Episode 124

Happy Ganesha Chaturthi Part 2 | Ayurveda and Vedic Philosophy

Episode Topics

  • Happy Birthday Ganesha! Happy Ganesha Chaturthi!
  • What is the Ganesha Chaturthi celebration
  • What to eat on Ganesha Chaturthi
  • Ganeshaya Vighneshvaraya Namaha!
  • Ayurveda, the Kapha dosha and Ganesha
  • Ganesha and Mushika
  • According to Ayurveda, Mushika symbolizes our senses
  • Why Ganesha is considered the obstacle remover
  • Ganesha does not fit the anthropomorphic profile of other Indian deities
  • Ganesha in ancient Egypt and ancient Greece
  • Bactrian coins with elephant heads
  • Zeus, Ganesha and Nike, the ancient Greek goddess of victory
  • Shiva, Ganesha and Muruga or Kartikeya (the Indian god of war)
  • Is Muruga the male representation of Nike?
  • The non sectarian aspect of Ganesha
  • The origins of Ganesha by Indian scholar Y. Krishan
  • Find us on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/c/AskTimAndVie
  • Email us your feedback and any questions you may have at: ask.tim.and.vie@gmail.com
  • We will surprise you with a gift for supporting your friendly neighborhood podcast
  • May we all be well, adapt and thrive! - Tim and Vie

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Audio Transcript

Hello, this is Tim.

And this is Vie and we welcome you to another episode of the spartan mind strength podcast.

And this is part two of

Of Ganesha Chaturthi.

Yay. Stay tuned. We’ll be right back. 

And we are back

Ganeshaya Vighneshvaraya Namaha!

Wow. That’s a fancy thing. What did you just say?

Ganeshaya Vighneshvaraya Namaha!

But what is that in English? 

So Ganesha, or Ganeshaya, Ganeshaya.is just more poetic. It’s the, the name of Ganesha.

Vighneshvarara means obstacle remover,

And that’s what he is. 

And that’s who he is.

And namaha is hello, how are you doing? 

Ganeshaya Vighneshvaraya Namaha.

Very nice.

You can say - thank you Ganesha for removing all the obstacles for me.

Very nice.

This is part two of

Ganesha Chaturthi.

And what does that mean? 

Well, Ganesha Chaturthi is a huge worldwide celebration for Ganesha. Chaturthi is the fourth day of the new moon of a particular month, the sixth month in the Hindu calendar. 

So it comes from the number four in Sanskrit. 


So the fourth day of the new moon that falls in the sixth month of the Hindu calendar, which is usually our August or September is when they officially celebrate the birthday of Ganesha.

And this year it is when?

This year is September 10th. 

Okay. And how long does it go?

And it goes for 10 to 11 days. So officially the end of the celebration is September 21st this year. 

And what do you do on this holiday for 10 to 11 days?

You eat a lot of sweets.


In honor of Ganesha! 

Yes, because Ganesha is the god of sweets. 

Of sweets. Yes. 

Ganesha has a very, very cute, happy belly. And also he feeds Mushika.

Mushika is his rat or his mouse, depending on who you talk to. 

Exactly.  He feeds him sweets, eh, you know, accordingly.  

And I know you brought this up before in teacher trainings, Mushika is considered your senses and Ganesha feeds his senses, which is the rat, but he controls them. 


Ganesha teaches us how to be honoring our senses. So Mushika is the mouse right, the rat, who always likes to gnaw on anything and everything, and he’s all over the place. 

But he also likes to be of service to Ganesha, and they have that awesome relationship that when Ganesha honors Mushika and lets him have his sweets Mushika helps him go places. So if Ganesha just lets Mushika do whatever, eat all he wants, then Mushika is not going to be of much service

He will go nuts basically,

Exactly. So it’s that fine line.

And that’s one of the things that Ganesha teaches us as a - 

As the obstacle remover, right?  In order to be able to move through any obstacles in our life, we have to be honoring our senses. 

And that’s what Ayurveda talks about. 

That’s what Ayurveda talks about.

That’s the whole representation of the elephant, right?  He, he is, he has the elephant head, right?  That’s the wisdom, that’s the grounding aspect. 

In Ayurveda, when you think Kapha, right, when you think of the earth and water elements, the best representation is the elephant. 


It’s, it’s amazing. It’s that grounding that mother nature provides. So the elephant has that wisdom, right. 

Is heavyweight, right, he stands solid, he stands still, but he also has the finesse and that’s where that trunk comes in, right?

He supposedly can pick up a feather. 


So in the last one, we talked a little bit about where he was first brought up and that was in - 

In the Puranas and we gave a little story from the Shiva Purana.

Now, in your studying of Ganesha, you actually came across some people that were talking about how Ganesha doesn’t represent the normal deities of India, because he has an elephant head and a human body, which represents more of possibly the Egyptian gods and or which is something that I never thought, they talked about it even being a Greek god, so he had the influence of the Greek and the Egyptian, not as much as the Indian,

Yes, which is fascinating. 

Y. Krishan, that Indian scholar makes the case that the Indian gods were anthropomorphic. So they had human faces and body..

Human face, human body.

It’s exactly what you said, that’s his fancy word.

But the Egyptian gods and then the Hellenistic gods, especially - 

And Hellenistic means greek.

Hellenistic is the fancy word for Greek. 

And especially the gods that the Indo Greeks brought, when they were in Northwest India fit a lot more the Ganesha profile. Or Ganesha fits that profile I should say. 

And also you talked about coins.

Yes. They have found coins and the listeners can see pictures of those coins. They have found coins that represent - actually different coins, not just one type from the second century BC  - we are talking 170 BC, 180 BC that have Indo-Greek kings or generals. 

And, they have the elephant head on the obverse side, which the obverse of the coin is the important one.  So they have, they talk about, the general Dimitrios who was in Northwest India in around 180 BC. And they have, they have found a coin with his face, wearing a helmet and having an elephant head, the top of the elephant head on top of the helmet. And then on the reverse side, having the caduceus, the staff with the snake.

Oh ok.  Yes.

And then they have found another coin that has Zeus on one side and the other side has an elephant holding the goddess of victory Nike.

And again, it goes back to the whole thing that cultures talked.

Cultures gave and took equally.

Exactly. And the idea is that the elephant throughout those centuries actually was representing mother nature. And the people were trying to actually develop a healthy relationship, understand mother nature. That's why, and obviously they had a lot of elephants in that part of the world, right. 

It’s common sense, right.

Yes, at least one or two.

Common sense.  What makes it very interesting is that a little later you have a coin with Shiva and there is great similarities between Shiva and Zeus,

Yes, there are a lot of similarities.

And you have Ganesha on one side, son of Shiva, like we said, or the elephant. And then on the other side, you don’t have the goddess Nike, the victory, but you have Ganesha’s brother Kartikeya or Muruga, who happens to be the god of war.

Which is?

Which is the male representation now of Nike, right. Because what are the concerns of humanity at that time? Let's appease nature and let’s be victorious in war.

Yes. So there are a lot of similarities between Nike and Muruga or Kartikeya.

I like Muruga.

It's fascinating actually. 

So can we say that Ganesha’s last name could be?

Elephantakos! Right!

The greek word for elephant with a special syllable at the end, to make him even more Greek. I will even say, it’s just fascinating to me. 

I knew I liked Ganesha for a reason. I didn’t know we had similar roots. 

That you were related.

Yeah. It’s all about giving the power to the people, like we already said. That's why Ganesha made it through all those centuries, through all those cultures.

And he’s even got one of the biggest celebrations. 

It’s one of the biggest celebrations, if  not the biggest.  Everybody loves Ganesha. Ganesha is considered non-sectarian.

Another big word, 

Another big word. 

And what does that mean?

It means that it doesn’t matter who you are.  Ganesha loves you and you love Ganesha whether you know it or not.

Very nice. So say happy birthday to Ganesha,

Happy Ganesha Chaturthi!  Ganesha, we love you! 

Until next time, much, much love from both of us.

Na’maste kala! .May we all be well, adapt and thrive.

About the Podcast

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About your host

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Tim and Vie

- Vie Binga - a former mathematician and computer scientist is a lifestyle entrepreneur, outdoor adventurer, author and global teacher of Paleo Āyurveda™, Spartan Yoga™ and Spartan Mind Strength™ which include Meditation, Breathwork, Spartan Fitness™, and Power Yin™. She loves to biohack blending science and nature, to enhance physical and mental performance, sharing her findings with others.

She believes that high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution will always make an impact in people’s lives and the world.

When she is not teaching or writing, she can be found rock climbing, surfing, whitewater kayaking or scuba diving.

- Tim Ganley - a former law enforcement officer and SWAT Leader/Trainer is a lifestyle entrepreneur, outdoor adventurer, author and global teacher of Meditation, Breathwork, Spartan Fitness™, Power Yin™, and Conscious Business.

He loves experimenting with disciplines that lead to physical and mental strength and endurance.

He believes that if people learn about the state of flow and practice building their life around it, the world will be much happier.

When he is not teaching or designing new programs, he can be found doing the same shit Vie is doing.