02 Sep Ganesha, The Beginning
This is a story from my childhood. It was originally penned on 9th September, 2013. Since writing this story, I learnt from my family that when I was born, I had a mark like a Trishul on my forehead, akin to Ganesha’s tilak. 🙂
When I was little, really little, I once had a vision. At that age I didn’t know the difference between a dream and a vision, ofcourse. I was barely two or three years old. But it was a vision which stayed in my memory for really long (and still does).
I am sitting on the ground in a large hall with many other people. Most people are wearing white or light colored clothes. Sitting next to me is my father. He is not wearing light colored clothes for some reason. Everyone has their eyes closed, and are sitting in meditation. Only I have my eyes open. I am curious.
I am looking at everyone in the hall and no one seems to notice that I have my eyes open, since everyone else has their eyes closed. I turn my head around to look at the people, I don’t know anyone except my father, and now I look in the front. Sitting right in front of me is Ganesha, larger than life, literally. He is almost as tall as the ceiling, and wide enough for five of me to fit in his belly. Maybe six. He is wearing some really nice colorful clothes. He looks down at me and smiles benignly and raises his index finger to his trunk, indicating to me to be quiet. I smile sheepishly. This seemed like fun. I was in a secret conspiracy with a God. As I watch and suppress my delighted giggles, Ganesha smiles happily and eats the food offered to him, enjoying it every bit.
At this point it will be worthwhile to know that I was born in a family where no one spoke of Krishna, Shiva, Ganesha or any other God. I did not even know what is meditation. My naani was an arya samaji, meaning, a clan of people who do not practice or believe in idol worship. They only do yajnas or havans. So, no one in my house worshipped any idols whatsoever. Thus, I had not the remotest clue of who is Ganesha and that he had a reputation for being a God. I was two or three years old. My learning and education had barely even started. Yet, in the dream, I was very clear of who He was and that He was one of the Gods.
Looking back on that vision, I feel compelled to say that Ganesha decided to introduce himself to me on his own, without any help from my family or friends.
Looking back one more time, I also feel compelled to say that Ganesha was indicating to me to contain my questions for the time being, and come along on an eventful, topsy turvy journey with Him for the rest of my life.
I never spoke about this vision to anyone in the years that followed and relished it as a really private, well loved memory. I was afraid people would make fun of me. For more than a decade, it was pushed to the archives of my mind and I forgot about it altogether, until recently, when I remembered it on Ganesha Chaturthi. I feel great joy in believing that Ganesha Himself wanted me to remember this memory now, which still feels as fresh as yesterday. I can smell the scent of the flowers in the vision even now, the flowers which were offered to Ganesha, the God of all happy beginnings.