The very first time someone tried to explain to me who Ganesh was and what he did, they said he was “The Remover of Obstacles.” That’s it. That’s the full extent of their description.* I can’t say I was super impressed. I mean, this is the most easily recognized of the Hindu Gods and that’s all they could tell me about him? It’s not that I’d have said no to fewer obstacles in my life, mind you. It was just that he was presented as yet another “miracle cure” for the normal curve balls that life throws at us. Again, I’d not say no to a miracle cure, but I’ve yet to find one so pardon me if I’m a bit skeptical.
*Note: This simplistic description was given to me by someone who is not Hindu.
Ganesh is the elephant-headed god of Hinduism. Yes, he’s the remover of obstacles but he’s also the god of wisdom and learning (What Ravenclaw wouldn’t love that!) as well as the lord of beginnings. This is all well and good, but he also places obstacles in the path of those who need to be checked. He’s becoming a bit more interesting, isn’t he?
Devotees believe that if Ganesh is worshiped, he grants success, prosperity and protection against adversity. In a lesser known role, Ganesh is also the destroyer of vanity, selfishness and pride. He’s getting downright fascinating now, don’t you think?
He’s also known for his fondness of sweets. Perhaps that’s why people from all spiritual paths love Ganesh… I mean, who can’t relate to loving their favorite sweet treat?
First and foremost, he’s there to remind me that there are no short cuts, miracle cures, or easy answers. Remember, he’s the guy who’s supposed to remove obstacles but he’s also the guy who puts them there if you’re on the wrong track.
Second, he’s the god of wisdom and learning. He reminds me that the wisdom gained from a situation is more important than any mistakes I may have made. Of course, I also need to apologize if my mistake wronged anyone, but he’s really there to remind me to learn from them. He also reminds me to be discerning in the continuing education classes I take.
Lastly, as the destroyer of vanity, selfishness, and pride, he’s there to remind me to check my ego at the door. Positive outcomes in the massage room are much harder to come by when the therapist’s ego is being fed instead of the client’s needs.
Like many other things in the office, he’s a visual reminder of ideas and concepts that are important to me. That’s it. No hidden messages. No religious significance; heck, I have stuff from lots of spiritual paths in my office. It’s just there to remind me to be discerning about obstacles and short cuts, value wisdom and learning, and to leave my vanity and pride at the treatment room door.