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The Abode Of Lord Ganesha - Swananda Loka

By Subodini Menon

Lord Ganesha is perhaps the most loved deity for the Hindu community. Hinduism is a religion which worships thousands of Gods and Goddesses. Most devotees pick a God and serve him as his favourite. But no matter which God is chosen as his favorite, the devotee will offer prayers to Lord Ganesha before worshipping his beloved God.

Lord Ganesha, with his elephant-like head and chubby body, is loved by the Hindus all over the world. If one is a devotee of Lord Ganesha, his ultimate goal would be to reach the abode of Lord Ganesha once he leaves the earthly life. The place where Lord Brahma lives is called Brahma Loka.

The abode of Lord Ganesha- Swananda Loka

Lord Vishnu lives in the ocean of Milk known as the Ksheera Samudra in the Vishnu Loka. Lord Shiva resides in Kailas. Similarly, there are worlds for the various Gods. The world of Lord Ganesha is known as Swananda Loka.

On this Sankashti Chaturthi, let us talk about the things that you need to know about Lord Ganesha's world. If you wish to know more about Swananda Loka, read on.

• The Mention Of Swananda Loka

The description of Swananda Loka can be found in the 51st chapter of the Ganesha Purana Uttara Kanda. It was written by a Sage by the name of Mudgala. In this chapter, the author describes a world that is much greater than all the other worlds when it comes to glory and splendor.

• The Meaning Of Swananda Loka.

The home of Lord Ganesha is also known as Swananda Bhavana, Swananda Bhuvana, and Swananda Nijaloka. All these names mean one thing - the home of bliss or the place where bliss dwells.

• The Creation Of Swananda Loka

Swananda Loka is said to be created by the power or Shakti of Lord Ganesha which is known as Kamadayini Yoga Shakti. The peetah or the island has an expanse of 5000 yojanas.

• The Path To The Swananda Loka

The path to this world is called Divyaloka. It is hard to walk upon. It is harder to reach Lord Ganesha's world. Not even the most pious sage can reach this world. One can't reach this world by yoga, dana, yagna, vrata or by the practice and knowledge of Vedanta. It can only be reached if the Lord Ganesha himself desires so. Constant devotion is the only thing that will please Lord Ganesha.

• Bramarambika Guards

The palace of Lord Ganesha is surrounded by a 1000 yojanas of emptiness. This cannot be crossed. Anyone attempting to cross it shall have to face the Bramarambika guards. They are also the manifestation of Lord Ganesha's Yogic powers. The guards look golden and have a sheen that resembles that of thousand suns. They have a malicious expression (ugra roopa) and has thick hair which is heavily matted.

• The Richness Of Swananda Loka

Swananda Loka has no dearth of richness. The roads are paved with gold and gems. Precious stones are visible wherever the eye wanders. There is no place for poverty in the home of Lord Ganesha.

• The Seat Of Lord Ganesha

In the north direction of this wondrous world, there is a vast ocean that contains not water but sugarcane juice. In the middle of this sweet ocean, there is a huge lotus that has a thousand petals. It is pink in colour and is very beautiful to look at. A throne rests on the lotus. It is made of gold, rare gems, and precious stones. Lord Ganesha sits on this throne.

• Appearance of Lord Ganesha

Lord Ganesha looks very young, about 9 years of age. He is the colour of blood (raktavarna) and has a saffron tilak on his forehead. He has three eyes (trinetra) like his father, Lord Shiva. Each of his eyes represents the sun, the moon, and fire. His belly is the round earth. The hairs all over his body are the stars, planets. The drops of sweat on his body are the oceans and river. The Lord is decked in jewellery and finery. He wears a divine garland called the divyamala. His clothes are rich and fine (suvastradhara). He is adorned with divine fragrances (divya sugandha). He wears a beautiful crown (mukutabharana) and holds a half moon similar to that on Lord Shiva's hair (ardhendu).

It is said that just thinking or recollecting this image of Lord Ganesha is enough to take away our sins.

• The Servers Of Lord Ganesha

The Ashta siddhis serve the child like Lord Ganesh. They have a female form. In tantric scriptures, Ashta siddhis are described as consorts of Lord Ganesha. Sacred texts like the vedas have taken a human form and sing the praises of Lord Ganesha. All these imageries show that even in his child-like form, Lord Ganesha is the master of all knowledge and skills.

• The Gates To Swananda Loka

Swananda Loka is said to have four gates in each direction. Eight guards guard these gates with two at each gate. These guards are short and are full of compassion. They are also very strong and have four arms. In two of these hands, they have weapons.

In the third hand, they hold a stick. The fourth hand depicts the tarjani mudra. Tarjani mudra has the forefinger and the thumb in contact. It shows that the soul and Lord Ganesha are unified. The eastern gates are guarded by Vigna raja and Avigna Raja. The guards at the south are known as Balaram and Swaktra. Gajakarna and Gokarna guard the western gate. Susaumya and Shubhadayaka are the guards of the north. In addition to these, Tejovati and Jwalini are the shaktis that guard the rest of the Swananda Loka.

• The Other Residents Of Swananda Loka

Swananda Loka is populated by many devatas, human souls and other living things that are lucky enough to earn Lord Ganesha's grace. Their numbers are in thousands and they forever surround the form of Lord Ganesha like the Udumbra tree is surrounded by mosquitoes. There are huge forests of wish-fulfilling trees on this island too.

• Lord Ganesha's Mouse

It is a known fact that Lord Ganesha is always followed by his vahana, the mouse. It is said that the mouse is actually the Lord Agni and was given to Lord Ganesha by Lord Shiva. This mouse too is a resident of this wonderful place called Swananda Loka. He stays close to the child-like form of Lord Ganesha.

Read more about: faith mysticism
Story first published: Tuesday, April 3, 2018, 6:00 [IST]
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