Category Archives: Lord Ganesha

Rituals & Symbolism: Breaking of Coconut

The coconut when it is brought down from the tree is smooth to the touch and has a very pleasant green look. The fibres just beneath are very rough, hard and brown. When the fibres are all removed, inside is the hard shell with three eyes. When the coconut is broken we arrive at the consumable white, milky part and sweet water inside. We normally take the coconut as an offering to the Lord in the temple or offer it at home also to the Lord during our worship. The ritual performed is the breaking of the coconut into two parts and then offering it to the Lord.

Significance: The coconut represents our individual personality. The smooth outer surface of the coconut is the aspect of our personality which we project to the outside world. Inside are the fibres of our raga and dwesha – our strong likes and dislikes which lead to the gamut of emotions (passion, anger, greed, envy, arrogance etc.) in us. They have to be removed layer by layer, but one single desire for the Higher – the Lord is to be retained. Hence the tuft of fibre covering the three eyes is not removed. The hard-nut or the shell represents our ego. 


When this much of spiritual sadhana has been undertaken, we are ready to reach the Lord’s feet. There in His presence, we have to completely surrender our ego which is represented by the breaking of the coconut. Actually the coconut should be broken in the Lord’s divine presence, near His feet. The white portion represents a highly satwic person and the sweet liquid represents the State of Immortality or Bliss reached by such a seeker.

Once the coconut is broken into two, the tuft of fibre is removed exposing the three eyes. After Realisation or Liberation, there is no desire whatsoever in such a person. Of the two portions of the coconut, the portion with three eyes is left behind in the temple at the feet of the Lord. This represents the transcendence of : the three equipments – body, mind and intellect; the three periods of time – past, present and future; the three states – waking, dream and deep sleep; the three gunas – sattva, rajas and tamas. The front portion of the coconut is all that we bring back home. This represents a spiritual seeker after Realisation, a Jeevanmukta who comes back to live in our midst and helps us also to walk and reach the All-perfect State which he has reached. 

In case we bring back both the portions of the coconut, care is taken to make sure that both the parts are not fitted into each other to constitute one whole. The ego has been destroyed, it should not crystallize again!!

“Rituals are an objective dramatisation of the subjective art of self-perfection” ~ Swami Chinmayananda

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Ganesha’s insatiable hunger!

Ganesha and Kubera

Kubera is the treasurer of the heavens and he was very proud of his immense wealth. And he was a miser too! Yet to showcase his wealth and richness, he decided to organize a grand event just once, and invited all the devatas to his golden palace. All the gods who visited Kubera’s palace had a sumptuous meal and glorified Kubera and his hospitality. However, he was not satisfied. He somehow wanted Lord Shiva to visit him and appreciate his wealth and riches.

With this in mind Kubera visited Kailash and requested Lord Shiva to accept his invitation for a meal. Lord Shiva was aware of Kubera’s pride and his extreme attachment to his wealth and decided to teach him a lesson. He accepted the invitation, but said that he will also be accompanied by all his attendants. That was a huge number to feed! Kubera pleaded with the Lord saying that he wanted the Lord alone so that he can attend to him exclusively. The Lord refused saying that if he came, his attendants would also accompany him. Kubera was disappointed. Seeing Kubera’s crest fallen face, Lord Shiva said that instead of all of them he was willing to send his son, Ganesha as a substitute. Kubera immediately became happy! Only one person to feed and that too a child! He couldn’t bargain for more than this! As Kubera was leaving along with Ganesha, the Lord warned Kubera that Ganesha was a voracious eater. Kubera confidently told Shiva that he can handle Ganesha’s appetite.

Having reached the palace, Kubera took Ganesha around so that he could see the beauty and grandeur of his palace. However, Ganesha told Kubera that he was very hungry and went straight to the dining place and sat down to have his food. Kubera immediately ordered his attendants to bring food. The food was brought in a beautiful golden plate, with varieties of dishes and sweets. No sooner the food was placed before him, within a fraction of a second, Ganesha had consumed it. More food was brought and served, but again it immediately disappeared into Ganesha’s mouth.

It is customary to feed a person till he says enough. Hence, Kubera kept on ordering, the food kept on coming from inside, Ganesha kept consuming, and finally the kitchen was totally empty. Kubera told Ganesha that not even a morsel of food was available. Ganesha got angry that Kubera could not feed him and satisfy his hunger as promised. He started consuming whatever he could lay his hands on. The golden utensils, the beautiful furniture, and even the pillars of the palace that Kubera was boasting of, disappeared into Ganesha’s mouth. Kubera pleaded, but all that Ganesha demanded was more food and this time he threatened to eat Kubera himself.

Kubera was terrified. He now realized his mistake and ran to Kailash with Ganesha running behind him. On reaching Kailash, Kubera humbly fell at Lord Shiva’s feet. He begged the Lord to forgive him for his arrogance and save him from Ganesha’s anger. The Lord turned to Ganesha and lovingly gave him a handful of roasted rice flakes to eat. Immediately Ganesha’s hunger was satisfied.

The Lord advised Kubera that wealth has its place in the scheme of things, but wealth alone cannot fulfill all our needs. Wealth is not to be hoarded and kept, but should be intelligently used and shared. Only then Wealth is a blessing!

Some have money, others are loaded with money, some use money, others employ money--- but the most miserable are those who carry money, bury them and sit to guard it all time. They have----but they know not how to make it work for them and for others. - Swami Chinmayananda

[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]

 

Ganesha and Kubera!

Ganesha and Kubera

Kubera is the treasurer of the heavens and he was very proud of his immense wealth. And he was a miser too! Yet to showcase his wealth and richness, he decided to organize a grand event just once, and invited all the devatas to his golden palace. All the gods who visited Kubera’s palace had a sumptuous meal and glorified Kubera and his hospitality. However, he was not satisfied. He somehow wanted Lord Shiva to visit him and appreciate his wealth and riches.

With this in mind Kubera visited Kailash and requested Lord Shiva to accept his invitation for a meal. Lord Shiva was aware of Kubera’s pride and his extreme attachment to his wealth and decided to teach him a lesson. He accepted the invitation, but said that he will also be accompanied by all his attendants. That was a huge number to feed! Kubera pleaded with the Lord saying that he wanted the Lord alone so that he can attend to him exclusively. The Lord refused saying that if he came, his attendants would also accompany him. Kubera was disappointed. Seeing Kubera’s crest fallen face, Lord Shiva said that instead of all of them he was willing to send his son, Ganesha as a substitute. Kubera immediately became happy! Only one person to feed and that too a child! He couldn’t bargain for more than this! As Kubera was leaving along with Ganesha, the Lord warned Kubera that Ganesha was a voracious eater. Kubera confidently told Shiva that he can handle Ganesha’s appetite.

Having reached the palace, Kubera took Ganesha around so that he could see the beauty and grandeur of his palace. However, Ganesha told Kubera that he was very hungry and went straight to the dining place and sat down to have his food. Kubera immediately ordered his attendants to bring food. The food was brought in a beautiful golden plate, with varieties of dishes and sweets. No sooner the food was placed before him, within a fraction of a second, Ganesha had consumed it. More food was brought and served, but again it immediately disappeared into Ganesha’s mouth.

It is customary to feed a person till he says enough. Hence, Kubera kept on ordering, the food kept on coming from inside, Ganesha kept consuming, and finally the kitchen was totally empty. Kubera told Ganesha that not even a morsel of food was available. Ganesha got angry that Kubera could not feed him and satisfy his hunger as promised. He started consuming whatever he could lay his hands on. The golden utensils, the beautiful furniture, and even the pillars of the palace that Kubera was boasting of, disappeared into Ganesha’s mouth. Kubera pleaded, but all that Ganesha demanded was more food and this time he threatened to eat Kubera himself.

Kubera was terrified. He now realized his mistake and ran to Kailash with Ganesha running behind him. On reaching Kailash, Kubera humbly fell at Lord Shiva’s feet. He begged the Lord to forgive him for his arrogance and save him from Ganesha’s anger. The Lord turned to Ganesha and lovingly gave him a handful of roasted rice flakes to eat. Immediately Ganesha’s hunger was satisfied.

The Lord advised Kubera that wealth has its place in the scheme of things, but wealth alone cannot fulfill all our needs. Wealth is not to be hoarded and kept, but should be intelligently used and shared. Only then Wealth is a blessing!

Some have money, others are loaded with money, some use money, others employ money--- but the most miserable are those who carry money, bury them and sit to guard it all time. They have----but they know not how to make it work for them and for others. - Swami Chinmayananda

[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]

For updates of posts on Telegram join the group : https://t.me/BharateeyaSamskruti

Lord Shiva giving the fruit to Lord Ganesha – Spiritual Significance

Lord Ganesha receiving the fruit of knowledge

The story goes that Sage Narada once visited Kailasa and handed over a divine fruit to Lord Shiva. Lord Sankara in turn called His two children Subramanya and Ganesha and told them that whoever goes round the world and comes back first will be the recipient of the fruit. Subramanya starts off on his vehicle, the peacock. Vinayaka mounts on his slow-moving vahana, the mooshaka goes round Parvathi and Parameshwara. Since the divine couple is the father and mother of the universe, going round them is equivalent to going round the world. Vinayaka gets the fruit.

Significance: The fruit is “Jnana Phala – the fruit of knowledge”. Any knowledge cannot be broken up or divided and distributed to two people. It has to be given to one person as a whole. Subramanya going round the world on his peacock represents an individual riding on his own ego and performing his activities world-centered. Vinayaka riding on his mooshaka and going round his parents represents an individual performing his activities God-centered with a well-controlled mind and intellect.

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