Ganesh Chaturthi falls on Saturday, September 11 this year – and given that it’s on a weekend, what’s your excuse for not celebrating the birthday of our pot-bellied pal?

We all know that Ganesh LOVES to eat, so what better way to honor him than with food!  Here’s a tasty snack-time project that’s hands-on fun and learning for the kids:  a Ganesh pizza (using olives) surrounded by things that define him – a bowl of sweets, his mouse-vahana (made with biscuits and raisins) and an axe (made with celery and peanut butter).  Be sure to explain to the kids the symbolism behind the objects.

Sweets – A symbol of what he loved most, and blessings for his devotees (metaphorically speaking they are a symbol of moksha/liberation – the sweetest of all things).

Mouse – The humble (and brave) creature that carries him – his vahana (mode of transportation).

Axe – Ganesh uses this to help clear obstacles.

Pot Belly – A symbol of nature’s plentifulness.  Some also say it represents how Ganesh swallows the sorrows of the world, thereby protecting it.

Elephant Head – Elephants are large, strong and powerful, yet gentle (they’re vegetarian) and superbly smart.  Befitting, no?  (Also, when viewed at a profile, along with his ears, Ganesh morphs into the “AUM” symbol.)

And if you can muster up the energy, here’s the very simple Ganesh Mantra  (audio here):

Vakratunda Mahakaaya, Surya koti Samaprabha:
Nirvighnam Kuru me deva, Sarva karyeshu sarvadaa.

Oh, Lord Ganesha, of large body and curved truck, who shines with the lustre of a million suns, please make my life and my work free of obstacles – forever.


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6 Responses to “Pranaam, Oh Pot-Bellied One”

  1. Bhakti Says:

    Hello! Thank you for beautiful audio – we just had one question. On last line, in the writing it says “Sarva karyeshu sarvadaa.” but audio is sounding like “shubha” in place of “sarva”. Is this the right one, or the other? Thank you so much! –Bhakti

  2. admin Says:

    Glad we could have this discussion! The actual shloka written in our source reads with “sarva” – however, we have seen the shloka with the “shubha” variation also (“sarva karyeshu” means “in all work,” while “subha karyeshu” meand “good work”). We think “sarva” is correct, but in our hunt for a good audio which did not infringe on any copyright so we could post, this is the best we could find. If you find another – please let us know, and we’ll change the link. In the meantime, we are searching also. Thanks for reading and for pointing this out!

  3. Bhakti Says:

    Thank you so much for your reply! We sang the mantra both ways and it really brings a lot of happiness to the kids to sing this. We also loved your project so much – the pizza Ganeshji is so cute. (But I think everyone liked the mithai the best,) Anyway…thanks again..we love your site. -Bhakti

  4. Aruna Says:

    So glad to inspire, Bhakti!

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