The Book of Symbols: Ganesha

Ganesha is a symbol often incorporated in Satya’s collections. Ganesha depicts a man with a round belly and elephant head widely found in India and Nepal. Some Hindu sects worship him as a deity, and some Buddhists as well; there’s even a Ganesh museum in Thailand and a festival in India.

Ganesha is a multifaceted symbol. At his base, Ganesha represents success; he is the remover of spiritual and physical obstacles. He is also known as the Lord of Beginnings (which is where most people find themselves when obstacles are removed!) Some believe that he clears the way for travelers, and buddhists associate him with learning, intellect and wisdom. There are hundreds of fables, which stress his love of intelligence and learning and emphasizing change.

Ganesha has one tusk, and there are many theories as to why he only has one tusk. Some say that the tusk was broken off in the pursuit of knowledge so that he could use it to transcribe scriptures and others connect the loss of the tusk to great battles and even to throw at the moon. His large elephantine head symbolizes thinking big, and usually features small eyes for concentration. Ganesha always features a big belly-to digest the good and bad in life.

The contrast between the large ears and small mouth isn’t just about the physical aspects of an elephant-wisdom shows that if you listen more and talk less it is the path to learning. You may have seen pictures of an elephant with four arms, that’s definitely Ganesh! His arms traditionally holding candy, a rope (or a noose!) an axe and his missing tusk. Although it varies, he could be holding a water lily, or having his hand in the form of protection, or a hamsa. Don’t worry about the noose though-it’s not an obstacle, but usually is meant to show that earthly desires can get a hold of you.

You will find that in terms of art, Ganesha has more illustrations, tattoos and works of art than any other Hindu deity, and it’s because of these distinctive characteristics that make him such an iconic figure and offer such variety. Many of the people who worship him pay special respect before starting something new-from a new business venture to day to day work.  Ganesha is supposed to be a fun loving god-you can find Ganesh festivals everywhere, the most widely known in Pune and Mumbai that attracts people from all over the world.

If you’d like to incorporate Ganesha jewelry into your everyday wear, we have a few picks for yogis, travelers and the success-seeking alike:

Yoginis who practice Kundalini might choose a bracelet with Ganesha to center their base chakra-which is where they believe Ganesha resides.  With red is the color of the first chakra, a carnelian tapas bracelet is a perfect choice.

ganesha bracelet

Traveling and want to make sure that you don’t hit any obstacles? Try the pretty Gold Ganesha Pendant, which can dress up an outfit but also looks good with a beachy dress and flip flops.

golden ganesha necklace

And if you’d like to keep success into your day-to-day life for 2014, try our Ganesha Necklace featuring Jasper gemstones, combining neutral earth tones and hopefully helping in the removal of obstacles!

ganesha necklace with jasper