Many people look at Gods as mere symbols, representations of forces or mind areas. Actually, the Gods are beings, and down through the ages ordinary men and women, great saints and sages, prophets and mystics in all cultures have inwardly seen, heard and been profoundly influenced by these superconscious, inner-plane, inner-galactic beings. Lord Ganesha is just such a being. He can think just as we can think. He can see and understand and make decisions, decisions so vast in their implications and complexity that we could never comprehend them with our human faculties of limited understanding. He is the Lord of wisdom and knowledge, also the first deity who awakens in our spiritual meditation and guide us on the path. That's why he is worshipped invariably first by every Hindu. He is Vighnaraja because he is the lord of obstacles. He also removes them when he deems fit. So Hindus worship Ganesha before starting any new venture.
Ganesha was also popular in both China and Japan centuries ago because of his association with Buddhism. Buddhism integrated Ganesha into their pantheon just as they admitted many other Hindu deities with same names but different status. The early Buddhists who went from Indian subcontinent to spread Buddhism in other countries introduced Ganesha to followers of Buddha in China and from there tradition moved to Japan. Subsequently in both China and Japan Ganesha gained popularity as a god who brought romance and good luck into people's lives. According to Buddhist tradition Buddha himself revealed a mystic mantra called Ganapathihrdaya to his close disciple Ananda at Rajagriha. Followers of Mahayana Buddhism allotted a specific place for Ganesha in their drawings of Mandalas or mystic diagrams. In China as well as in Japan, Buddha was worshipped in two forms. One was the traditional Ganesha with the usual and familiar appearance and the other was a two faced Ganesha standing opposite to each other. laughing Buddha who became popular in China shares some physical features with Ganesha and is also associated with good luck and good fortune.! ✨🐘🕉🎨
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