By Amy Underdown, London, UK
Ganesha, or the Ganpati murti, is one of the most recognisable and popular deities in Hinduism. His role as the protector (as well as delivering happiness and prosperity), means he is a favourable choice to bring into Hindu households. However, it is important to note that when brought into your space, there are certain rules as to how Ganesha idols should be placed in line with vastu, the traditional Indian texts which detail design and geometry in Hinduism.
The most important and overarching rule when finding a suitable place to keep your Ganesha idol is to ensure that it is kept in a revered and honourable location. This could be as far as a meditation table or altar with offerings, such as rice or sweets, in a separate space to the main body of the home. Others say the best place to keep a Ganesha statue is in a main doorway, as one of his duties as a deity was the doorkeeper of his mother’s chambers. Having a Ganesha idol in the doorway is said to ward off bad luck and instead invite prosperity into your household. It’s important to note that if you live on a dead-end street, you should especially consider this location for your Ganesha as the positioning of your house may make it particularly vulnerable to negative energies.
Similarly, if there are other areas of your home that are in special need of prosperity, this is where your Ganesha idol should be placed. For instance, if it is success and happiness at work that you seek, having a Ganesha idol in your office would be beneficial. Ganesha is renowned for his blessings of both personal and professional goals, so this could be the perfect fit for a home-working space.
If it is protection over your family that you mostly seek from your Ganesha idol, a better placement might be in a shared space, such as the living or dining room. In this instance, as well as all others, it is advantageous to have Ganesha in a position from where he can look out over the room and thus protect all he sees. This goes hand in hand with the focus on reverence. A Ganesha idol should never be left in a position that doesn’t feel revered, such as on top of a television or hidden away below eye-level.
If you are still unsure, listen to the advice of vatsu experts and find a location in your home that is most west, north or northeast. These directions are favourable due to Shiva residing in the north, making it a very auspicious location. In other words, take care not to place Ganesha facing southwards!
Here are some other tips on where not to place your Ganesha idol:
- The statue should never face out of a window.
- Always set up the statue so that it doesn’t have its back to a room as this is said to bring poverty to the home.
- It is preferable to not have a statue along an inner wall of your house (a wall that separates one room from another.) It is better to have Ganesha along an outer wall where possible.
- There are certain rooms/places that a Ganesha statue should never be placed: underneath staircases, bathrooms, garages and laundry rooms are all to be avoided. This is because these have unfavourable energies and would not be how you treated a renowned guest.
Following this latter logic should mean you will find the perfect place for your Ganesha idol. By treating it as you would any auspicious artefact and honouring it with a position which favours the energies you want it to bring to the room, you should be guided to the perfect spot.