Lessons from Shri Ganesha

While several puranas narrate the stories on the birth of Shri Ganesha in different versions and other major episodes involving him, there are many management lessons to be learnt from these stories and episodes.

Ganadhipathi

Leader of troops (attendants of Bhagwan Shiva) – Bhagwan Shiva throws a challenge to both his sons- Ganesha and Kartikeya (Skanda), saying he will appoint the person as the leader of his troops (ganas) who is able to go around the world, take bath in all the holy rivers and come back first. By virtue of his physical limitations Ganesha realizes that he cannot win this race yet he never loses his heart. He seeks advice of his father Bhagwan Shiva to overcome his limitations and win the race with his brother kartikeya. On Bhagwan Shiva’s advice, he prays Bhagwan Vishnu and with his blessings Ganesha wins the race even without moving from mount Kailash, the abode of Bhagwan Shiva.

Lesson – When there is a problem and one has a limitation, then to overcome that problem, one should not give up but seek expert’s advice to sail through such problem successfully.

Role in writing Mahabharat

Ved Vyas was searching a person who could assist him in writing the Mahabharat while he (Ved Vyas) goes on narrating the epic. Narad Muni suggested him to approach Shri Ganesha, saying he is the only person who could comprehend the essence of epic Mahabharat  with his wisdom and write  flawlessly. When Ved Vyas approaches Shri Ganesha, he puts a condition that Ved Vyas should keep narrating the epic without break. In return Ved Vyas also lays down a condition saying Shri Ganesha must write only after he has fully understood that narrative of Ved Vyas on Mahabharat. Both prove to match one other. At one stage when the quill with which Shri Ganesh was writing the epic Mahabharat breaks down, he immediately cuts one of his tusks and continues writing without a break.

Lesson– Knowledge is the most powerful weapon. Person with knowledge is respected everywhere. Along with the knowledge, out of box thinking is equally important to handle a crisis situation like how Shri Ganesha uses his tusk as a substitute to the broken quill to continued writing the epic Mahabharat without taking a break.

His physical features

Shri Ganesha is also known as Vighneshwara, which means one who removes the obstacles. He is an epitome of knowledge and wisdom in Hindu Dharma.

Lesson– Knowledge is important in life. Knowledge is awareness or knowing the facts/ information. However, mere knowledge is not enough and one also needs to have wisdom in equal measure. Wisdom gives the ability to use the information/facts to one’s advantage. In short, wisdom is the application of knowledge to fulfill one’s goals/ objectives. A man with wisdom knows how to surmount the obstacles in life to achieve his goals. It is said that the elephant head of Shri Ganesha symbolizes wisdom and endurance.

Shri Ganesha has big ears and small but sharp eyes. It is a symbol of being a good listener and highly focused with concentrated mind.

Lesson– The statement mentioned above reinforces the doctrine that an effective communicator is one who is also a good listener. Eyes that are small but sharp are a symbol of being focused with concentration. It also indicate a very high level of determination to accomplish the task on hands.

Tantric Vidya

Shri Ganesha has an important place in Tantric Vidya. Gana also means individual beings or elements of the universe. Isha means one who is capable of doing what he desires, in short the Almighty. The force of gravity monitors and controls the movements of all the individual beings or elements of the universe. Ganesha is the centre of all gravitational force or energy and represents the muladhara chakra. In Kundalini Yoga, muladhara chakra (mula= original , adhara= base) occupies a vital role as it is the base of the spine and also supports it .

Prayer or worship per se does not solve any problem. However, it gives the strength, courage, confidence and positive attitude which in turn will enable us to resolve the problems by ourselves. Hindu Dharma has many Devi and Devtas like- Bhagwan Shiva for salvation or liberation, Maa Shakti for power, Maa Lakshmi for wealth etc. Praying or worshiping them gives the inner strength and confidence to the people to continue their efforts in pursuit of the fulfillment of their desires or goals, be it salvation or liberation, power, wealth etc.

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About the Author

B.N.V. Parthasarathi
Ex Senior Banker, Management and Financial Consultant, Visiting faculty at premier B Schools and Universities. E mail- [email protected]in