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Ganesha Puja


Internal Worship

The aim of this part of the puja is to meditate upon an image of Ganesha within, and to identify with the qualities associated with the god.

“Feel your belly to be a void within you. As you breathe, see this void beginning to fill with a scarlet mist. Gradually, the mist begins to form a shape – the shape of the Elephant-headed one, Ganesha.”

“Ganesha, vermillion-coloured, with the head of an elephant and the body of a man, whose vehicle is a mouse.

Big of belly, with ears like winnowing baskets, he holds a pomegranate in his trunk, and the crescent moon is upon his forehead. In his four hands he holds a tusk, an elephant goad, a noose, and gives the gesture of granting boons.”

“The tusk he holds represents service
The goad prods us along our path
The noose reminds us of that which binds us
To his favoured he grants all boons
His ears, like winnowing baskets, sift truth from non-truth
His twisting trunk shows us the power of strength and discrimination
His vehicle, the Mouse, is for cunning, and subtlety.”

“Meditate upon the qualities of the Ganesha within you – he has the strength and wisdom of an elephant; the intelligence of man; the cunning and subtlety of a mouse. He is the Lord of the Gannas, the demon-horde of Shiva. He is the bringer of luck, the remover of obstacles. Son of Shiva and Parvati, beloved of gods and men alike.”

This internal meditation may last for as long as is deemed desirable by the ritual leaders. The litanies above are given as examples only.

External worship

The next step is for all participants to externalise their internal Ganeshas into the image which has been chosen as a receptacle for worship. In a small group, this may be done by passing the image to each person who, upon receiving it, takes a deep in-breath and breathes out their ‘internal Ganesha’ into the form. In a large group however, an alternative approach is for all participants to focus attention upon the chosen form, and, at a signal from the ritual leader, all simultaneously project their internal Ganesha into the form.


The next phase of the puja is to make offerings to the form which contains the power of Ganesha.