Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida


Lavanya Dinesh

By DR. Maulik Trivedi, MD

In the last article you read about the role of the guru in guiding our MindBody. In this article, we will get a deeper understanding about the role a deity plays preparing the MindBody for success and happiness.

To be successful in any endeavor, one must maintain a focused state of mind and an enthusiastic and energetic demeanor as they work through a process. However, psychological research has shown that the single largest detriment to one's success is in fact their own mind. To be specific, it is our own sense of doubt that impedes our success. Have you ever noticed that as you are working on something, your own mind often questions you, "What's the use in trying?" or "What if this doesn't work out?" or "What difference does or make if you do this or not?" In the Indian tradition, it is precisely this inner negative self-talk that is eliminated by starting any task by first bringing to mind the deity Ganesha.

Unbeknownst to many Indians and most non-Indians, Hinduism at its core is not a religion. It is a philosophy of life, a method, so to speak, of living life. Through its Vedic knowledge, it prescribes the logical methods for living life in its many facets with a higher awareness. It is the original universal formula for creating a self-sustaining, balanced living that brings natural success and happiness to all beings. The Hindu gods are embodiments of that Vedic knowledge.

Although, most social studies textbooks will simply state that Hinduism is a polytheistic religion, nothing could be further from the intended meaning of the many Gods portrayed within Hinduism. Simply questioning or discounting polytheism as a primitive ideology misses the whole intent of the Hindu philosophy. In fact, start by understanding that all gods in Hinduism represent inner MindBody states of our own self. Furthermore, praying to a god is intended to hone our own inner capacities and capabilities. Every situation in life requires a different mindset for us to succeed. Each deity is a symbolic representation of the various mindsets.

Shree Ganesh is a deity who is prayed to at the start of any endeavor. Whether you are a student about to start a new school year or a couple about to get married, any commitment being made is always begun with bringing to mind Shree Ganesh. Let's understand the concept of Ganesh and how and why that particular deity is prayed to before starting any endeavor. First, Ganesh is also referred to as Vighna-Vinashak, meaning destroyer of all obstacles. His entire image, as comical as it may seem, personifies exactly those qualities that create the state of mind required for one to be successful in any endeavor. As we bring to mind the different aspects of Shree Ganesh's image, we make our own mind more prepared for success. Take for example, his large ears. They remind us to listen more and speak less. This is a key ingredient for success. We must observe what is happening constantly before we can introject any effort. Only patient observation tells us when, where and how we need to strategize to be successful. Then think about the trunk. Most of us have seen an image of the elephant lifting heavy logs with its trunk. But did you know that the same mighty trunk is also capable of picking up a tiny object with dexterity. Those of you who have ever come across an elephant on streets of India must recall that you can put a small coin in your palm and the elephant will use the tip of its trunk to easily pick it up. (And no, the elephant does not use suction to pick it up). The elephant will use the right balance of strength and precision to accomplish the right task. That is what we need to remember when we approach any task in order to be successful. Ganesha's broken tusk symbolizes sacrifice, and the rosary in his hand, constant pursuit of knowledge, both of which are essential ingredients for achieving success. The serpent around his waist represents energy and the sweet ladoo in another hand the sweet reward of all endeavors that inspires us to persevere. How clever! A single deity who is specifically designed to focus our mind to make it most conducive to preventing and overcoming obstacles and achieving success. No wonder, he is the God that all Hindus pray to before starting any endeavor.

Such is the beauty and brilliance of Hindu philosophy. As a method of living life, it teaches us and guides us through life with the deepest scientific understanding. It applies this science to daily living to help us achieve our highest level of success and sustaining happiness. So, the next time you are embarking to do something new, just say Ganpati bappa ... Moriya.

Maulik Trivedi, MD, is a practicing psychiatrist and a MindBody physician. For details, visit www.FMCmindbody.com You can also follow him on Twitter @MindBodyYogaMD

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