Lord Ganesha and the Feminine Path of No Resistance
Feminine energies are becoming stronger than ever, both in a regenerative sense (Mother Earth re-balancing and re-shaping things) and in the awareness and sense of community and connection that global changes bring about.
In order to embrace the Feminine within and without, it is time to remove the sense of competition, lack, hierarchical power, struggle, and control that arise from fear, and focus on our intuitive, receptive, and adaptive side, trusting that Divine Consciousness flows through and around us all to experience the world. In other words, it is time to fully surrender to life without losing our vision of a better world.
I’d like to illustrate this with the story of one of my favorite deities of the Hindu pantheon: Lord Ganesha, who is primarily known as the Remover of Obstacles as well as the bestower of wealth and wisdom, and the protective God of beginnings and thresholds. Lord Ganesha is worshiped by different names in different religious orders in India (and beyond India), and also amongst Jains and Buddhists, and he is honored before any new venture and any other deity.
My first encounter with Ganesha happened when I was a kid, while I was visiting a friend who had just moved to a new neighborhood. Her new house was two houses away from a Krishna temple, and she wanted me to come with her to check it out, since she had heard that they offered free sweets and food, and they gathered to dance to the sound of Indian music.
As we entered the house-converted-into-temple in Mexico City (of all places!), a big, beautiful marble Ganesha statue greeted us. As soon as I laid eyes on the cute elephant-headed figure, my heart was filled with joy and love. Of course, we went to visit him many times after that, and he remained one of my favorite Hindu figures ever since, decades before I embarked on any spiritual path or visited India, where you see him everywhere.
The Power of Absolute Presence
I find most interesting that, unlike other Gods or Goddesses, Ganesha is non-operative, and is the only God that accomplishes all errands by presence and not by action. He himself is the manifest cosmos, where duality dissolves—again, by mere presence. His own story reflects this, as he was born out of the desire of Uma (or Parvati, the Goddess of Creation and Lord Shiva’s wife) for a constant companionship, without any help from her husband. This is why Ganesha is known as his mother’s son, or Uma-sutam.
As tradition has it, Lord Shiva was often away and Parvati was frequently occupied by thoughts of a son who could relieve her of her loneliness. One day, while bathing, she was absorbed in thoughts of this nature and inadvertently molded the herbal paste she was using to wash her body with, into a small manly figure. As soon as Parvati wished it had life, the idol transformed into a living child. And so she gave birth to Ganesha, out of her intense desire, by sharing every inch of herself with nature (the herbs with which the paste was made and with which she had rubbed her whole body).
The Goddess asked her child to guard her door and ward off any intruders or interruptions while she finished bathing, so when lord Shiva returned home, he found a stranger at his wife’s door. Honoring his mother’s wishes, Ganesha refused to let him in, and Shiva unleashed his fury by chopping his head off. When Parvati came out and saw what had happened, she was deeply hurt and demanded to have her son’s head replaced!
Shiva ordered his attendants to bring him the first living being they saw to replace the boy’s head, and since the first thing they found was an elephant, the boy’s body was brought back to life with an elephant’s head (this is why he is also known as Gajanana, or the “elephant-headed one”). Lord Shiva then put his ganas, or unruly elements of the cosmos, under the command of this twice-born God, and named him Ganesha (Lord of the ganas).
The Feminine Path of Acceptance and Allowance
Now, curving obstructions or detrimental forces was Ganesha’s inherent nature, since he was Parvati’s son (born of her alone) and in charge of warding off evil, obstacles, and obstructions to her desires even before Lord Shiva played a part in the story; this is why all the other Gods honor Ganesha before any action or impulse to restore balance in the Universe. Ganesha stands at the threshold between desire and reality, and it is by his mere presence that things are allowed to happen without hindrance or obstacle. In this sense, he represents our own feminine nature: that of allowing.
Despite a massive body with a large elephant trunk, Ganesha’s energy is light, playful, and feminine, and his vehicle is a mouse that represents human desire. Mind you, he doesn’t crush it, because without desire there would be no life. So he feeds his vehicle to promote life, yet at the same time he controls it, commanding the threshold between desire and its manifestation. Like a motherly figure, he wants us to cultivate the wisdom to choose the desires that bring us happiness and not those that promote more suffering.
All mythological and symbolic layers aside, Ganesha’s presence truly represents the Feminine within us all. It promotes love, right wisdom, good sense, and trust; it also brings prosperity and wealth to everyone; and it removes mental obstacles to encourage freedom, tolerance, flexibility, compassion, and responsibility. Indeed, it is the awareness of our desires and motivations that helps us remove our resistance and simply allow things to be as they are supposed to—for our learning and growth.
After all, as we continue to remove our resistance to life (i.e., our fears, doubts, and judgments), we allow more Self-awareness to emerge and can make progress toward embracing our divine nature to become One with All again. May Lord Ganesha and his feminine energy remove all your obstacles now and always, so you can fully walk the path of no resistance, connected and flowing with Infinite Consciousness!
And if you need help gaining clarity and insight into how your own resistance may be preventing you from embracing who you really are and creating the life you truly desire, contact me today to get started or go deeper on your journey of self-discovery and self-empowerment!
© 2012 Yol Swan. All rights reserved.