GANA in Sanskrit means ‘multitude’and ‘ISHA’ means Lord. GANESH therefore literally means THE LORD OF ALL BEINGS”.

Ganesha is the first son of Lord Shiva. Shiva represents the supreme Reality. Ganesha symbolise’s one who has realised the Reality. One who has discovered the godhood in him. Such a man is said to be the lord of all beings. Ganesha is known by other names as well. Ganapati, Gajanana, vinayaka, Vighneshwara. Gajanana means ‘elephant-faced’ Gaja-elephant. Ganesha has four arms. The four arms represent the four inner equipment’s of the subtle body, namely mind, intellect, ego and conditioned-consciousness. In one hand he holds an axe and in another a rope. The axe symbolise’s the destruction of all desires and attachments and their consequent agitation’s and sorrows. The rope is meant to pull the seeker out of his worldly entanglements and bind him to the everlasting and enduring bliss of his own Self.

There is a delightful story about a contest between Lord Ganesha and his brother, Kartikeya. Kartikeya was very proud of his mount, the peacock, and his own speed and efficiency. He challenged Lord Ganesha to a race which would involve encircling the world three times. Lord Shiva signaled to indicate that the race had begun. Kartikeya immediatly climbed atop his peacock and left to circle the whole world. Ganpati just smiled. He encircled Lord Shiva and Godess Parvati thrice. When Kartikeya came back to Mount Kailash, he was very surprised to find Ganpati there. Ganpati told him that ones parents are one’s own world and encircling them means encircling the world. He had thus won the race.
Ganapati is a Lord of intellect and higher knowledge. Each part of Lord Ganesh symbolizes the intellect:- The big ears, nose, small eyes, big belly and head are the signs of a “MAHAPURUSH.” The ‘Big Head’ symbolizes lots of knowledge. The ‘Big Ears’ symbolizes the ability to hear well and that listening makes you a better person. ‘Small Eyes’ symbolizes the ability to see the future and the reality instead of the fake outside. ‘Big Trunk’ symbolizes the ability to smell good and the bad in the person from far away. The Large belly is meant to convey that a man of perfection can consume and digest whatever experiences he undergoes.
The trunk should be curved to the left for normal idols. If it is curved to the right, it is called siddhi vinakya and needs special worship. One should be very careful in worshipping such idols.

But why is the trunk curved to right so special and so strict ? The iDa naaDii is on the left side, while the pingalaa naaDii is on the right. The left-turning trunk has easy rules and one can do puja however one wants with respect since the ida naadii is the moon. but the right turning nadi is the sun and will burn one if rules are violated. When the trunk is facing straight forward, then it signifies the sushumna is entirely open. Idols such as these are very rare and special. Even more special is the trunk where the trunk is swung up right in the air. It means the kundalini shakti has reached the sahasra permanently.

Often it is asked why Ganesha, beloved of the gods and of all humanity, remained a Brahmachari, single and celibate (as believed in the south).
A legend states that the reason was that he felt that his mother, Parvati, was a most beautiful and perfect woman in the universe. Bring me a woman as beautiful as she is, and I shall marry her , he said.
None could find as equal to the lovely uma. The gods as still searching and so is Ganesha!. Why should we use Lord Ganapati’s statue only in seated, and not in standing position? When we have a guest, we offer him a seat; we do not leave him standing. Similarly, during Ganesh Chaturthi we invoke the Ganesh principle (Ganesh tattva), meaning me invite Lord Ganesh. Hence, we should show hospitality with the faith that Lord Ganesh Himself is visiting us.
Besides, if we the statue is kept standing for 10 days, there are chances of the weight on the legs of the statue actually breaking the statue. Hence, statues should be made as the traditional ones in the seated position.
When he came up with the idea to Mahabharatha, Sage Ved Vyasa looked around for someone who would write down the words even as he recited them. He approached Lord Ganesha and asked him if he would do so. Lord Ganesha readily agreed. Ved Vyasa said “I will narrate the story and you must take it down as fast as I say it and should not interrupt or stop anywhere in between” and Lord Ganesha too said that “I will do so and if you halt or hesitate, I will stop writing and your epic will never be written”. Ved Vyasa agreed with his final condition “So I agree but you must also agree to fully comprehend the meaning of the poems as you write and not just blindly write them as I say”. The elephant headed God gave his consent and they started writing the epic Mahabharata. To write this Lord Ganesha broke a bit off his tusk and used it as a pen. As they continued with the writing, Ved Vyasa found that Ganesha was very fast and he didn’t even have any time to breathe in air! His face slowly turned blue and he wondered how will he go on without pausing to draw his breath also. Then he came up with the solution and narrated a difficult stanza. Ganesha, who was writing at a furious pace, stopped for a second to get the meaning of the stanza and Ved Vyasa thankfully used the split second gap to gulp deep lungful of air. But Ganesha carried on immediately and they went on. And so, whenever Ved Vyasa needed a break, he would tell a difficult phrase and used the time Ganesha took to comprehend the meaning. Thus the original Mahabharata contains many difficult stanzas placed at intervals throughout the length of the epic.
There is very popular legend regarding this context. Lord Ganesha was very fond of sweet pudding or Ladoos. On one of His birthdays, He was going around house to house accepting the offerings of sweet puddings. Having eaten a good number of these, He set out moving on his mouse at night. Suddenly the mouse stumbled as it had seen a snake and became frightened with the result of that Lord Ganesha fell down. His stomach burst open and all the sweet puddings came out. But Lord Ganesha stuffed them back into his stomach and, caught hold of the snake and tied it around his belly. Seeing all this, the moon in the sky had a hearty laugh. This unseemly behaviour of the moon annoyed Lord Ganesha immensely and so he pulled out one of his tusks and hurled it against the moon, and cursed that no one should look at the moon on the Ganesh Chaturthi day. If anyone does, he will surely earn bad luck.
Angaraki: The chaturthi, which falls on Tuesday, is called angaraki. Angaraki means the planet Mangal (Mars) or the earth (bhumi). Ganapati is the presiding deity of Mangal just as He is of the earth. Ganapati and Mangal both have the same complexion. On the day of angaraki Ganesh frequencies reach the earth in greater quantities. The Ganesh frequencies from Mangal too reach the earth. Consequently most of the frequencies coming from the moon are destroyed. Hence the benefit obtained by performing ‘angarika vinayaki’ and ‘angarika sankashti’ is equivalent to a series of vinayakis and sankashtis performed in a year. Angaraki is not a vowed religious observance like others performed throughout the day and night. It is an observance composed of five prahars (one prahar is a period of about three hours), four during the day and one at night. According to the ritual, a meal should be taken at moonrise. Thus that meal becomes a part of the ritual and is not partaken of to end the fast.
SANKASHTI CHATURTHI : This vow is done by devotees on fourth day of sencond fortnight of every month. On this day devotees fast for whole day & break their fast after having darshan of Lord moon & worshipping Lord Ganesha. This vow is observed strictly by devotees to get rid of problems in there life. On this day in the evening after having bath first, worship Lord Ganesh, offer 21 Durvas, do Aarti, show Naivedyam & pray for fulfilling your desires. Then have Lord moon’s darshan, offer his Naivedyam, give meal to Brahman & break your fast. In this way if vow is observed all your desires are fulfilled.
In the 120 days from the full moon (pournima) in Ashadh till that in Kartik of the Hindu lunar calendar, yama frequencies, which have the ability to destroy and are tama predominant reach the earth in greater quantities. During this period they are of a greater intensity. However since during the same period, that is from the fourth day (chaturthi) in the bright fortnight of Bhadrapad till Anant chaturdashi, Ganesh frequencies too reach the earth in greater quantities it helps in reducing the intensity of the yama frequencies. Thus celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi derives the benefits from Ganesh frequencies and helps in reducing the effects of yama frequencies.
According to the science of Spirituality, Lord Ganesh is worshipped to imbibe His qualities and as a result, experience spiritual and worldly benefits. To experience these benefits to the maximum, the images of Lord Ganesh used in the worship should be sattvik. Hence, with the aim of bringing maximum benefit to devotees, the Sanatan has prepared images of Lord Ganesh containing a significant proportion of Lord Ganesh’s divine principle (Ganesh tattva). Source: From the book “ The Auspicious……The Beginning” (Siddhivinayak library)
Once upon a time, there used to be a demon called “Analasur”. He had the ability to spit flames. The demon used to trouble all the Gods. The Gods were distressed by Analasur’s terror and tried their best to get rid of him. When all of them failed, they appealed to Ganesha for help. Ganesha had a long battle with the demon that went for a long time. At the end, Ganesha swallowed the demon. But since the demon was made of flame, the heat became unbearable for the God. Various Gods turned to the rescue of Ganesha, prescribing their own methods, but to no avail. The sacred water from Vishnu’s lotus was administered to Him. This gave the Lord some respite, although he was still in pain. The snake of Lord Shiva was then tied around his waist. This also helped but the pain still persisted. As a last resort, 21 durvas were given to him and the Lord was finally cured. Ever since, 21 durvas are offered to the Lord as a token of devotion.
In the royal meeting of God Indra there was a Gandharva named Krounch. He was a good singer. One day he laughed at one sage. With anger the sage cursed Krounch that your next birth would be in the family of mouse. At that very moment Krounch fell near the hermitage of sage Parashara, where one of the incarnation of Lord Ganesha was living and is called as Gajanana. Like other mice, this mouse too started troubling the people from the hermitage. Making holes in the hermitage, started eating food. Sage Parashara called his son Gajanana, to get rid from the trouble. Gajanana cought Krounch, who is in the appearance of mouse. He begged for the mercy and asked to give a boon. Krounch said, ‘I don’t want anything for myself. Instead I shall take you a ride. I shall take you where ever you desire!’ At that very moment, Lord Ganesha sat on its back. Lord Ganesha reduced his weight which is bearable to the mouse, without reducing the size. From then onwards mouse became the vehicle or vahan of Lord Ganesha .
Tulsi, the daughter of Dharmaraja. the God of righteousness, was roaming about in the world in ecstatic devotion to Lord Narayana, in her youthful days White thus going about, she came upon the banks of the sacred river Ganga. There she wandered into a serene ashram full of fragrant flowers and plants swaying in cool breeze. She saw Ganeshji, who was in the prime of his youth, beautifully dressed in yellow silks, and lost in deep contemplation on Lord Krishna. She was captivated by the beauty of Ganeshji, and entreated him to marry her. Ganeshji turned down the proposal, saying that he was least interested in married life. Tuisi became angry and cursed Ganeshji saying : “You shall surely marry !”, whereupon Ganeshji also pronounced a counter—curse on her : “You too shall get married, but to an Asura, and thereafter you shall be cursed to be born as a plant by the wise men”. Realising her mistake, Tulsi pleaded for mercy, and extolled Ganeshji with divine hymns. Ganeshji relented and said: “Though you shall be born as a plant, you will inherit the essence of all fragrance. All the gods will be happy with your fragrance, and Lord Hari will be specially glad to receive worship with your leaves. But you shall not be acceptable in the worship offered to me”. So saying, Ganeshji left that place and went to Badrikashram.
Human beings through history have formulated many different names and forms for the Divine or Eternal. Just as we have many names and forms for other things, whether it is foods, or types of art, so too, in religion a similar great diversity has been created. The Western world has prided itself in monotheism, the idea that there is only One God as the highest truth. Western religions have said that only the names and forms which refer to this One God are valid but those which appear to worship another God, or a multiplicity of divinities, must be false. They have restricted the names and forms they use in religious worship, and insist that only one set is true and correct and others are wrong or unholy. As a universal formulation Hinduism accepts all formulations of Truth. According to the universal view there is only One Reality, but it cannot be limit ed to a particular name or form. Though Truth is One it is also Universal, not an exclusive formulation. It is an inclusive, not an exclusive Oneness – a spiritual reality of Being – Consciousness – Bliss, which could be called God but which transcends all names. The different Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism represent various functions of this One Supreme Divinity, and are not separate Gods. Having many names for something is not necessarily a sign of ignorance of its real nature. On the contrary, it may indicate an intimate knowledge of it. For example, Eskimos have forty-eight different names for snow in their language because they know snow intimately in its different variations, not because they are ignorant of the fact that all snow is only one. The many different deities of Hinduism reflect such an intimate realization of the Divine on various levels.