Besides the Ganeshji on our puja table, this was the first one in our home. Twenty four years later, His presence has grown to over 200 sculptures, paintings and artworks in every conceivable form, shape, stance and size.
In 2001 when Gurumaa blessed and enriched our home in Singapore by staying with us (19th to 22nd January), seeing our growing collection she said, “Don't keep Lord Ganesh as decorative pieces only. Worship them, especially the right-trunked ones,” a practice we have followed daily since.
Gurumaa further explained, “The curvature of the trunk of most Ganesha idols turns towards the left, symbolising the feminine side of our personality. It represents the moon and is cool and relaxed. The right side represents the masculine side, symbolising the sun – hot, fiery and aggressive. The right-trunked Ganesh is called the ‘siddhi vinayaka’ requiring special worship.”
For years I bought Ganesh forms that caught my fancy. Among my favourites is a framed foil relief work with seven of His 108 names in Devanagari script. While on holiday in Ho Chi Minh City, I found tiny, about 3cm tall, Ganeshs made from bullet casings, so beautifully and delicately carved, that I ended up buying 10 of these. And a rustic iron one I paid Rs. 4 for, from a pavement shop.
Despite having stopped buying Ganesh idols about 10 years ago, He continues to come to our home from family and friends. I feel touched that I am remembered!
With the spread of Hinduism across Asia, I have representatives from Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Nepal and Thailand, each having special characteristics of the country.
Our children, who are based overseas, have taken a few pieces to their respective homes. As for long term homes for the collection, I have identified two Ganesh museums in India and have told my family to send whatever they don’t want there.
Meanwhile our home remains filled with His Holy Blessed Presence.