In one of Ganesha’s most well-known stories, where he circles his parents seven times and considers it the circumnavigation of the world [1], Ganesha provides unique teachings for spiritual aspirants by emphasizing the child-like outlook that is desirable for spiritual success. While Kartikaye tries to win the competition through hard work, Ganesha, by his parikrama of Shiva-Parvati, tells them, “Though my vehicle, the mouse, is not so proficient in winning, I am in your refuge. And you are all that I see.”

Shiva-Parvati’s acceptance of Ganesha as the winner shows that for the bhakta who sees the entire universe in the Divine, there is no need to perform any rituals or chant mantras speedily in a place of worship. For such a blessed being, the whole universe turns as small as an atom. It can obviously be crossed it with little effort to meet Shiva.

Happy Birthday to Ganesha!

Meanings: parikrama (circumnavigation), bhakta (devotee)
[1] According to this story in the Shiva Purana, Ganesha and his brother, Kartikaye, once participate in a small competition: the aim is to circle the world, and the winner is to get married first. Kartikaye, who has the better means (the fast-moving peacock as a vehicle), actually circumnavigates the globe, but Ganesha simply circles his parents on his slow-moving mouse and claims victory.

Categories: Spirituality


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