On Ganesha and Hanuman

On the way back today, we spoke a lot Jajay and me. She told me about her son’s studies and I told her about the music I’m listening to. She asked me about Ashtanga yoga and special exercices and I started describing my tale with the practice and David Swenson’s teachings. We spent the whole time sharing with no boundaries each other’s impressions, questions and interests.

Most of my questions were related to the Hindu religion: I have a deep respect for polytheistic religions and an old fascination for the Hindu one. When I asked Jajay what was the Deity they worship the most, she told me they were Vishnou followers and that in old times, her people would only go to his temple and pay respect to him and to other gods there, but that nowadays, they go to other temples and pay respect to the other Gods. When I told her about Hanuman‘s temple and my thoughts about this God, she was very pleased and happy.

-“Hanuman wasn’t a Deity you know. But he is so reliable, loyal and is so very very good and honourable that Rama gave him the all power and made him his servant. Hanuman is good, he’s very very good. I used to go to his temple and pray everyday for many troubles and my troubles would come to an end. I prayed and Hanuman was there for me. When you worship faithfully such a honourable and good deity, you come to be like him. You grow towards honour, grace, wisdom and ability to help others.”

Then Jajay told me about what she believes in when it comes to Ganesha‘s story

-“Well, Parvati, the wife of Shiva the Destroyer, was never left alone in her room even when she wants to clean herself. Always people coming and going and no privacy at all. Even Shiva would storm in the room with no permission. So, she took mud and made a beautiful being out of it that she gifted with life. “From now on,” she told the being,”You’re named Ganesha and you shall guard the gate of my room. No one shall come and disturb, not even Shiva.” And so did Ganesha, keeping the door of his mother’s room, until Shiva came. But not even Shiva was allowed, so Ganesha refused to let him in. Shiva got angry and started a war that ended up with him beheading Ganesha. When Parvati found out, she started crying over the headless body:”He is our son! How could you do this?”. Shiva felt sorry for his wife’s cries so he promised her he’ll fetch a head for their son. He decided to take the head of the first person sleeping head he encounters and who is sleeping head to the South. Sleeping head to the South is never done. The head is turned to South only when the person is dead. But at that time, the elephant would sleep that way and so Shiva thought he was dead. So, he cut off his head and brought it back to Parvati. And so, Ganesha came back to life with an elephant head.

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