But first: a Salutation:
Aum Namaskaram Sree Ganeshaya Namaha!
Lord Ganapati . . . otherwise known as Ganeshan among many names, is the Lord of Beginnings, that’s why He and his vehicle Mushika appear first here.
Salute the greatest characters of all time!
Aum Namaskaram Sree Ganeshaya Namaha!
Ganesha is the very first consciousness upon waking, the transition between sleep and return to the world – we each pass him constantly. He stands at all thresholds – he’s the power that straddles the interface between otherwise disparate domains: between the worlds of gods, humans and demons; between orders sacred and profane. He is the Ruler of all beginnings and endings.
It’s on the edges that the most dynamic interactions occur, where Lord Ganesha presides.
A massive obstacle himself, he is the instigator and remover of all obstacles. He does not reconcile opposites, he holds them together in dynamic tension. He is half-man, half-woman, half-human, half-animal, half-god, half-demon, half-tame, half-wild.
He is the deity for the lowly and the exhaled in society and he takes his place far from Hindu contexts – characteristically – from time to time. Historically his origins are dimmed by the veil of time . . . he is embryonic on seals in Harappa and related to numerous other patterns, he emerges as the coalescing of many forms, as suits him so well.
Temporally his point of mediation is that powerful moment when all outcomes are still possible. His special festival – Vinayaka Chathurthi, falls on the fourth day of the New Moon in the month of Simha Shravana – August-September, which time symbolizes the last stage of the ego’s manifestation in the phenomenal world.
Mythically, Vinayaka’s origins are accessible in the many variations of his birth and acquisition of his elephant-head of destiny. In case you don’t know, the basic story is this:
The Divine Mother became Ganesha’s mother Ganamba by moulding a child from the scented unguent of her skin, rubbed while taking oil-bath. She posted the child to guard the entrance to her innermost apartment. But when her husband Lord Siva attempted entry the child forcefully resisted the intruder, whereupon Lord Siva triumphed as victor . . . the child lost his head.
Ganamba was naturally furious however the rift between Divine Mother and Divine Father is extremely dangerous for the world so some compromise was essential. The resolution demanded by the divine mother was that a contrite Siva search in a northerly direction for the first living being he saw, which happened to be a female elephant. As he was told, Siva obediently decapitated her and returned to resurrect Ganesha with his replacement head. Siva then honoured Ganesh as Vigneswara – Lord of Obstacles, to be worshipped first before anyone else. So the story goes.
There many variations of the story, however the crucial aspects are that Ganesha is born of either one or other parent – mostly from Mother, then he is the cause of both conflicts and reconciliation between his parents. He loses his human head and when restored with his elephant head he comes into his own.
He is always worshipped before all other gods in all sacred ceremonies. however humble.
Thus rent asunder and made whole, he finds his place in the cosmic scheme as the regulator of success and failure, the mediator between this world and the other. He is the reminder of the precariousness of all human endeavour.
A naturally divine animal – the elephant, is the first of the animals associated with Ganesha. The coiled snake often around his ample middle, rising over his shoulder, symbolises the kundalini through which consciousness must pass on its way to freedom, in fact Ganesha presides over the Muladhara [root] chakra.
Then there is the little Shrew – mistaken often for a mouse or even rat – who is incongruously Ganesha’s vehicle – named Mushika, whose long, venturesome body can carry Lord Ganesha into every last corner of the universe. A gift from Ganapati’s father, Mushika is the embodiment of the Fire God – Agni, born in Mother Earth, who is a symbol of Divine energism.
The other animal associated with Ganesh is the Lion – his mother’s mount. Ganesha sometimes rides around on his mother’s vehicle, perhaps because he is such a Mummy’s boy. He gives mythic form to the half forgotten traces of bliss in Mother’s love to which we can all lay claim. He was broken and made whole as we must also undergo that painful separation from Mother’s idyllic protection to enter into the inevitable process of socialisation.
Although he may seem to cut rather an absurd figure – being so obese as he is and riding a mere shrew, nevertheless he is the embodiment of wisdom, a deity shaped by the sublime qualities of human nature, yet earth-bound, accessible to all.
Ganesha has the insatiable appetite of the sentient world, the whole cosmos is his big tummy.
Although all that can be said is superficial, the invitation is to probe the subtle nuances of myth and meaning, for Ganesha brings light to the most hidden modalities of being.
He is Vinaayaaka, Lord of the Breath of Life. He is also the personification of the psychic forces within us which become refined during the course of spiritual sadhana.
Ganesha’s protean nature continues to manifest vitality between tradition and modernity, East and West. He faces us with a monumental presence and a great sense of humour:
– Thou of Good Face –
Be greeted, be honoured, be admired.
Let us hear a good story – your own story. Beginning and Ending and beginning. Full and Empty. Inside and Outside. Above and Below.
A very funny story.
So now you know why Ganapati turns up everywhere!
These Personal Puppets are specialty Collector’s Items. Little personas carefully created many years ago with no commercial interest whatsoever since I am not a businessman; this is obvious because no businessman would make them. The description of the making of the puppets is quite probably rather surprising to you.
They are made of hand-painted, permanently colour-fixed silk. If you are interested in the many processes involved in the making please click the heading ‘Personal Puppet Making’ here below; the link will take you to a .pdf booklet that intimately describes the process:
These little figurines frozen in activity tend to measure at most 40 cms high/long, many are around 30 cms, some even less. They are entirely organic as far as I know although their jewellery may not be – who knows. They are extremely long-lived just so long as they are respected . . . . please avoid excessive handling. A friend has several hanging above a bay-window in her very friendly home that have enlivened her living-room for twenty-five to thirty years. They are great for babies to watch moving above their cribs or play-pens, great for young people with sufficient maturity not to destroy them for fun or out of curiosity, great for adults of refinement and good taste.
They are for sale, I am hoping for expressions of interest through this blog post. The average price for a single puppet is around $100-120, varying with the puppet. The average time involved in the total making is probably around a week. Please email me to discuss price and the means of transportation.
Radha Krishna are here expressing unbridled exuberance.
– Djin forever dances from her lovely cheap little lamp; she is an extraordinary kindergarten teacher, even though she is a single mother. She simply has the shape for dancing and all the children love her. Her little lamp exudes a faint tinkling melody that inspires her beyond expectation and enlivens the slightest flutter of her feathered head-dress.
– Djinny, Little Djinny – well, he has the spunk doesn’t he: he was born with it, he has the spark – it soon came naturally. His lamp vibrates with a hip-hop tune and the curly toes of his shoes only add zeal to the zest. He doesn’t always do his homework yet he’s always top of his class.
– And the Golden Musical Witch is something else, she’s not a spooky witch as you can see – no burning at the stake for her, oh no. She’s the life of the party, especially for little kids who adore her spiky hat and elegant booties. Her guitar is a very, very old one, the wood was scavanged from The Tree of Life and she will never, ever, give it away.
– Phoenix rises with her Shadow, always – maybe you didn’t know, it’s true. Se rises from the flames of her extinction and her shadow accompanies her, not only to console her but also to fortify her with the famous Other Side of the Story. She is always rising. She never falls.
– Bhumi is the Goddess of Earth, see her brilliant basic beauty! Her other name is Pachamamma, her favourite name.
She conceives and brings into this marvelous world all that sustains sentient beings – including human beings. She is the Absolute Goddess of Sentience and Beingness. You can honour her by bending down and taking a little of the earth about your feet then rub it gently on your forehead.
These Personal Puppets are for the young at heart . . . whatever age . . .
– Gretel and Casper: these characters have an interesting history, from Casper as the name of one of the three Magi in the Bible story, Kasper from the ancient Persian meaning of Keeper of Treasure . . . some of which he took to bless the newly born Christ-Child, right up to the Commedia del’Arte with Harlequin and his partner Columbine – bawdy, raunchy, very funny street theatre that migrated from Italy in the 16-18th centuries, particularly with Pulcinella – who became the sorrowful Pierrot famously in France. They were members of a mobile theatre on the road, a Road Show – sending scouts ahead into towns to fetch the local gossip which was quickly woven into the scenario for the next performance. Very political they were and often rude. Harlequin and Columbine spread throughout Europe, modifying characters and changing names as they went until we reach Punch and Judy in England, by which time they had become very rude indeed. Kasper/Casper/Punch in whatever guise is forever bopping people with his stick, either his partner or their dog, the devil, a policeman or a crocodile who somehow also crept into the cast.
– Gub-Gub is a friend of Jabrizi Beete, mutual friends they are with a bald man in the tall black hat who lives in a share-home with various other sentient beings including Gub-Gub, famous for his appetite and fancy-dressing. As you can see he also dances, although he is limited with the number of steps he can manage with his bulgy body and colourfull bloomers; however his high kicks are definitely improving.
– This gaudy girl in her skimpy little skiff has her hair curled every Sunday morning just to float about calling to the sky “Well I don’t know who’s up there and I don’t care!” in loving memory of dear Dylan who drank himself to death in sheer unbridled exuberance of life.
These puppets enable a dribble of the profane into the Secular-Sacred.
– Lester the Jester got a highly-paid job in the King’s Court – it was a great break for him. The Queen particularly liked him, so much so that the King began to feel jealous, which made the Queen feel at least as important as the King – a delicious feeling entirely new to her. And so it went on until the King rudely dismissed poor little Lester.
But never mind, the Queen decided to just up and leave with her rather short but darling funny-friend.
– Kali-Ma. Well, we can’t joke about her, can we! The musical score for her song is very simple, here are the lyrics:
Dadadadada Kali-ma, Kali-ma, Don’t worry Kali-ma, We would never tell a joke on you! Deda! Dedadada!
– Little Mermaid is so sweet even though she has no feet, nor even fins. She does have a tail, a gorgeous tail – we don’t have that, at least not quite like her flashy tail.
But she has only one arm – look at that!
That’s because her aim in life is to become a Figurehead! A very attractive Figurehead on the prow of a magnificent ship, an Ocean-Going-Vessel full of sailors proud to have her up out front, nosing her way just for them.
With her up there the ship will never run onto rocks, never become hopelessly lost. And Pirate ships will naturally have second thoughts about attacking her ship. She’s more than a Figure-head, you see: much, much more.
– Although this one does also ride around on her vacuum cleaner, the Contemporary Witch gets her unusual name from her unusual cellphone, you see. She keeps it in her hip pocket.
Notice that she does not have to plug in her vehicle in order to fly it, as one would expect with a Vacuum Cleaner. Being a Witch, she has the default right to magic cosmic energy. You see: quite a perk!
– The Frog Prince is a Ballet Teacher – in case you didn’t know; he has just the right kind of toes for it and he adores his outfit, especially the puffy sleeves and the royal cloak. When the Fairy-Godmother transformed him from a plain frog into a Frog Prince, he insisted on leaving his thick neck behind in his old memory [that has never sprung to mind since]. It was absolutely necessary because as a Prince it was of paramount importance that he didn’t ever croak, not ever. He had to have a deeply impressive, royal male voice-box.
And now he has it all: the outfit as well, so you can readily admire his awesome presence without squirming.
– Julie is singing us all her song:
Well everything’s fine, I’m still in tune. But there’s not much room on the moon!
– The stylish wig didn’t help, neither did the expensive silk scarf so I’m scooting off upstream in search of my own dream.
– Meet Jabrizi Beetle, she’s the LadyBird with a very famous friend. He treats her as an equal – he is an exceedingly great man.
She particularly likes to land on the smooth round dome of his bald head on those rare occasions when he takes off his tall black top-hat. There she can skid about as if on ice although the shiny skin beneath her funny feet is always warm as toast and very, very companionable.
“You’re tickling me!” he always says, but he doesn’t mind in the least. In fact he rather likes it.
– “I’m prepared to stand still but the wind will not let me!” Jack Black calls as he battles with his one and only sail. His sail is his cloak – his ambitious concealment from the great eye of the sun, as he scoots across oceans of bewilderment on his skimpy little seed-pod craft. But he only ever confirms what a Master he really is at Deception.
– Duet: Do you see my friend and me staying afloat in our harmonic boat? We pling-plong to our hearts’ content on our home-made instruments and we hum long hums. We relate very well together but only so long as our boat stays afloat. But if it wobbles about in the waves and capsizes we flounder in disaster, trying to keep our musical instruments and our heads out of the water; then we lose our internal harmony altogether and need to sit with our feet in water for quite some time to recover.
– This is my boat and I’m in it. No wobbling about here because the seed-pod’s keel-tail is steady as she goes, all good, never fails me – never failed me yet.
– At long last I got a good job, in a seed-pod-tub wearing my shark-skin suit.
– Allow me to introduce you to Radha-Krisna again, now dancing in concert. They are very famous so maybe you know them already. Radha is Krisna’s wife.
Maybe you also know – everyone does – that Krisna has an extraordinary number of girlfriends, perhaps hundreds; they are beautiful young women called Gopis, which means that they take care of the immaculate white cows who give creamier than creamy milk especially to be made into the curds that Krisna so much loves.
Radha goes along with this quite happily. Just in case you may wonder why, the answer is because Radha is Krisna’s only wife. They make such a lovely couple.
These engaging little characters are very alluring, great to attract good fortune. Since they do not tolerate heavy-handling, they demand respect and are for admiring from a distance.
Contact me if you’re interested: <firstname.lastname@example.org>