Ganesha Symbolism

Painting by Pale Horse studios depicts Ganesha as a masked Mexican wrestler. Next to him is his mouse, who he rides through the cosmos. Who exactly is this Ganesha wrestling with and what is his secret identity?

The origin of the elephant head is interesting as it relates to a well-known Bible story. Ganesha was created by Parvati (i.e., Tara and Kali) to guard her bath, but then beheaded by Shiva (the Destroyer) when Genesha came between Shiva and Parvati. Laughing, Shiva then replaced Ganesha's original head with that of an elephant, thus removing Ganesha as the obstacle separating him from the naked Parvati.

The birth of Ganesha, by being killed and then resurrected with a new head, is an allegory for cosmic fertility, fertility of the body and fertility of the mind. As a symbol for a self-regenerating Cosmos, Ganesha is often shown having five elephant heads to represent the numerical importance of 5 and the pentacle's golden ratios as a universal regenerative principle. In modern day, this version of Ganesha is known as Pancha Ganapati or 'Five Father Ganesha' who is considered the Hindu equivalent to Santa Claus and regenerator of the world after the Winter Solstice.

There is evidence that the Biblical story of Abraham being commanded by God to kill his son Isaac may have originated from this story about Shiva and Ganesha. Abraham might be considered Shiva the Destroyer while his wife Sara is Parvati and son Isaac is the child Ganesha. To this point, the name Isaac means "he will laugh" which matches the story of Shiva laughing as he made Ganesha into an elephant. Isaac's twin sons Jacob and Esau correspond similarly to Ganesha's sons Ksema (prosperity) and Labha (profit). It seems that Isaac and Ganesha represent the same regenerative principle and cosmic fertility idea.

In the human body, this regenerative principle is represented by the Kundalini serpent rising from the base of the torso upward into the head, blossoming forth from the lotus of the crown chakra. While Ganesha is said to live in the first chakra, he is also associated with the third eye and the entheogenic moon drink called Soma. In one story, he curses the moon god Chandra, causing the Moon to wax and wane. It is for this reason that the third eye of Ganesha is often represented as a mark in the shape of a crescent moon. Ganesha as the gatekeeper can be considered an entheogenic vegetation god or "son of the sun" sometimes referred to as a "Green Man."

Ganesha's replacement head is best interpreted as a symbol of altered consciousness and fertility of the mind. Just as he guarded the fertilization of Parvati (Venus), he is the gatekeeper to enlightenment and "remover of obstacles" to the astral realm. As an agent of the Moon and entheogenic Soma, Lord Ganesha could be considered the most ancient model for Krishna and the Christ child. Just as Soma was sacrificed on an altar under the moonlight while being ingested by Vedic followers, Ganesha/ Krishna and Isaac/ Christ were also sacrificed in communion. Thus, Isaac and his Christ counterpart are none other than the elephant child Ganesha - all part of a long line of entheogenic plant/fungus gods that delivered king or "Christ" consciousness when consumed.