The interview below with Ganesha discusses the many spiritual properties of this ancient Hindu deity. Ganesha’s words are adapted to the present time. Ganesha is the Remover of Inner Obstacles.
Interview with Ganesha
Good day, Lord Ganesha. I’m glad I can interview you!
Of course. And you can just call me Ganesh.
Oh, thank you! Can you tell me who you are?
I’d love to.
I am the god of knowledge and wisdom, the son of Shiva and Parvati, who together symbolize the unity of everything. Shiva represents the subjective consciousness, and Parvati represents the energetic material. As a god, I remove obstacles, making me the patron saint of travelers on the path to self-realization. I am also known as Ekadanta, One-toothed, and as Vignahartha, which means resolving obstacles, both physically and spiritually. Additionally, I’m called Ganapati or Mangal Murthi. I have many names and am very old, over eighteen hundred years old.
Wow! That’s impressive! And what exactly do you do?
When one turns to me for any work, especially in the case of spiritual work, obstacles will be removed, and one will achieve success in this work. I always feel happy when I give my blessings, even if one offers or honors me very little. Some say I am the kindest god and I love to spread my blessings. Well… that’s true!
You’re popular! I see you everywhere now, in people’s living rooms and by the pond in the garden.
Yes, that’s true. My appearance is loved. But as a deity, it’s about what I stand for. If this doesn’t hold value for the owner, they might as well put me on a marketplace.
You’ve taken on the form of a kind of elephant. But a very peculiar one, since there’s so much more to see about you.
That’s right. While I seemingly embody the elephant, I represent so much more. You can clearly see that an elephant like me doesn’t wander around anywhere. However, I didn’t just choose an elephant’s body for no reason. An elephant is large, powerful, majestic, and also calm and deliberate in its movement. But it also has the potential to destroy. My large head represents intelligence and contains great thinking capacity. My tusks, one of which is broken, symbolize retaining the good and leaving behind what no longer serves us. My huge belly can digest both good and bad, and my heart is vast. My sharp eyes are focused and see everything, and with my big ears, I can listen well to everyone, representing my great ability for inner listening.
What do you mean by a great ability for inner listening?
Well, it’s the ability to internally receive the highest and most refined information. True knowledge: information that cannot come to us ‘from the outside’.
Aha! Like an antenna?
Yes, you could call it that, but think of it as a very large satellite dish!
For example, I also see that you have many more limbs than an elephant. I see four arms, with the hands holding various things.
Yes, my embodiment has four arms, like the world has four directions. With these, I offer the whole world different things.
Can you explain this fourfold offer, Ganesh?
Of course. Firstly, my lower right hand is in a gesture of greeting and blessing. I greet and bless the world and declare my loving peace. Just as the native Americans in ancient America showed their palms as a sign of peace, I show that I am completely non-violent to those who love the truth.
But this hand also says more: if you look at it differently, my hand is also in a defensive posture. This means that nothing untrue can ever reach me. I keep all untruths and all projections from the world at a distance.
That’s clear. And your hand behind that, on the right? I see you holding an axe.
That’s correct. It is the axe of the highest discernment. This axe, like a surgical knife to diseased tissue, separates untruth from what is true and healthy. It frees people from identifications, conditionings, and misconceptions by cutting off unnatural attachments. In short, it rids people of all tendencies that keep them ignorant, small, and selfish. I also use a rope to remove these kinds of inner obstacles.
And your left hand, above, is holding a beautiful flower.
Yes, the lotus flower. The flower of pure love and beauty. A gift to the world of all that’s good, pure, beautiful, and loving, for those who wish to receive.
By the way, I am often depicted sitting on a huge lotus flower, for this sacred flower stands for divine birth and purity. The lotus flower floats on water, is self-cleaning, as dirt never sticks to it. In the spiritual world, water represents flowing inner truth. Thus, the inner lotus flower floats on truth.
Your other left hand seems to offer a bowl with something delicious.
That’s right! This left hand offers all that’s tasty and nourishing, all that’s abundant, all the pleasures, all the fruits of existence in truth. Because there is abundance for everyone who can receive, for everyone who can relax their clenched fists into open receiving hands.
So, is that what your image tells us?
Oh no. This is just the beginning. I also have a trunk. An especially handy limb with many beautiful qualities: flexible, multifunctional, breathing, and grasping. It’s my fifth ‘arm,’ and together with my other arms, they represent the five senses that bring understanding. Because senses make the experience of meaning possible and turn life into the feast to which all people are invited! ‘Tuig’ means ‘instrument that makes possible.’ Just as a vessel makes sailing possible and a vehicle allows a person to ride, the senses allow a person to experience meaning.
And your legs then?
Good observation! In total, I have seven limbs. Altogether, they represent the law of seven, also called the law of octaves. Let me explain. Seven is a sacred number, expressed in a universal law that is recognizable in our creation. This law is evident in music, with our scales of seven tones. Music worldwide is made with seven tones, embellished with the other tones in the octave divided into twelve parts.
Yes… I was going to say… don’t we know twelve tones?
Indeed. The number twelve is also a sacred number and serves as refinement and completion of the law of seven. You may also remember Jesus’s twelve disciples. The Bible is full of sevens and twelves. Of course, we have our time division: seven days in a week, twelve months in a year, twice twelve hours in a day, dozen and gross; they’re all expressions of laws. But the law of seven works, apart from its visible manifestation, as an esoteric law in our inner world. There’s much to say about this…
Well, I’d love to hear more about that another time.
Behind your head, I see a huge sun.
Yes, that’s the sun of the eternal light of Consciousness. This inner sun shines in every human, in every being. However, because of man’s illusion of separateness, this sun is usually not well experienced: there’s too much shadow in his mind. This inner sun of Consciousness truly powers and energizes everything! Humans will see this once they realize it… Who said that again?
Yes, that was a Dutch philosopher… I’ve forgotten his name…
I also see a mouse at your feet!
That’s correct. His name is Mashika. But actually, he’s a bandicoot, a very large mouse or rat. And he’s dear to me, for he’s my vahana, my vehicle. He’s always with me and represents the personality of a person, and everything a person learns and acquires during their life, from birth. It’s all the accomplishments that allow a person as an individual to relate to the world and move forward and act in it, in every situation, at every moment. Man cannot be without his mouse.
Why a mouse and not, say, a horse?
Well, it clearly shows the relationship between the Self in a person and his personality. Do you see the vast difference in greatness? Yet, a person, in his grand true state, cannot be without a ‘mouse,’ his personality, serving him to go on in the world and deal with the world, without becoming of the world. The mouse, however, is headstrong, so every person must beware of its whimsical tricks. Every day! With all its fantastic qualities, it’s still a very disobedient creature if it doesn’t listen to its master! Muis comes from the Sanskrit word mūṣaka and is derived from the root mūṣ which means to steal. He loves to run off with all my divine accomplishments, haha, thinking they’re his own.
Oh? Can you explain that a bit more, please?
The mouse wants to appear bigger than he is. To achieve this illusion, he portrays himself as bigger by identifying with everything, thereby forgetting me, his true Master. He then thinks he’s sufficient in his small stature. Or he thinks he’s the boss over me. He believes he can exist without me, which is impossible.
There’s a joke that illustrates this: An elephant and a mouse go on a journey. At some point, they come to a wooden bridge over a river. The bridge resonates beautifully with the elephant’s heavy steps. Suddenly, the mouse exclaims enthusiastically to the elephant, “Aren’t I stomping loudly?!”
Where can I find you, Lord Ganesha, when I need you?
In you, young friend, within yourself!