Ganesh Chaturthi
August 24, 2009 8:43 AM   Subscribe

Mouse. No, not that one… hmmm, no, not this one either… this one. He’s a part of the Ganesh Charturthi Festival that’s taking place here, and you are all welcome to watch.
posted by hadjiboy (12 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Woah, I didn't know that Ganesh rode atop a mouse. Interesting.

By the way, this will probably be one of those posts that gets more favorites than comments.

That just means you're doing it right.
posted by loquacious at 9:01 AM on August 24, 2009

Please do not offer this post a peanut.
posted by DU at 9:08 AM on August 24, 2009

While in Mumbai earlier this year we visited the Shri Siddhivinayak Temple. After passing the shrine proper there are a couple large statues of mice. If you lean over and cover one ear with your hand and whisper your wish into the other, they will carry your message to Ganesh.

I'll tell you this, Indians are wizards at crowd management. The number of people going through at mid day during the week was amazing.

I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't had the flu the entire trip.
posted by beowulf573 at 9:21 AM on August 24, 2009

I wanted to know more about the mouse under Ganesha. A hasty google search turned up the following:

The mouse is named Vahana. He is the Presiding Deity of the Muladhara Chakra. He is the Lord who removes all obstacles in the spiritual path and brings worldly success. So He is called Vighna Vinayaka. His Bijakshara (the first syllable of a mantra) is Gang. He is the Lord of harmony and peace.

There are a few stories for the origin of the mouse. One legend says that Ganesha converted a demon into the mouse, and rides and controls this demon/mouse. Another legend says that the rat was the Gandharva (celestial musician) Krauncha, who insulted the Sage Vâmadeva, who turned the insolent Krauncha into a large rat. As a rat, he (?) did damage to the Ahsram of Sage Parâchara (Parāśara?). The Rinsi (sage) invoked Vinâyaka (an other name for Ganesh) to safeguard his modest dwelling. Ganesh appeared, rode the rat as his vehicle and mastered it.

It is said that Ganesha's mouse can gnaw through anything therefore making Ganesha the Remover of All Obstacles. Regardless of this skill, the mouse/rat still fears snakes.

A statue of Ganesha riding a mouse was found in Indonesia earlier this year. "The mouse is apparently included as an animal used by Ganesha as a vehicle, but this type of statue has never been found in Indonesia before. Ganesha is usually seen riding the Lembu Nandhini cow, the Jatayu bird, or the Padmasana lotus," Malang archeologist Suwardono said.

I cannot vouch for this information, but only offer it as I found it.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:31 AM on August 24, 2009

This not only enlightened me, but gave me a smile.
posted by lleachie at 9:37 AM on August 24, 2009

Thanks, filthy light thief, for fleshing out the post. I was working on doing the same when my browser dumped all over me.

It seems the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is a multi-day long festival rich in symbolism which celebrates the birthday of Lord Ganesha.
posted by hippybear at 9:57 AM on August 24, 2009

Gah! out of all the links I had, I managed to duplicate one from the FPP?
posted by hippybear at 10:05 AM on August 24, 2009

Ganesh is one of my patrons. I have been lugging his 1kg brass bulk around the world in my suitcase for the past 10 years of nomadic living.

Shady customs officials love to pull him out and use him as a pretext for a bribe. "Yes, this cheap sculpture with mould marks and 'India' stamped inside is a valuable antique, certainly."

I have to keep him in checked luggage, I have discovered, because he is a "large metallic object" that I guess could be used to bludgeon my fellow passengers with.

He's a heavy inconvenient bastard, but he's one thing that lets me feel I am at home.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:04 AM on August 24, 2009 [2 favorites]

Jai Ganesh! I have many images and statues of him. One sits on the monitor to my immediate right... Now that I think of it, there are images of him in each room of my house. I wouldn't have it any other way. I washed my favorite statue of him last night, poured a little wine for him, and gave him new flowers. Jai Ganesha Deva!
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 11:12 AM on August 24, 2009

Thanks for the post! I'll read with much interest, having heard MC Yogi's song Ganesh is Fresh for the first time a couple days ago and loved it.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 12:19 PM on August 24, 2009

Ganesh has a spot on honor in My Personal Pantheon. Very important for dealing with Amtrak and TSA people.

This does explain why I've been dreaming of Clever Mice recently.
posted by The Whelk at 12:31 PM on August 24, 2009

Delightful post! And while I was on that page, hadjiboy, I found a full-length animated film about Ganesh's birth ! I sent the link to my daughters for their kids -- they have been bugging me to buy the Indian comic books they had as kids. This is great!
posted by Surfurrus at 1:15 AM on August 25, 2009

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