Once there was a young yogi who lived by the river. There he spent most of his time practicing yoga and meditating. His life was simple and worry free. For not having other responsibilities, the yogi could spend long time sitting, contemplating with closed eyes the beautiful transcendental form of the Lord that is in our hearts. This was his daily routine and meditation.
One day, while on the banks of the river, the yogi washed his only clothing and only possession, the rag he used to cover his intimate parts. In India when it was so hot, little more was necessary. Even so while the yogi washed and dried the rag, I had to be naked and wait for it to dry. One day while waiting for his rag to dry he thought: ′′ If I had another rag I wouldn’t waste my time waiting for this rag to be dry I could get dressed right after my bath.”
Just at that moment a wise man was passing through there. A wise man with power to read the thought. He stood and headed to the yogi and said: ′′Dear son, I know what you have in mind. You want to buy time. But listen to me when I tell you that better than acquiring more possessions is better to settle for what one has. It’s better this way.”
Then the wise man offered the young man his blessings and went on his way.
The young yogi meditated deeply on what that wise man had said to him but in the end he thought that with one more rag, nothing would happen, it wasn’t too much to wish. So he went to the market and bought a dress rag.
The next day he bathed in the river as usual, did his clothes and lay it on a rock to dry. Then she dressed her new clothes and went to meditate. Later, the yogi went back to the rock to pick up his dry rag.
As he picked it up from the rock, the yogi realized that the rag was full of little holes, bites from a hungry mouse. Yogi was upset but thought:′′ I know, I’ll buy a cat to chase mice away while my clothes dry.” And so the young yogi went back to the market to buy a cat.
The next day the yogi spent the day happily meditating until the night fell. At this time the cat started meowing, bothering the yogi:′′ Oh, the cat wants milk, ′′ sighed the yogi.
So this time he went to the market and came back with a cow. Everything was going quietly until night fell again and the cow started mugging: ′′ I’m not going to milk the cow every day!”, he thought. ′′ It takes forever.”
So he went back to town and there he asked a young girl to be his wife. She could milk the cow and give it to the cat, who would keep the mouse away from the young yogi’s rag. And so the yogi was happy for a while.
Then the babies came… Until one day his wife said to him:′′ We need a house.” So the yogi built a house. While time went by, yogi was meditating less and less and more and more. He was constantly busy taking care of his home, his growing family, and his animals. Sometimes when he had a moment of peace, he used to remember those times when he had no worries and his only possession was just a rag.
Then one day, remembering those times of peace, again the old sadhu passing by showed up. The sadhu smiled and said: ′′ I see you’re thoughtful, so I’ll tell you once again that it’s better to be content with what one has Because when it comes to wanting or wanting things, there is no end.”
With acceptance and detachment nothing you lose because you want nothing.
Alexander was a brilliant warrior and military genius. He had a bright and subtle mind. His tutor was the great Greek philosopher Aristotle, whose thoughts and writings have had a huge influence on western thoughts concerning ethics, beauty, and politics.
Alexander created a huge army and invaded Persia, of which he conquered along with Egypt, Phoenicia, Palestine, Babylonia, Assyria, and Asia Minor. Alexander now commanded a vast empire but was not satisfied so went on to invade India. When he was making his way through India he came to the Indus Valley. Whilst there, he encountered a small group of yogi’s who were sitting in meditation on the banks of the river.
EPISODE 1 Alexander’s party of soldiers was trying to get through but the meditating yogis were blocking their way and were refusing to move. One of Alexander’s Lieutenants started shouting at one of the yogi’s, “This man has conquered the world! What have you accomplished?” The yogi looked up calmly and replied, “I have conquered the desire to conquer the world” and upon hearing these words Alexander laughed; he admired the wisdom of the yogi.
EPISODE 2 Plutarch further speaks of the wit and character of Indian Yogis in these terms:
“Alexander summoned ten of the wise men of the country, which men do all go naked, and are called philosophers of India. They had made the tribe of Sabbas to rebel and fight against Alexander and had thereby greatly hurt him. These philosophers were taken to be the sharpest and readiest of answer Alexander put them, as he thought many hard questions. He told them that he would put the first man to death that answer his question worst and likewise all others in this order. He made the eldest among them the judge of their answers.
“The question that he asked the first man was:
“Whether the dead or the living, were the greater number”. He answered, “the living…’For, the dead are no more man.’”
‘He asked the second man, “Whether the earth or the sea brought forth most creatures”.
‘The man answered, “The earth ‘for the sea is but a part of the earth.”
‘To the third man he asked, “Which of all beasts was the subtlest”.
‘The answered given was, “That which man hitherto never knew”.
‘To the fourth, question put was, “why did you make king of Sabbas rebel against him (Alexander)?”
‘The answered received was, “Because he should live honorably, or die vilely”.
‘To the fifth he asked, “Which you thought was the first- the day or the night?”
‘The answer given was, “the day, by a day”.
‘Alexander finding this strange answer said, “Strange questions must of necessity receive strange answers.”
‘Coming to the sixth he asked, “How a man should come to be beloved?”
‘He got this answer, “If he be a good man and not terrible”.
‘To the seventh he put the question, “how a man should be a god?”
“In doing a thing that is impossible for a man”, was the received answer.
“Which was stronger, life or death?” was the question put by him to the eighth.
‘And he received this answer, “life that suffers so many troubles.”
‘To the last ninth Yogi, he put this question, “How long a man should live?”
‘The answer was, “until the man thinks it better to die, than to live.”
‘After hearing these answers, Alexander turned to the tenth yogi and asked him to give his judgment upon them.
‘The judge said, “They had all answered one worse than another.”
‘Thereupon, Alexander said, “then you shall be made to die first, because you have given such a judgment.”
‘He replied promptly to Alexander, “It cannot be so, 0 king, unless you be a liar, because you said that you would kill him first, that answered the worst.”
‘Alexander gave them rewards and allowed them to go.”
EPISODE 3 “When Alexander the Great was busy conquering the world far and wide, he came at last to India.
When he was about to return to his country, he remembered that his people had asked him to bring to them an Indian yogi. They had heard a lot about yogis and were very desirous of seeing one, meeting him, hearing him speak and receiving his blessings. Alexander was told that the yogis dwelt in the forest.
In quest of a yogi he went to a forest. Sure enough, he found one sitting underneath a tree, in deep meditation. He waited patiently until the yogi opened his eyes. They shone with a strange, mystic light.
Reverently, Alexander requested the yogi to accompany him to Greece, saying.
“I will give you everything you need or ask for. But, pray, do come with me. My people would love to meet you!”
The yogi quietly answered, “I need nothing, I am happy where I am.”
This was the first time that anyone had turned down Alexander’s request. He could not control himself. He flew into a rage.
And unsheathing his sword, he thundered, “Do you know who is speaking to you? I am the great king Alexander. If you will not listen to me. I shall kill you- cut you into pieces!”
Unperturbed, the yogi answered. “You cannot kill me. You can only kill my body. And the body is but a garment I have worn. I am not the body. I am that which dwells within the body.”
The yogi continued, “You say you are a king. May I tell you, who you are? You are a slave of my slave!”
Stunned. Alexander asked. “How am I a slave of your slave?”
In a voice tender with compassion, the yogi explained. “I have mastered anger. Anger is my slave. See, how easily you gave way to anger. You are a slave of anger, and, therefore, a slave of my slave!”
EPISODE 4 (even though technically this is episode 3, I switched the order, wanted to save the best for the last) Aristotle the teacher and guide of Alexander had told him that, in India lived great mystical, intellectual, and spiritual super beings called Yogis. He told Alexander if he ever got the opportunity, to go and meet a Yogi SPECIFICALLY DANDAMIS, and if possible to even bring one back to Greece for Aristotle to meet.
Upon inquiry, whilst in India, Alexander learned about the great and wise Sanyasi, Yogi Dandamis, of Taxila who dwelled deep in a forest.
Alexander sent numerous summons to Dandamis, which he promptly ignored. Alexander who could strike fear in the hearts and minds of great armies and kings was intrigued. He became desperate to meet this being who assigned no importance to Alexander.
Alexander next sent messengers with lavish gifts and an invitation to Dandamis for discourse and discussion on philosophy. Dandamis politely declined both the gifts and the invitation.
Though angry Alexander, a pupil of the great philosopher and teacher Aristotle, knew very well that, great beings could rarely be lured or coerced.
Finally, Alexander sent a messenger, his helmsman, Onesicritus a disciple of the Hellenic school of Diogenes to invite Dandamis. When Onesicritus met Dandamis, he lavished praise and gifts on him. When Dandamis declined his invitation and gifts, Onesicritus threatened Dandamis. He said that Alexander had ordered the beheading of Dandamis should the orders of the emperor be disobeyed.
Dandamis remained unperturbed, stating, he had no fear of death. Onesicritus couldn’t muster the courage to kill Dandamis, and, instead, paid his respects to Dandamis and went back to report the incident to Alexander.
Livid at being rejected by a naked forest-dweller, Alexander decided to go to Dandamis himself. With his Marshal and a large entourage, Alexander made his way deep into the forest. Even though he experienced the powerful aura of Dandamis, Alexander grew furious when the sage did not get up to welcome him.
Dandamis Yogi ji
“How dared you refuse my gifts?” Alexander demanded. “They were smeared in blood,” replied Dandamis.
The chilling truth, and fearless conviction in Dandamis’s voice, rattled Alexander. Alexander could not let his men overhear the embarrassing exchange, so he ordered them to move some distance away.
Then, when he was alone with Dandamis, Alexander dismounted from his horse, walked towards the sitting sage, and menacingly stood over him.
“Do you know who I am?” Alexander roared. “I don’t think even you know, who you are,” replied Dandamis.
Alexander felt deeply insulted. He drew his sword and swung it at Dandamis, stopping just before it struck Dandamis’s neck.
“I am Alexander, the world conqueror,” he shouted. “You are sitting on my land. Submit or I’ll kill you … ”
“Your land?” Dandamis chuckled as he cut him off. “The land belongs to no one, O King!”
“Before you, there were others who claimed it as theirs,” he continued. “After you, there’ll be others who will say it’s theirs.
All creation belongs to the Creator alone, Alexander. And no one has any right to destroy what they haven’t created. You have blood on your hands, O Emperor! You may have a temporary claim on the land, but you have permanent scars on your soul.”
Clearing his throat, a flustered and uncomfortable Alexander lowered his sword and adjusted his posture.
“The whole world is mine, Dandamis,” Alexander exclaimed. “History will remember me as the mightiest king! My men will die for me!”
“What good is your ambition or their remembrance, O King? You drown yourself in alcohol every evening so you may forget about your crimes and sins. These men who surround you, they are tired of you. You will see it, they’ll give up on you one day, in fact very soon.”
“Besides,” Dandamis continued, “what will you do with the world? All you need is two yards. Two yards long and two yards deep. Ultimately that’s all that will belong to you.”
Alexander sheathed his sword and sat at the feet of Dandamis for a long while. After a rather long discourse, a humbled Alexander bowed his head before Dandamis and left.
Shiva resides in the Sahasrāra Chakra and Shakti in the Mūlādhāra Chakra. When Prakriti and Purusha unite in the Sahasrāra Chakra, knowledge, knower and the object of knowledge become one. Once we have experienced this no desires remain within us because we realise unequivocally that everything we have ever yearned for is carried within us. In this state of absolute consciousness there are no polarities and therefore no more sorrows; there is only everlasting joy, unconditional love, unlimited compassion and total understanding for all living beings.
For as long as consciousness is connected to the physical body it is unable to remain constantly in the Sahasrāra Chakra and so returns to the residence of the Ātmā in the Heart Centre (Anāhata Chakra). A realised person always thinks, feels and acts from the heart. Embedded in eternal love and eternal happiness, that person is always conscious of the immortal Ātmā, the ocean of bliss, and their consciousness is forever connected to the divine consciousness.
Shakti is the motherly love of God that surrounds us with warmth, caring and protection. Shiva is the paternal love of God that gives us consciousness, clarity and knowledge.
I wish for you the blessing of the Divine Mother who lives within you as energy and vitality, and the blessing of the Divine Father who resides within you as consciousness and knowledge. May they always take care of you, protect you and guide you, and in their infinite love lead you to the cosmic consciousness.
Yoga means union with God. The state of yoga is impossible to attain without the blessings of Lord Shiva. It needs a concentrated and focussed mind. There are some specific spots in the human body concentrating upon which, enables a man to attain the state of yoga-spot between the eyebrows, lower part of the throat, Navel and six inches above it etc.
The state of yoga can never be attained until and unless a person has fully controlled the tendencies of sense organs. It can be achieved with the help of eight means-Yama (Penance), Niyam (discipline), Aasan (Posture), Pranayam (Breath-control), Pratyahar (restraint of passion), Dharan (retention), Dhyan (concentration) and Samadhi (deep meditation). Each of them holds an important position in the path of yoga.
Describing about the methods of performing yoga, in Linga Purana Sutji says – “A person should sit with his legs crossed in Padmasan and try to concentrate his mind by fixing his gaze between his eyebrows. He should keep his spine erect. He should meditate either on the form of Omkar or on the form of lord Shiva. Breath control is an important aspect of yogic exercise. A man should exhale deeply for 32 times and then breathe in deeply. He should then retain his breath as long as possible and visualize lord Shiva within his body. By constant practice he will achieve mastery over this art and a time will come when he will experience divine bliss. This divine bliss can not be experienced unless one has attained a deep state of meditation (Samadhi).”
Obstacles in the Path of Yoga – A man experiences numerous obstacles in the path of Yoga-laziness, restlessness confusion, a diseased body etc. The main reason for being lazy is a bulky physique and one’s inability to concentrate his mind. Lack of concentration results in restlessness, which is a major obstacle in the path of yoga. If a person in unsure about the results he becomes confused. It is impossible for a person suffering from any disease to concentrate his mind.
All the above mentioned hurdles can be overcome by firm resolution. A man who has successfully overcome all these obstacles might experience other obstacles in the form of siddhis (divine powers). There is a real danger of getting lured by these divine powers. As a result his mind may get distracted from his original goal and he may deviate from his path. The names of these siddhis or divine powers are-Pratibha (having knowledge of past present & future incident), Shravan (being capable of listening to abnormal sounds), Varta (whatever is said becomes true), Darshana (capable of seeing things which can mot be seen by the mortal eyes), Aaswada (being capable of experiencing divine (tastes), Vedana (being capable of relieving other’s pain by a mere touch). If a person successfully overcomes all these allurements then he becomes a siddha- or man of accomplishment and divine powers.!!
The best thing you can do is to keep going. Don’t be afraid to try again, to love again, to live again, and to dream again. Don’t let a hard lesson harden your heart. Life’s best lessons are often learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes.
There will be times when it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong. And you might feel like you will be stuck in this rut forever, but you won’t. When you feel like quitting, remember that sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right. Sometimes you have to go through the worst, to arrive at your best.
Yes, life is tough, but you are tougher. Find the strength to laugh every day. Feel the courage to feel different , yet beautiful. Find it in your heart to make others smile too. The power is within, discover thyself! Don’t stress over things you can’t change. Live simply. Love generously. Speak truthfully. Work diligently. Love and it will come back to you! And even if you fall short, keep going. Keep growing.
Awake every morning and do your best to follow this daily TO-DO list: Think positively. Eat healthy. Do yoga. Worry less. Work hard. Laugh often. Sleep well. Do good and good will come back to you!!
According to the Vedic view, reality, which is unitary at the transcendental level, is projected into experience that is characterised by duality and paradox. We thus have duality associated with body and consciousness, being and becoming, greed and altruism, fate and freedom.
The gods bridge such duality in the field of imagination and also collectively in society (Kak, 2002): Vishnu is the deity of moral law, whereas Shiva is Universal Consciousness. Conversely, the projection into processes of time and change is through the agency of the Goddess. Consciousness (Purusa) and nature (Prakrti) are opposite sides of the same coin.
The mystery of reality may be seen through the perspectives of language (because at its deepest level it embodies structures of consciousness) and logic (Nyaya), physical categories (Vaisesika), creation at the personal or the psychological level (Sankhya), synthesis of experience ( Yoga), analysis of tradition (Mimamsa), and cosmology (Vedanta). These are the six darshanas of Indian philosophy.
More particularly, sages have argued that the yogic journey into the deepest point of our being, a practice that is popularly called ‘Tantra’, is the quickest way to understanding.
As our ordinary conception of who we are is determined by name and form (Namarupa), this journey requires challenging our most basic beliefs related to our personal and social selves. One needs to travel to the deepest layers of our being wherein spring our desires, some of which are primal and others that are shaped by culture and experience. Since name and form belong to the realm of time and change, this path is that of the Goddess.
The path of the Goddess is quick, but it is filled with danger since it involves deconstructing one’s self and then arriving at a new synthesis. This path has been popular with warriors, intellectuals and aesthetes and its practitioners include India’s greatest philosophers.
An amazing interpretation of the Mahabharata which applies to all of us, please read the whole story, for it is bound to add value to your life and make you understand something new which you never knew existed.
It was said in the texts that eighty percent of the fighting male population of the civilization was wiped out in the eighteen days of the war. Sanjay , at the end of the war went to the spot where the greatest war took place; Kurukshetra.
He looked around and wondered if the war really happened, if the ground beneath him had soaked all that blood, if the great Pandavas and Krishna stood where he stood. “You will never know the truth about that!” said an aging soft voice.
Sanjay turned around to find an Old man in saffron robes appearing out of a column of dust – “I know you are here to find out about the Kurukshetra war, but you cannot know about that war till you know what the real war is about.”
The Old man said enigmatically – “What do you mean?” “The Mahabharata is an Epic, a ballad, perhaps a reality but definitely a philosophy.” The Old man smiled luring Sanjay into more questions.
Sanjay requested – “Can you tell me what the philosophy is then?”
Sure, began the Old man – “The Pandavas are nothing but your five senses, sight, smell, taste, touch and sound and do you know what the Kauravas are?”
he asked narrowing his eyes. – “The Kauravas are the hundred vices that attack your senses everyday but you can fight them and do you know how?”
Sanjay shook his head again. The Old man smiled brighter and said – “When Krishna rides your chariot!”
Sanjay gasped at that gem of insight.
“Krishna is your inner voice ,your soul, your guiding light and if you let your life in his hands you have nothing to worry.”
Sanjay was stupefied but came around quickly with another question-“Then why are Dronacharya and Bhishma fighting for the Kauravas, if they are vices?”
The Old man nodded, sadder for the question.
“It just means that as you grow up your perception of your elders change. The elders who you thought were perfect in your growing up years are not all that perfect. They have faults. And one day you will have to decide if they are for your good or your bad.
Then you may also realize that you may have to fight them for the good. It is the hardest part of growing up and that is why the Geeta is important.”
Sanjay slumped down on the ground, not because he was tired but because he could understand and was struck by the enormity of it all.
“What about Karna?” he whispered.
“Ah!” said the Old man. “You have saved the best for last. Karna is the brother to your senses, he is desire, he is a part of you but stands with the vices. He feels wronged and makes excuses for being with the vices as your desire does all the time.
Does your desire not give you excuses to embrace vices?”
Sanjay nodded silently. He looked at the ground, consumed with a million thoughts, trying to put everything together and then when he looked up the Old man was gone.
He seemed to have disappeared in the column of dust. Leaving behind the great philosophy of Life.
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Like it or not like it, you can take it as bad news or good news or whatever, but we are here. The way ahead is a long one and the only thing in your control is to seek the truth and practice the path which leads to moksh.
Now the good news, In this journey There is no saviour bigger than the voice which rises from the soul. To access this voice we must remove the noises which are suppressing this and for removing the noises around it the practice of yoga is the best tool.
Even better news, within this one codified way of living, there are several mini paths which you can chose based on your liking, but be rest assured they will surely lead you to moksh. As the Sanskrit saying goes “Ekam Sat Vipra Bahudha Vadanti” which means: “That which exists is ONE sages call it by various names.”
Once upon a time there was a yogi doing his meditation near a river. Suddenly he saw that a Scorpio had fallen down in the water and was trying to come out of the water, but was unable to do so. So the yogi came forward to help him. He took a stick and tried to pull him out with the stick but he was unable to help that Scorpio.
So he finally used his hand to pull the Scorpio out of the water. He put his hand under the Scorpio to hold him on his palm but as soon as he was able to take him out, the Scorpio stung him. The yogi was feeling unbearable pain due to bite of the Scorpio, as a result of this he wasn’t able to hold the Scorpio and the Scorpio again fell down in the water.
The yogi again tried to save the Scorpio but the next time also the same thing happened. This all kept on happening again and again. A person was passing from there and after seeing all this, he finally came to yogi and asked, if the Scorpio is biting you again and again and then why are you risking your life again and again for him, just leave him.
The yogi replied that when the scorpion can not leave his basic nature of biting somebody, how can I leave my basic nature of helping everybody. If he is determined to bite, I am determined to save him. After few more attempts the yogi was able to save the Scorpios life and pull him out of the water.
As today is the birthDay of bhagwan Ganesh: we must read his birth story, symbolism meaning and practice.
The birth of Ganesh One day Goddess Parvati was at home on Mt.Kailash preparing for a bath. As she didn’t want to be disturbed, she told Nandi, her husband Shiv’s Bull, to guard the door and let no one pass. Nandi faithfully took his post, intending to carry out Parvati’s wishes. But, when Shiv came home and naturally wanted to come inside, Nandi had to let him pass, being loyal first to Shiv. Parvati was angry at this slight, but even more than this, at the fact that she had no one as loyal to Herself as Nandi was to Shiv. So, taking the turmeric paste (for bathing) from her body and breathing life into it, she created Ganesh, declaring him to be her own loyal son.
The next time Parvati wished to bathe, she posted Ganesh on guard duty at the door. In due course, Shiv came home, only to find this strange boy telling him he couldn’t enter his own house! Furious, Shiv ordered his army to destroy the boy, but they all failed! Such power did Ganesh possess, being the son of Devi Herself!
This surprised Shiv. Seeing that this was no ordinary boy, the usually peaceful Shiv decided he would have to fight him, and in his divine fury severed Ganesha’s head, killing him instantly. When Parvati learned of this, she was so enraged and insulted that she decided to destroy the entire Creation! Lord Brahma, being the Creator, naturally had his issues with this, and pleaded that she reconsider her drastic plan. She said she would, but only if two conditions were met: one, that Ganesh be brought back to life, and two, that he be forever worshipped before all the other gods.
Shiv, having cooled down by this time, and realizing his mistake, agreed to Parvati’s conditions. He sent Brahma out with orders to bring back the head of the first creature he crosses that is laying with its head facing North. Brahma soon returned with the head of a strong and powerful elephant, which Shiv placed onto Ganesh’s body. Breathing new life into him, he declared Ganesha to be his own son as well, and gave him the status of being foremost among the gods, and leader of all the ganas (classes of beings), Ganapati.
ganesh2 Meaning of the story of Ganesh
At first glance, this story just seems like a nice tale that we might tell our children, or a myth without any real substance. But, it’s true mystical meaning is veiled. It is explained thus:
Parvati is a form of Devi, the Parashakti (Supreme Energy). In the human body She resides in the Muladhara chakra as the Kundalini shakti. It is said that when we purify ourselves, ridding ourselves of the impurities that bind us, then the Lord automatically comes. This is why Shiv, the Supreme Lord, came unannounced as Parvati was bathing.
Nandi, Shiv’s bull, who Parvati first sent to guard the door represents the divine temperment. Nandi is so devoted to Shiv that his every thought is directed to Him, and he is able to easily recognize the Lord when He arrives. This shows that the attitude of the spiritual aspirant is what gains access to Devi’s (the kundalini shakti’s) abode. One must first develop this attitude of the devotee before hoping to become qualified for the highest treasure of spiritual attainment, which Devi alone grants. After Nandi permitted Shiv to enter, Parvati took the turmeric paste from Her own body, and with it created Ganesh.. Yellow is the color associated with the Muladhara chakra, where the kundalini resides, and Ganesh is the deity who guards this chakra. Devi needed to create Ganesh, who represents the earthbound awareness, as a shield to protect the divine secret from unripe minds. It is when this awareness begins to turn away from things of the world, and toward the Divine, as Nandi had, that the great secret is revealed.
Shiv is the Lord and Supreme Teacher. Ganesh here represents the ego-bound Jiva. When the Lord comes, the Jiva, surrounded as it is with the murky cloud of ego, usually doesn’t recognize Him, and maybe even ends up arguing or fighting with Him! Therefore, it is the duty of the Lord, in the form of the Guru, to cut off the head of our ego! So powerful is this ego however, that at first the Guru’s instructions may not work, as Shiv’s armies failed to subdue Ganesh. It often requires a tougher approach, but, eventually the compassionate Guru, in His wisdom finds a way.
ganeshawood Devi threatened to destroy the whole Creation after learning of Ganesh’s demise. This indicates that when the ego thus dies, the liberated Jiva loses interest in its temporary physical vehicle, the body, and begins to merge into the Supreme. The physical world is here represented by Devi. This impermanent and changeable creation is a form of Devi, to which this body belongs; the unchanging Absolute is Shiv, to which belongs the Soul. When the ego dies, the external world, which depends on the ego for its existence, disappears along with it. It is said that if we want to know the secrets of this world, which is a manifestation of Devi, then we must first receive the blessings of Ganesh.
Shiv restoring life to Ganesh, and replacing his head with an elephant’s, means that before we can leave the body, the Lord first replaces our small ego with a “big”, or universal ego. This doesn’t mean that we become more egoistic. On the contrary, we no longer identify with the limited individual self, but rather with the large universal Self. In this way, our life is renewed, becoming one that can truly benefit Creation. It is however only a functional ego, like the one Krishn and Buddha kept. It is like a thin string tying the liberated Consciousness to our world, solely for our benefit.
Ganesh is given dominion over the Ganas, which is a general term denoting all classes of beings, ranging from insects, animals and humans to the subtle and celestial beings. These various beings all contribute to the government of the Creation; everything from natural forces like storms and earthquakes, to the elemental qualities like fire and water, to functioning of the body’s organs and processes. If we don’t honor the Ganas, then our every action is a form of thievery, as it is unsanctioned. Therefore, instead of propitiating each Gana in order to receive their blessings, we bow to their Lord, Sri Ganesh. By receiving His grace, we receive the grace of all. He removes any potential obstacles and enables our endeavors to succeed.