Figure of Ganesha
Ganesha's figure is well known in India.
The elephant face (Gaja vadana), winnowing pan like ears (Shoorpa-Karna),
a huge belly (Lam bodara), four hands (Chaturbhuja) -three of them carrying
Pasha (a rope), Ankusha (a spear-like weapon curved at one end) and Modaka
(a pudding like sweet dish) - and the fourth held in a gesture which assures
and protection to the devotee, a beautiful
body of red complexion - this is how he is
pictured. And he rides a rat.
There is a story that Parvati created
Ganesha with the outer dusty layers of her body. On the day of the Ganesha
festival an earthen idol is worshipped. This reminds us of his relation
to the earth. The idol has four hands. One right hand holds a Pasha. This
is endowed with divine greatness. With the help of this, Ganesha attracts
the minds of his devotees. The other hand bestows boons. This indicates
that those who throw themselves on Ganesha's mercy need fear nothing. Similarly,
one left hand carries an Ankusha. This is - a symbol to show that Ganesha
will destroy our ignorance. The other hand holds a vessel filled with Modakas.
This shows that Ganesha brings joy to every -
Ganesha's bulky head symbolizes his
extraordinary intelligence. His ears are broad like winnowing pans. You
know winnowing- pans are used to winnow grain. What happens then? The husk
and the grain get separated. So does Ganesha distinguish between truth
and untruth. It may also be said that the broad ears symbolize his capacity
to listen to the prayers of all his devotees with great attention. While
his ever-moving trunk teaches that one should be active always, his single
tusk denotes single-mindedness in action.His huge belly signifies that
the entire Brahmanda (universe) is hidden within Ganapati.
He rides a rat. The rat personifies
evil qualities like anger, too much of pride and
selfishness. Riding on the rat shows
that Ganesha checks these evil passions.