Does Ganesha Bring Good Luck?
By Amy Underdown, London, UK
Ganesha, also known as Ganesh and Ganapati, is one of the most popular Hindu idols to bring into the home. As the son of Lord Shiva and Parvathi, Ganesha is instantly recognisable due to his elephant head. Images and icons of Ganesha are found across Asia and beyond, desired by worshippers and art collectors alike. So strong is the popularity of Ganesha that he is worshipped by Hindus regardless of affiliation or denomination, with his worship even permeating traditions in Buddhism and Jainism as well. In the Ganapatya tradition of Hinduism, Ganesha is the supreme deity. In other words, everybody loves Ganesha.
This is because worshipping Ganesha is said to bring good luck, as well as happiness and prosperity – three wishes in life that few would reject. It boils down to his renowned ability to remove obstacles, which means he can be brought into an individual’s life and help them overcome a challenge regardless of how big or small. This goes hand in hand with Ganesha’s positioning as the God of new beginnings, meaning he is prayed to whenever a new journey (literal or figurative) is said to begin.
The bringing in of a Ganesha idol to the home is therefore a strong choice for anyone wishing to bring positive energy and good luck into their space. Those who feel they are embarking on a new chapter of their life, in whatever form, may particularly benefit from his presence.
Much of what Ganesha has to offer is communicated through what he holds and how these items are positioned. Gaining an understanding of these elements will assist in channelling your worship and being able to overcome the obstacles you face, as they are reflective of Ganesha’s approach. The conch, for example, is held in one of Ganesha’s multiple arms and (due to its associations with victory at the end of battle) represents accomplishment and success, which is what we are all ultimately striving for when we embark on a new beginning. The lotus that Ganesha holds or sometimes sits atop, is said to communicate how we should forget our attachments to the material world and look inwardly to truly find happiness. Ganesha can also sometimes hold various weapons, such as an axe or rope, which are said to signify the idea that we should cut away the things holding us back and seek a new attitude. Famously, Ganesha also holds laddus or sweetmeats. The deity is said to be immensely fond of these sweet treats, but they are also said to represent the reward for a wisely led life.
All these elements should help you understand the different approaches with which Ganesha can help you to overcome obstacles and bring good luck. There is one other item, or lack of, to note. Sometimes, Ganesha doesn’t hold an item in his third hand, but instead performs the Abhaya mudra. This is a hand position which represents a blessing of guidance and protection over all people.
It is this guidance which is so key to the placement of your Ganesha statue. Whilst there are many different places which are fitting, the best place to put your Ganesha statue is in the location which you are most seeking good will and guidance. For example, if you are seeking good luck for all your family, your Ganesha would be best placed in a shared space like the living or dining room. If you are in search of good luck at work, the home office might be a preferred spot. This is particularly apt given Ganesha’s patronage of the arts and sciences and his role as the deva of intellect and wisdom. Ganesha is therefore a highly popular choice to take into the workplace.
In short, Ganesha is renowned for his ability to bring good luck and prosperity to people all over the world, as well as protection and care. Bringing him into the home in a statue-form will therefore enable you to draw on this good fortune and guidance in a place where it suits you most.
One of the translations of Ganesha’s name literally means ‘Lord of the People’ – perhaps this is particularly fitting given just how popular he is around the globe and the joy he brings to worshippers.