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Who is Ganesha?

Episode No. 34

Ganesha, the elephant-headed deity, is a Mahadeva, or Great God. He has more forms than any other Hindu deity, and his big body spans the realms of animal, human and Deva. For this reason, he is called Lord of the Threshold. A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi.

FIRST WORDS FROM THE PODCAST

Ganesha and Sarasvati are what are called Mahadevas. It means great Gods. The Mahadevas are embodiments of the great wisdom virtues that I’m always harping on about: those wisdom virtues of which reality is made like compassion and skill and curiosity and kindness, and those kinds of things. Intelligence. Clarity. And each of the Mahadevas is like a slice of the cosmic wisdom virtue pie. Of course, just like there are greatly realized human beings and human beings who are greatly in ignorance, there are also devas who are greatly and only beneficent and other devas who are a little troublesome sometimes. That’s not widely known in the U.S. We think all Gods are GODS, I mean they’re Gods, they can’t have issues. But in the Indian pantheon, there are all different classes of Deities. Just like other beings they are differently embodied than we are, and some of them are not totally enlightened. And the other thing about Devas in the Indian tradition is that they are not necessarily immortal. For instance Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. There are references to him being born and dying.