daily. That’s why you find them in temples where the rituals can be carried out properly.
Apart from these, you will also find trunks that face forwards. Some consider this to have the highest significance of the three. A statue with a forward facing trunk shows that Ganesh has reached the peak of his powers. It’s a symbolic feature to show enlightenment. You will often see these statues with the trunk up in the air as well. These make the perfect gift, and can be put in your home or office space.
Where Should You Put Ganesh Statues In The Home?
There are a few rules you should follow when placing a Ganesh statue in your home. Firstly, you should never keep one on the floor. It should always be kept at an elevated level so Ganesh can watch over you and your family.
One of the best places to keep a Ganesh statue is by the front entrance of your home. By doing this, many believe he will help protect your home from evil and bring you good luck. Many people create a place above their front door to place the statue, making him the guardian of their home.
It’s perfectly fine to keep these statues in a cabinet or case with other ornaments and statues too. But, if you do this, you can’t have them touching other items. There should be a gap of around one inch between your Ganesh and anything else.
A popular place to put a Ganesh statue is in your bookcase at home. This relates back to the point of him being associated with books and education. Of course, if you have a dancing or reclining statue then you can place it wherever you want. These aren’t used for religious purposes, and there are no rules you must follow.
Significance of Ganesh Visarjan
After 9 days of worshipping the lord with joy and devotion, it’s time to say good-bye. On the tenth day of Ganesh Chaturthi, statues of the Lord are immersed in the river. Legend says that Ganesha returns to Mount Kailash to join his parents, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi.
But there’s another significance of it too. It is believed that when he leaves your home, he takes away all the obstacles with him, and they are destroyed with the Visarjan.
Hopefully, this article has been informative. You now know a lot more about Lord Ganesh statues and how to use them in your home. While keeping a small statue in your home is veryauspicious, you can also be non-selfish and give them as gifts to someone starting on a new path in life.
Now, that you’ve reached your roots, time to bring out that ethnic self as well! Shop for Lehengas and Kurtis without burning a hole in your wallet, use our Craftsvilla Coupons. Did I miss out on anything related to Lord Ganesh Statues? Comment below and let me know.
Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!
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