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Gananayak Ganapati

Shree Ganesh presents altogether a different image compared to other deities. He is called Ganapati because he is the God of group (Gana). He keeps intact identity (swatva) of all the members of the group under him, maintains their self-respect but at the same time he very skillfully sees that the members of the group love their group. Ganesh has the art of keeping them disciplined without hurting their pride. Ganapati, the leader, must be non-egoistic and must have the ability to appreciate virtues of others and help to promote them. Only in this way will he retain his hold on the group. The members of the group should be ready for self-offering (samarpan) for Ganapati. In self-offering there should be self-respect and modesty but not fear, arrogance and helplessness. The life of self-offering person is a truly developed life. In self-offering all the strength and faculties are to be utilised for the leader of the group (Gananayak). The mind and intellect of all the members of the group will be dedicated to him and they will think of him only.

God has bestowed on each creature different power in a lesser or a higher degree. That creature should use that power with discretion (vivek). When one uses this power for one's selfish gains only, the power instead of being beneficial for the good of the people and for the welfare of the society turns out to be harmful and destructive. God is the bestower of this power. The creature has not acquired that by itself. This power should be used by it to attain prosperity and progress. Only a human being is capable of doing this. The creator of this world does not approve of using this power by the human beings for their selfish ends and thereby display its destructive nature. The power should be used for the welfare only. Just as the power should be used properly for the welfare of the society, it should also be used for the Almighty. The power employed only for selfish gains turns out to be inhuman and monstrous and the power used for God (Narayan) turns into Narayani shakti. This is what Lord Ganapati desires from the heart of hearts. Ganapati suggests this beneficial way by his own conduct.

If one observes closely the image of Shree Ganesh, we can see him in Omkar form. If we invoke this form (Omkar swaroop) before commencing any work, it succeeds without any obstacles. By worshipping this deity in Omkar swaroop, the divine power in man is awakened and this power fulfils all his worldly desires as well as desires pertaining to the other world. When this phenomenal power of Omkar pervades day to day life of any person, his mission of life may be considered as fulfilled.

This deity is also worshipped as 'Vratpataye'. For rooting out beastly passions from human life and turning it into a pure divine life, Vow (Vrat) is most essential. Vrat purifies the human mind and intellect. Observance of Vrat is very important for shaping the character and retaining it as such in pure form. Just as Vratpati is a form of Ganapati there is an another form viz. 'Vratyapati'. At present the uncivilised people are dominating the society. Therefore discontent, dissatisfaction and unrest are riding over human life. To do away with this state of affairs and to make human life joyful for ever and contented, we must invoke this deity.

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