Volume 9 - Issue 09
August 2011
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Posted on: Sept 01, 2011


Rejoicing and Realising the Ganesha Principle

Part - 02


Every Sai educational edifice be it Prasanthi Nilayam, Brindavan or elsewhere has a statue of Lord Ganesha in its premises. Every Sai Bhajan session begins with a Ganesha bhajan. Prayer session, be it in the college or in the hostels, always begin with a prayer to Vinayaka. And so is the case with recitation of Vedic hymns; it starts with the incantation “Gananaam Twa..” Lord Ganesha therefore pervades every facet of the students' life and routine in Baba's schools and colleges. That is the reason why these students develop such a intimate and interesting bond with this bewitching form of the lord. Ganesha is almost like a good friend to them. Just to give you an instance here is the personal experience of Mr. Rameswar Prusty, a former student of Bhagawan's university who currently serves in the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust:


One fine morning, after a few days of my stay in the hostel, an incident occurred which revealed to me my true friend. After the bell had rung I started for the Institute. I stopped awhile to offer prayers to Lord Ganesha installed in front of our hostel. When I opened my eyes I heard, “Why do you boys leave me alone at the hostel?”

I thought of the loneliness that pervaded the hostel after all the boys had left for the Institute. A little surprised I replied “Oh! Lord, why don’t You accompany me to the Institute? I would be blessed to have Your company.”

Lord Ganesha seemed pleased with my words. He stepped out of His beautiful little enclave and I could see His little vehicle following its Master. I wondered about the merit that I must have acquired in my past lives to have this blissful vision. His form was small, coming only up to my chest. Wooden sandals adorned his feet. A vision of that beautiful dancing trunk would rid one of all the sorrows of this world. The trunk sometimes made movements in the air or rested on the protruding belly. Dressed in yellow and green silk, Lord Ganesha looked more beautiful than anything in the world. The little mouse was very happy, as it was moving out with its Master after many days.


Crossing the hostel gate we moved on towards the Institute. After a while our conversation began. With keen interest I listened to Him narrate the events relating to His birth, getting an elephant head and how He became the Agrapujya. This narration thrilled me to the core. Once in a while I tried to speak as He was narrating and whenever I did such a mistake He would punish me by hitting me with His trunk. It was more than a welcome reward for me. Of course they served the purpose too.

As we moved towards the institute a lot of vehicles were moving about on the road, and He was on my right. So every time a vehicle neared me I was afraid that they would collide with Lord Ganesha. Understanding my thought He replied, “Do not worry. None can harm Me. I am invisible to everyone else except you.”

On reaching the Institute we walked towards the temple built for Him. As we ascended the steps He was ready to receive the prayers of many students who were waiting there. I made pradakshina, offered prayers and left for the classroom.

The forenoon session was over. I descended the steps on my way back to the hostel for lunch. He was there throughout, overlooking the studies and classes of all students. Now He too was ready to come back to hostel.

I was blessed again. This time we talked things which were material and spiritual. We reached the hostel gate. A sudden thought seized me: “What about lunch for Lord Ganesha?”

The all-knowing Ganapathi immediately said, “I need none of the food you take. Your Vidya and Jnana (knowledge and wisdom) are My food. If you study well My hunger is satisfied. So you go and have your lunch. I shall wait for you.” I walked into the hostel. He waited for me in His beautiful little enclave.

I had my lunch. I was filled with the thoughts of Lord Ganesha. Soon I left my room for the afternoon session of classes. He was waiting for me. As I offered my prayers He came out to walk with me. I had thought about talking to Him on some topics and questions. However He said, “We have spoken a lot this morning, from now on we shall walk quietly.” I obeyed His command. As had happened in the morning He came back with me to the hostel after the classes.

Our walks continued every day. He came with me to the library often. He always had the blissful smile on His enchanting face. I had at last found my friend, my soul companion. 

Once you befriend God, the possibilities of what you can do with your life is truly limitless. It is a state of complete freedom to follow one's heart and be a conduit of His Love. It is to raise the awareness of His students to this level that perhaps Swami laid so much emphasis on the celebration of this festival in the right spirit. And what is the right spirit? Bhagawan explained this in His priceless discourses on this occasion as well as at other times.

For example, in His Ganesh Chaturthi discourse in 2002 Baba explained the inner meaning of the rat being the vehicle of Lord Ganesha.


Today is the sacred festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. ‘Ga’ symbolises buddhi (intellect), ‘Na’ stands for vijnana (wisdom). So Ganapati is the Master of Buddhi and Vijnana. The universe is sustained by Ganas (gods) and Ganapati is their Master. In this world, everybody has a master, but Ganapati has none; He is a master unto Himself. This is the birthday of the Master of Masters.

Ganapati is also called Mooshika Vahana (One who has a mouse as His vehicle). You may wonder how a small mooshika can carry on its back a hefty personality like Vinayaka. Here mooshika does not refer to a mere mouse. It symbolises the darkness of ignorance because it is in darkness that the mouse moves about. Hence Mooshika Vahana is One who subdues ignorance and dispels darkness. It is only when we understand the inner significance of the Vinayaka principle that we will be able to celebrate Vinayaka Chaturthi properly.

On another occasion talking about the form of Lord Ganesha, Baba said the elephantine head signifies intelligence and qualities of leadership. The elephant in the jungle is a symbol of might and magnitude and makes its own way in the forest. It also shows others the way. It is not only highly intelligent but is also known for its fidelity and gratitude. Intelligence without gratitude is valueless. And this is the lesson we need to learn from this enchanting form of Lord Ganesha, even as we adore and worship Him.

In His Ganesh Chaturthi discourse in 1997, Baba revealed the true principle of Vinayaka.


If you want to lead a life of happiness, free from troubles and difficulties, you have to pray to Ganapathi, the Remover of all Obstacles. There is no need to go to any temple. Vighneshvara dwells in each one of you as your Buddhi (intelligence) and Vijnaana (wisdom). When you make proper use of your inherent intelligence and wisdom, you will be successful in life.


Students! Realise that you have a conscience which is your guide and that it represents your divinity. Ganapathi, who presides over the senses, should be your guide in acquiring mastery over the senses. There is an inner meaning in worshipping Ganapathi for ten days. The idea is, each day should be dedicated to acquiring control over one of the indriyas (sense organs).

Students and devotees should realise that control of the senses is quite simple. What is necessary, is to not encourage negative feelings when they arise, and to adopt a positive attitude. For instance, Buddha confronted the anger of a demon with his love and transformed him.

Many students today are subject to depression and are confused. The reason for this is their weakness owing to lack of self-confidence. When there is total faith in God there will be no room for depression.

Students! There is need for observing festivals like Vinaayaka Chathurthi for external satisfaction, but what is more important is to realise the inner significance of Vinaayaka worship. This is likely to grant you lasting effect. The worship of inanimate idols should lead to contemplation on the subtle spiritual entity represented by the idol. This is the process by which realisation of the Atma (Self) takes place.

Realise and act on the basis that the living Divinity is within you; Ganapathi represents the ideal person who is guided by intelligence and wisdom. Engage yourself in acts which will please the Divine such as moderation in speech, giving up ill-will and hatred, and eschewing all bad thoughts and restraint on desires. Combining spiritual practices with academic studies will make your life fruitful.


Therefore what is clear from Baba's message is that Lord Ganesha truly is the Voice of Conscience within us, He is the Intellect and the power of discrimination that has been gifted to each one of us so that we may use them to sanctify our lives; so that we may learn that God Almighty is that Infinitely Powerful Principle who can assume any fascinating form to bestow on us happiness and bliss. Also so that we finally realise that the only way to find fulfillment in our lives is to see the Divine in every being and do only that which will please the Ganesha within us and within every being. Let us always ruminate on this principle of Sai Ganesha that resides and reverberates in us and become a source and a channel of joy for others just like the beautiful Lord Ganesha is!

- Bishu Prusty
Radio Sai Team

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