In the game of cricket, having scored 99 runs, when a bats- man stands poised on the threshold of that much coveted century, he experiences the moment that is best associated with Ganesha.
Fear and uncertainty envelope him; between him and his achievement stand hurdles, both real and imaginary:
a possible spin from the bowler can overwhelm him, his own anxiety can paralyze him, cheering fans can distract him. He needs divine intervention then. He needs to focus, get rid of all hurdles, perform, get the final run, and achieve what he so longs for. In other words, he needs to think of Ganapati.
This book brings together 99 meditations to better understand the stories, symbols and rituals of that adorable elephant-headed Hindu god who removes hurdles and brings prosperity and peace. Known variously as Ganapati, Gajanana, Vinayaka or Pillayar, he can help all of us score a century in the game called life.
Devdutt Pattanaik is a bestselling author whose works focus on myth and mythology and their relevance in modern times. He is currently the Chief Belief Officer at Future Group, and writes regularly in The Times of India and The Economic Times. To know more, do visit www.dcvdutt.com
Ganesha is an organic god, transforming over space and time, geography and history. In Vedic times, all we had was his name. Later, the name came to be associated with malevolent spirits who had to be appeased. Then he came to acquire a form, one that connected him with feared forest beings, the Yakshas, and wild animals, the elephant and rats and serpents. Eventually he became a benevolent spirit, associated with vegetation, with betel leaves, areca nuts, turmeric, hibiscus and grass, whose name is invoked at the start of every ceremony. He was welcomed into the mainstream pantheon as the son of Shiva and Shakti and his fame spread as the patron deity of the medieval Maratha warlords during whose reign scriptures were written to his glory. During the freedom struggle, his worship became the rallying point of communities. And in modern times, he has become the god who understands modernity and the youth and their yearning to break free from the shackles of tradition. Of all the gods in the Hindu pantheon, he alone allows his form to be re-shaped and re-imagined and recreated as devotees will it.
Thus, he reminds us constantly that:
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