Ganesh Chaturthi is round the corner and there is a lot happening this week.

Adding to the value of this festive occasion, we bring a few quick learnings from the life of Lord Ganesha for your young children. Actually, on second thoughts, we adults can learn from them too!

 Each part of the image of Lord Ganesha has a profound meaning.

 The Elephant Head

Story: Ganesh lost his human head in a fight with his father, Shiva, because he had refused to let Shiva enter the house, in obedience to his mother Parvati’s order not to let anyone enter. Father and son, unaware of the relationship they shared, battled each other furiously as Ganesh fought with all his might to discharge his duty. Shiva chopped off his head to defeat him. However, when he was brought to realize that Ganesh had only been doing his duty, Shiva brought their son back to life by replacing his human head with that of an elephant.

Learning: Be obedient and dutiful to your parents and elders in the family. Be loyal to the task you have been assigned.

 Bulky Body

Story: One day Shiva and Parvati presented their sons, Kartikeya and Ganesh, with an interesting challenge. The game was to take three laps around the world. The winner was to be blessed with the fruit of knowledge. Kartikeya, being the swift one, started off immediately to fly around the earth on his ride, the peacock. For a moment, Ganesh pitied himself for his bulky body and his ride, the mouse. He then circumambulated his parents thrice, since they meant the world to him.

Learning: Show your regard and love for your parents. Do not allow yourself to be bogged down by your physical limitations. Use wisdom and courage to handle complex situations.

 Big Ears

The ability to listen attentively when people ask for help is the virtue of a good human being.

 The Rolled Up Trunk

Background: A normal elephant eats drinks and breathes with his trunk. It also serves as the defense mechanism against his enemies. However, Ganesha’s image shows the trunk rolled up to the left or right side of his body.

Learning: A person may acquire power  as a result of wealth, intelligence, success or destiny. However, it is important to control and not misuse one’s power.  

 Broken Tusk

Story: Sage Vyas was narrating the Mahabharata to Ganesh. While writing, Ganesh broke his feather pen. Ganesh did not want to interrupt his instructor. Hence, he broke his own tusk to continue writing with it.

Learning: Make yourself useful to achieve something purposeful. Selflessness is difficult but a much-valued virtue of a good human being.