Why is Ganapati with the right Sided trunk not commonly worshipped ?

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Ganapati idol with the right-sided trunk is said to be ‘active (jagrut)’. First let us understand Ganapati idol in detail –

1. Entire idol of Ganapati : Omkar, the unmanifest (nirgun) principle

2. Trunk : It is a popular belief that an idol with the tip of the trunk pointing towards the right and left are called right-sided and left-sided idols respectively; however this is not the case. One should not decide whether the idol is right-sided or left-sided depending upon which side the trunk is directed. It should be decided depending on the direction in which the initial curve of the trunk points. If the initial curve of the trunk in a Ganesh idol points towards the right and the tip of the trunk points towards the left yet the idol should be considered a rightsided idol. The reason for this is that, the initial curve of the trunk pointing towards the right indicates that the right (that is Sun) channel (nadi) of Ganapati is active.

Shri Ganapati with a right-sided trunk

2.1 Ganapati with Right-sided trunk : An idol of Ganapati with the trunk curved towards the right is called dakshinmurti or dakshi­nabhimukhi murti (the idol facing the south). Dakshin means the southern direction or the right side. The southern direction leads to the region of Deity Yama (Yamalok), the deity of death while the right side belongs to the Surya nadi (Sun channel). One who is able to face the direction of the region of Yama is powerful. So also, one with an activated Surya nadi is also radiant. Thus in both senses, the Ganapati idol with the trunk curved towards the right is said to be ‘active (jagrut)’.

Shri Ganapati with left-sided trunk

2.2 Ganapati with Left-sided trunk : An idol of Ganapati with the trunk curved towards the left is called Vamamukhi. Vam means the northern direction or the left side. The Chandra nadi (Moon channel) is situated to the left. It is believed that it bestows tranquility. Besides, since as per tradition, the northern direction is considered spiritually favourable and bestowing Bliss (Anand), mostly the Vamamukhi Ganapati is worshipped. It is worshipped ritualistically in the usual manner.


3. Modak (a sweet delicacy)

3.1 ‘Moda’ means Bliss (Anand) and ‘ka’ means a small part. So, modak is a small part of Bliss. A modak is shaped like a coconut, that is it is like the cavity ‘kha’ in the Brahmarandhra. When the kundalini (spiritual energy) reaches the ‘kha’ cavity, the spiritual experience of Bliss is obtained. The modak held in the hand signifies Bliss endowing energy.

3.2 ‘The modak symbolises spiritual knowledge (dnyan): hence it is also called dnyanmodak. Initially it seems that spiritual knowledge is little (the tip of the modak represents this); but as one starts studying Spirituality, one realises its vastness (the base of the modak symbolises this.) A modak is sweet in taste. The Bliss acquired through spiritual knowledge too is like that.’

Goad (ankush)

4. Goad (ankush) : Destroyer of the energies which are harmful to the mission of acquisition of spiritual knowledge and Bliss.

Noose (pash)

5. Noose (pash) : Worldly bondage.

Serpent wound around the waist

6. Serpent wound around the waist : The universal kundalini (spiritual energy)

Hood of serpent

7. Hood of the serpent : Activated (jagrut) spiritual energy


8. Rat : The rat which represents the raja component is within the control of Ganapati.

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