As Ganesha Chaturthi is upon us, I again find myself doing a re-evaluation of the nature of God. I tend to think of all the different Ishta Devatas as aspects of one GOD rather than a system whereby there is GOD, and other minor devas/devis doing GOD’s bidding. There are certain aspects of that Oneness that we pray to fr certain things, like protection, success, understanding, etc. That is my opinion. Out of respect for those with differing outlooks I explain that upfront. Of course this is not the absolute truth, and if you catch me on another day I may see things differently. Could be both.
I have a good understanding for those who worship Ganesha as their own personal Ishta Devata because I look at it this way. My Own, Vishnu is the sustaining power and protector. Ganesha is the remover of obstacles. As humans we often feel we are being looked out for and protected when obstacles to our comfort are removed from our lives for us. Therefore I can see Vishnu and Ganesha as parts of One and the Same. With the obstacles removed, we are still required to take the appropriate action to move beyond the previously perceived obstacle.
As Ganesha is the son of Shiva, who represents Destruction and Transformation, it is also easy to see how Ganesha shows us that, “well the whole world may be crumbling around me, but hey, at least now there is not a wall in front of me, and I am free to build something new.”
Oneness in perceived multiplicity. A beautiful thing. Shubh Ganesha Chaturthi, everybody!