Ganesha and I have a long and abiding relationship. Put simply – I adore him. The elephant-headed Hindu God has a habit of stealing hearts and inspiring lifelong devotion. He is at once a wise and gentle confidant, a fierce protector, a bestower of breathtaking blessings, and he who removes obstacles. Ganesha offers a delectable invitation to welcome the Everyday Sacred into your life.
The first mantra that I ever worked with as a practice was his mantra – Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha. I was at a point in my life where I literally could not see the forest for the trees – my marriage was breaking down and every communication was like talking through water in repeated misunderstandings and paranoid sniping. I was living away from family and friends overseas and maintaining a facade so that no one would suspect how horribly wrong things were going personally. Add to that a rigorous multi-continent travel schedule for work and I was on E.M.P.T.Y. and at a crossroads in life.
On an early summer afternoon, I took my Healing Mantras book to the park and stretched out on the ancient land in Hampstead Heath. Spring and summer in England are breathtaking, but I could see none of it. Pain, regret, and the feeling that I was caught in this horrific pattern were overwhelming me. Laying there in tears, I took a deep breath and imagined Ganesha. I thought of my own treasured Ganeshi statues that were in storage still in the USA and reaching across the miles, I began to chant … Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha.
An amazing thing happened after about 30 minutes of repeated chanting, the fist that had been clutching my heart in a death grip for weeks, months even, started to ease. I was so stunned that I could BREATHE again that I sat up and lifted my face to the sun and kept chanting. And this ancient God, this combination of worldly wisdom and remover of obstacles scooped me up into his embrace. I kept chanting and had the sensation of his trunk wrapping around me to gather me close. An hour passed without me even realizing it, my voice was hoarse, but I kept fiercely chanting. The chatter of birds in a blooming tree finally broke my trance. I blinked in almost disbelief. I could see. I could breathe. And I knew without hesitation that Ganesha was not only wrapped around me, but he would continue to have my back.
As Thomas Ashley-Farrand described his experience with the mantra in his book, “I became on Om Gum Ganapatayei chanting machine.”
My days began with the mantra and continued through getting ready for work. I chanted on the Tube. I chanted silently at work during lunch. When the fist began to grip my heart, I whispered the mantra like a talisman. When conflicts with my husband occurred, I chanted in my head, concentrating on the mantra rather than the hurtful barbs. When anxiety rose in my throat, my mind would begin the mantra without a conscious thought from me. I chanted myself to sleep every night. I became the mantra.
Two months after taking up the practice, I left England and my husband. Ganesha as the Remover of Obstacles had removed the one obstacle that I was terrified to remove myself – my husband. The next few years were tough, but I kept on with Ganesha and the mantra.
Now, more than six years later, I use the mantra every morning and whenever I need to gain clarity, release anxiety, negative thoughts, or request guidance in a situation or project.
Ganesha is everywhere in my house … he has multiple altars and nooks in recognition of the embrace and love that he gives me. The fierce protector Ganesha dances by my front door, Ganapati sits front and center on the divine masculine altar, and my mini Ganesha is on my desk. Ganesha is on my computer screen. We talk everyday and I frequently give him kisses as I walk past his altars. My Ganesha likes white and yellow flowers, jade and other green crystals, keys, coins, malas, candy sometimes, and sweet incense.
Spring is here and we may be focusing on clearing energies and making way for the NEW beginnings that are ready to enter. Getting the house cleaned and going on a major throw-out-the-old mission through closets and bins is happening here, but an emotional and energetic clearing is important as well!
Move with Ganesha, the energy of Spring, and new beginnings:
1. Rock the energy of the eclipse cycle that is happening with the recent Solar Eclipse and the upcoming Lunar Eclipse on April 4, 2015. Eclipse seasons are powerful times of beginnings and endings. Note the patterns and move through the endings chanting!
2. Invite Ganesha into your life to help with some needed clearing and obstacle-busting! Chant the mantra (see below) or …
3. Listen to the mantras for meditation and give yourself a boost. The benefits of mantra are palpable and potent even when you listen to a mantra repeatedly. Eventually, you will be able to chant along and dance with the beneficent Lord Ganesha!
4. Tosha Silver is celebrating her love affair with Ganesha on her Facebook page – join in!
5. Set up an altar to Ganesha as a reminder to make room for his wisdom and blessings in your life. Ganesha is frequently found on my deity-rescue missions at stores like Ross and Home Goods. Look for the elephant and bring him home!
6. Check out my Ganesha playlist on Spotify to energize your Spring cleaning!
Chanting Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha to Ganesha:
Ganesh is the son of Lord Shiva and his Shakti Goddess – Parvati. He is the God of Wisdom, Knowledge, Harmony, and Bliss, as well as being the Remover of Obstacles. He is revered at the beginning of all ceremonies and rituals in deference to his creation of new beginnings. Ganesha is also the Lord of letters and learning and is said to be the scribe for the Vedic texts. He is OM.
Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha
Om Guhm Guh-nuh-puh-tuh-yea Nah-mah-hah
—Om and salutations to Ganapati (Ganesha)
Resources for Ganesh:
Healing Mantras: Using Sound Affirmations for Personal Power, Creativity, and Healing by Thomas Ashley-Farrand
Loving Ganesa by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami
Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha article from Humanity Healing
Lord Ganesha: his birth story, symbolism meaning and practice from Amritapura.org
More of my posts about Mantras: