Ganesha: Being Intelligent with Life

Ganesha: Being Intelligent with Life

Ganesha or Ganapati is the deity that represents wisdom and high intellectual ability. He is also the one invoked at the beginning of new projects or undertakings. These two important points about him hold an important understanding when we see their connection. The connection that is the key to understanding and aligning with the movement or flow of life.

Artist: Community Artists Group

Ganesha represents the wisdom that enables us to align with the Intelligence of Life in whatever action we take. Actions can be at a large scale like starting a business; actions of thought (when finely tuned, then those employing the intellect in jnana yoga); or actions of emotion or of energy. When these actions are aligned with the Intelligence of Life, we are no more performing action, but yoga (in actions with the world, karma yoga; in emotion, bhakti yoga; in energy, kriya yoga; in intellect, jnana yoga). This is the only wise way of living. When we are not in yoga but are out of sync with the Supreme Intelligence, we suffer our experience of life.


As a simple example, one can consider that being in a joyful state in mind and emotion is an intelligent way to exist because then our experience of life is pleasant and we’re able to participate in life more fully. Then fueling thoughts and emotions of anger, resentment, dejection, etc is obviously anti-life and indulging in such states is against the inherent wisdom of life. So if we do find ourselves indulging in mental misery, we should stop and check why our intelligence is working against us. At the core will be that we are clinging to a limited identity or ego that does not have a clear vision of life.


Our minds, when attached to a limited identity, perceive life as a “part” and not “whole” which brings much suffering as such a mind cannot help but react to life’s situations either positively or negatively (choosing one end of the duality). Only in the all inclusive, equanimous vision of yoga can we see life clearly and not be swayed greatly by pleasure and pain which is inevitable in life. In equanimity, we are aligned with the Intelligence of the Creator.


Being GaurinandanGaurisuta or Gauriputra (son of Gauri), he is the child of Shakti, Her creation that holds the key to aligning with Her as the Manifestation and its flow. In Kundalini yoga, he represents the Mooladhara chakra, the first root chakra which is the doorway to the powerhouse of the Kundalini shakti. Once Kundalini begins to move, the Shakti is itself the flow of life that will remove all obstacles in It’s way.


As we honour Ganapati at this time of Ganesha Chaturthi, may we stop and remember that to be in Flow with Life, to allow life to express through us with ease and without effort i.e. without the belief of being the doer or actor (Vi-nayaka), the greatest obstacle to be removed (Vighnaharta) is the limited identity or the ego-mind. Just as Ganesha’s father, Shiva, removed the boy Ganesha’s head (ego-mind) and replaced it with a higher intelligence, may we too find our inherent wisdom that ensures that all our actions are blessed with success (Siddhivinayak). May we spend time to turn within, find our connection with Life and Source and be established in yoga.



Ganesha Stava (Adi Shankaracharya)

an audio rendition:  

Ajam nirvikalpam nirAkAram ekam
nirAnandam Anandam advaita-pUrnam |
param nirgunam nirvishesham nirIham
para-brahma-rUpam ganesham bhajema || 1 ||

1. We worship the unborn, unchanging, formless, the one,
beyond bliss and full of bliss, who is the fullness of non-duality,
the supreme, devoid of qualities, without differences, and beyond desire,
Shrī Ganesha, the Supreme Brahman personified.

GunAtItamAnam cid-Ananda-rUpam
cid-AbhAsakam sarvagam jnAna-gamyam |
muni-dhyeyam Akasha-rUpam paresham
para-brahma-rUpam ganesham bhajema || 2 ||

2. We worship the one beyond the Gunas, the embodiment of bliss consciousness,
the light of consciousness, the all-pervading, who is the source, course, and goal of knowledge,
whom the sages meditate upon, who is formless as Ākāsha, the highest Lord,
Shrī Ganesha, the Supreme Brahman personified.

Jagat-kAranam kArana-jnAna-rUpam
surAdim sukhAdim gunesham ganesham |
jagad-vyApinam vishva-vandyam suresham
para-brahma-rUpam ganesham bhajema || 3 ||

3. We worship Him who is the cause of the universe, the source of knowledge,
the origin of the Devas, the source of happiness, the Lord of the Gunas, Shrī Ganesha,
who pervades the universe and is worshipped by all, the Lord of the gods,
Shrī Ganesha, the Supreme Brahman personified.


See also:

Getting to Know Ganesha on Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesha Symbolisms



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