How my Ganesha Mandala Came into Being
!! GAN GANESHAYA NAMAHA !!
As a spiritual artist, especially one leaning towards Tantric Hindu art, it is truly ironic that this is my first Ganesha Mandala.
Ganesha as most of you know is invoked at the very beginning. I on the other hand took a rather different route.
At first, I fell in love with Shiva,The auspicious one. In him I found a reflection of myself, a rebel, and outcast, who did not conform, but instead chose to make her own path .This romance lead me on to discover and covet an even greater non conformist ! Kali his Lady Love. Wild and fearsome with untamed hair and dripping of blood and gore …. Instilling terror in the heart of the ignorant. To me she is my darling, my Maa. My own superficial nature found refuge in her vast, exquisite all pervading presence, and I began to drop the façade, the masks we all don, one by one. Till I stand stripped almost completely, of all covering layers and embark on the road to embrace my true self.
(A part of me believes when finally all the dross comes off I shall look in the mirror and see her ..)
I digress; this is the story of how this Dear Ganesha mandala came into being .!
Loving Kali comes easily. She is utterly delicious ,wowing me with her versatility, captivating with her ever changing forms , Fascinating me with her games to the point where all else becomes redundant .
The Quintessential muse, she inspires me to express her various outward forms through my paintings and blesses me with her presence, with rare glimpses of pure divinity in the heart of all movement. In order to get to know her more I have just begun working on a series depicting her in her form as the 10 Goddesses of wisdom. As I stood at the threshold, Canvas ready, with paints for Prasad offering and a brush with which to officiate, Ganesh Chathurthi approached and in the guise of a sample for a client there arose a reason to work on a Ganesha piece.
In keeping with my preparatory practice for every deity painting, I began researching and meditating to connect with the deity himself and be inspired by the spirit. As the painting grew realisation struck, !!
The mother was now bringing me to her Son, The Vignaharta , remover of all Obstacles , who ensures success in all ventures, it was as if she desired and guided me to invoke her in that form before meeting me as the wisdom Goddesses .
Ganesha the elephant headed beloved of the masses is also called the Mooladhara ( Base Chakra) of the World and often depicted with skin the color of a Thousand rising suns, a vibrant Vermillion red; the very shade associated with the Earth Chakra. He was created by his mother, who used the earth element to give him form. In other words he provides a strong foundation and structural grounding, upon which we may build,strengthen and grow our spiritual practice.
His form like all tantric deities is steeped in symbolism. The more time you spend getting acquainted , the deeper you are led to subtle secrets and cherished knowledge…The Pot belly a symbol of an accomplished yogi, with the capacity to digest all, the good and the bad .The lotus he carries depicting pure consciousness . Sweeping away the veil of ignorance he leads one to the highest knowledge. The sharp axe he wields is used to chop off all attachments and desires, the greatest obstacles to realising ones true self. He breaks off his own tusk to write sacred verses, thus being the transmitter of the auspicious esoteric teachings of the adiguru, to his Ganas or his people. The sweets he offers are the gifts both material and spiritual that he showers upon his devotees. His ride is the Mouse, Mooshika Vahan . By taming the mouse, symbolic of our innumerable fickle desires he teaches by example, a valuable lesson. If we keep our desires in check, in other words our mind under a tight rein, it shall serve us well.
With the Completion of this most auspicious mandala I pray that he delivers us from suffering and bestows his grace upon all.
My heart overflows with love for this cute, adorable, stoic form of Maa.
*!* OM TATPURUSHAYE VIDMAHE
TANNO DANTI PRACHODAYAT *!*
!! GAN GANESHAYA NAMAHA!!