But, admiration of Lord Ganesha is not limited to India, for his influence is worldwide. Devotees and statues (or "murti") of Ganesh can be found around the globe, by both those who are practicing Hindus and those who are not.
Ganesha is known as the Remover of Obstacles and the God of Success and Prosperity. He is also known as the destroyer of evils and the god of education, knowledge, wisdom, wealth and domestic harmony. In India, no new undertaking, whether it is a new business, a marriage, a new job, taking an exam, or any other endeavor, is started without first making an offering or prayer to Lord Ganesha and asking for His blessing. (Next time you visit an Indian restaurant or grocery store, look around, you're bound to see an image of Ganesh!)
There are many different ways that Ganesh is portrayed in the form of statues and pictures, but in many cases you will find the following traits and symbolism:
Asking for Assistance from Lord Ganesha
You don't have to be a Hindu to ask Lord Ganesha for assistance. He is an all-loving God, available to assist anyone who will take the time to connect with Him. If there are obstacles that you are facing in life, if you feel stuck, if things are just not "going right," then turn to Ganesh and ask Him to help you. You may just be surpised by the assistance you receive!
Here is the easiest and most effective way to ask Ganesha for help:
That's it! It's that easy. When you have done this once, it is said that you will then have a permanent and ongoing relationship and connection with Ganesh. Speak to Him anytime you wish, as many times as you wish. It does not have to be a formal meditation. Take a moment in your day, if you feel the need, close your eyes and speak to Him using the above method.
Another way that you can invoke the power of Lord Ganesha is by repeating one of his mantras. In the simplest sense, mantras are ancient Sanskrit words of power. Each syllable of a mantra resonates a certain vibration. Mantras are used in meditation, to focus the mind, but they are also used to invoke the blessing of a Deity. What is happening when you repeat a mantra over and over, is that you are matching your own vibrational frequency to that of the mantra and its purpose (wealth, health, success, knowledge, etc.). Each of the Hindu Deities has their own mantra or mantras, which invoke the type of energy that the Deity represents. (To learn more about the power of mantras, you can read about my ebook on Mantras by clicking here or visit my bookstore to see wonderful books written on the subject.
The following is one of the most popular and most powerful mantras to invoke the assistance of Lord Ganesha and to remove the obstacles in your life. To work with it, simply repeat it aloud (chant) over and over again, or repeat it silently to yourself. You will see the most benefit from this practice if you do it daily, for at least 4-6 weeks. It may not take that long to see the benefits, but you will come to realize the full power of the mantra if you continue with its practice. I can personally attest to the fact that this mantra is powerful and that Lord Ganesha has blessed me many times, removing many obstacles from my own life, and opening up new opportunities.
The mantra follows below. I have written the mantra in English transliteration (because you probably can't read Sanskrit!) with phonetic pronounciation below it, so that you can easily learn to pronounce it. However, if you feel the need or just want to hear it for yourself, you may click here join my Yahoo Group. Once you have joined, just click on the "Files" section and scroll down and click on the file that says "omgamganapatayeinamah.wav" to hear the mantra.
May all of your obstacles be removed and may you receive many blessings from Shree Ganesha!