Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ganesh Chaturthi

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Ganesha - The Lord of Success, click picture for more information
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My longtime friend and colleague Patricia Kelly sent me the following description of the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi along with a poem she recently wrote to the elephant-headed Hindu deity Ganesh. Ganesh/Ganesha--commonly known as the "Remover of Obstacles"--is the Hindu version of the "Opener of the Ways" archetype.

Patricia's blogs include:

Eva :-)


Ganesh Chaturthi
(in case you don't know) is a festival celebrated this time of year to honor Ganesh (some say it's his birthday). Depending on what web site you read from the festival runs either a week or 11 days. I started observing last year and did it for a week, so that's now my "tradition." :-) I sit at a special carefully decorated altar dedicated only to Him twice a day, giving him various gifts and meditating. At the end in the festival in India, the temple Ganesh statue is taken to a body of water and submerged, with much wailing and mourning. I believe this is symbolic of Ganesh's return to our unconcious, where He's always been. I submerge a small bronze figurine of Ganesh in a special bowl of water, acknowledge my sorrow that this special time is over, and welcome Him back to my unconscious. The below was written this morning, the first day of this year's festival (see note at end for more info):


Oh, Deity of Blinding Light,
my unknown father,
free me from this head
of mine, cut this obstacle
from my knotted neck
in one clean swipe

Relieve me of its weight
of eyes that see as through the darkest glass
of ears that hear only ancient echos and newest fears
of a busy mouth deeply stained by bitterness
of a nose that breathes but is not inspired of spirit

Then do not rush to comfort my Great Mother
but let Her grief echo in the emptiness
that bleeds where my understandings roiled
before your blade’s release

Let Her tears flood over me until
You are moved to gift me with a new
way to comprehend

And until this gift, I will wait unknowing
in the flooding darkness, knowing only
that You will keep Your promise
of transformation

Patricia Kelly © September 2007

One of Ganesh’s titles is "Remover of Obstacles." This was written on first day of Ganesh Chaturthi 2007 (September 15), inspired by the story of Ganesh’s origin: Before Ganesh had an elephant’s head, he was guarding His Mother’s (Parvati) bath. He and His father (Shiva) did not recognize each other, and when Ganesh refused Shiva entrance to Parvati’s bath, Shiva cut off Ganesh’s head. Parvati’s grief was so overwhelming that Shiva went out into the jungle and cut off the head of the first animal He saw, an elephant, and made it Ganesh’s new head.

bright blessings to you all,
Patricia (a/k/a Roswila)

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