Shri Ganesha is a beloved Hindu deity, and very popular in the West. In India, Ganesh Chathruthi is the first day of Ganesh Uttsava, a 10 day festival. In 2021, this holiday is celebrated from September 10 through 16. Offering to a murti or statue are made, and on the final day chanting to Shri Ganesh, the statue is submerged in a body of water. These days, with awareness for the blessed Earth, biodegradable statues are worshipped, submerged in water and then offered back to plants in the garden.
Lord Ganesh is a half elephant, half human son of Lord Shiva and his wife Parvati. His birthday, Ganesh Chathurthi, when he is said to be given the elephant head and comes alive again, is celebrated with devotion and enthusiasm throughout India. In the ten days leading up to his birthday, statues are placed outside homes and worship occurs each morning and night.
Known as the “remover of obstacles," Lord Ganesh is said to bring knowledge, wisdom, luck and good fortune. In fact, Ganesh will bring obstacles for protection from evil as well as being a remover of obstacles. Invoking this deity will bring raised spirits, and resilience and perseverance.
One way to invoke the essence of this divine being is to practice the Ganesh Mudra or seal. It is helpful for relieving stress and uplifting your day.
How to Practice Ganesh Mudra:
- Start in Anjali Mudra or namaste with palms together in front of the heart
- Gently rotate your hands with the fingertips pointing towards your elbow and your right hand closer to the heart
- Glide your hands outward and gently link fingers, pause and breathe
- Unlink fingers and rotate your hand with the left hand closer to the heart. Gently relink fingers, pause and breathe
- Return to Anjali Mudra
You may have to practice a few rounds, but soon you’ll feel a strengthening within as if you’re standing a little more steady. You may also notice that your vision has risen to the third eye or ajna chakra. Spirits tend to lift and there is a sense of “carrying on” that infuses one’s beingness. In addition, this mudra relieves the tension in the neck, shoulders and chest.
So, during this sacred time, see what’s possible for you by adding this mudra to your yoga and meditation practices.
Jaya Shri Ganesh! (Hail Ganesh the Auspicious One!)