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Posts Tagged ‘Ganesha’

Om gung Ganapataye namaha

Celebrated as Ganesha’s birthday, Ganesha “Chaturthi” (which literally means the fourth) refers to the fourth day after the new moon of the lunar month Bahdrapada, which usually falls around August-September. For me, this is a day to celebrate the grounding, strengthening qualities of this sweet divine energy, also known as Ganapati or Vinayaka.

The elephant-headed Ganesha is most well-known as that force that removes obstructions in our path. His commitment and steadiness make him the perfect ally in facing the challenges and fears that arise through the course of life. Associated with mula dhara, the root chakra, Ganesha helps build a strong foundation and is traditionally invoked at the beginning of any undertaking. He provides a sense of security and groundedness, yet with a spontaneity that comes of being well-rooted in one’s beliefs and responding to life from that clarity.

In India, it is customary to celebrate this day by taking a clay idol of Ganesha and, with prayers and mantras, cast it into a river. This morning, I went out to Town Lake and held my own Ganesha puja. I prayed for clarity, perseverance, and courage as I continue to find my way to be of service to the great teachings of Ayurveda and Yoga.

May the obstacles in all of our lives vanish as we connect firmly to our root beliefs.

Om ekadantam mahakayam lambodaram gajananam

Vighnanashakaram devam herambam pranamyaham.

“O single-tusked, great-bodied, big-bellied, elephant-faced

Remover of all obstacles and difficulties, I bow to thee.”

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Om gung Ganapataye namaha!

In Vedic tradition, at the start of new undertakings it is customary to honor and invoke Ganesha, also known as Ganapati. Ganesha represents that energy or force that clears the way before us, removing any obstacles that may be in our path.

He is depicted as the elephant-headed god in the Hindu pantheon, a powerful force to be reckoned with, but also a gentle soul whose dear companion is a mouse. A scribe himself, he is especially fond of academic endeavors, so I invite him to smile brightly on our virtual gathering here and bestow his gifts of reliability, dedication and brilliance. May our studies be filled with light!

What Is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is commonly translated as “the science of life.” With such a broad scope, Ayurveda offers an incredibly diverse set of teachings on how to maintain longevity so that we can fulfill our dharma, the mission or purpose that we are called to serve on this planet.

Established in the region that is now India some time between 2000 and 5000 years ago (depending on which expert you consult), Ayurveda is the oldest continuously practiced health system still in use today. More than a regional set of practices, it is built upon a coherent cosmology and set of principles that underpins local variations observed in different areas.

The word Ayurveda comes from the roots ayuh, which means “life,” and veda, which means “science or knowledge.” As a health system, Ayurveda includes the knowledge not only of how to address illness or disease, but of how to live well.

“Ayurveda” is a Sanskrit word, an ancient language that is not in common usage anywhere today. It continues to be studied, however, because so many ancient wisdom practices are preserved in Sanskrit texts, including many meditation traditions, Yoga and Ayurveda.

Ayurveda offers guidance on many lifestyle practices including dietary choices, food preparation, herbal remedies, methods for detoxification, behaviors to attain desired outcomes, yogic practices, appropriate exercise, and much, much more.

In my next post, I’ll cover the incredibly important concept of the tridosha, one of the pillars of the Ayurveda system. Stay tuned! Use the “subscribe” button at the top right of this page to have future posts sent to your In Box.

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