Why any ritual or new work begin by worshiping Ganesh?

This is excellent question. There are several ways to answer this. I will attempt first way here. May गणेश देवता bless.

We are inseparable part of this universe. यथा पिंडे तथा ब्रह्मांडे. So essentially, we are also nothing but made up of पञ्चमहाभूत. आकाश, वायु, अग्नि, जल, पृथ्वी. Mind you, don’t compare them with element table modern science teaches. People do so and consider Vedic knowledge as primitive. But that is not the case. These 5 तत्व are 5 forms of the universe. Five states in which any living or non-living things exist.

These five states emerged from eachother.

आकाश -> वायु -> अग्नि -> जल -> पृथ्वी.

Don’t even compare jala with water you see around or prithvi with the Earth, out habitat. All these five states represent entire universe and not just the Earth or water.

Each element is represented by Ishwara.

आकाश – विष्णु

वायु – सूर्य

अग्नि – माँ शक्ति

जल – गणेश

पृथ्वी – शंकर

Ok, fair enough. But this doesn’t answer the question. If this is the sequence, we should either worship आकाश(विष्णु) or पृथिवी(शंकर). Why गणेश?

To answer these question, few more questions.

  • What is essential for successful execution of any karma/action?
    1. Less or zero obstables
  • What is prerequisite for successful execution?
    1. Strength & intelligence

As such there is no difference in any form of Ishwara but we can’t deny their specialties. Jala tattva has special characteristics to help us manage intelligence decisions for obstacle-free karma and that too by remaining calm and peaceful. Even during the most turbulent war or most intense intellectual work, subject remains calm and peaceful when the work is started by remembering, worshiping and resonating Jala tattva i.e. Shri Ganesh.

Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t begin your prayers or actions by worshiping some other form of Ishwara! For humans, it is natural to begin worship by worshipping Ganesh as our existence is centered around him.

How he is in center?

In Yogic Sadhana, there is process called चक्रभेदन and it starts with the first chakra, the base chakra i.e. Muladhar. It is foundation of the organism’s existence.

Each living entity has center-of-gravity or देह-मध्य or नाभि. As per scriptures, देह-मध्य is where मूलाधार or abode of गणेश is. For humans, it is near GUT. For animals, in heart. For birds, in stomach. For trees, it is roots. For all living and non-living beings, देह-मध्य varies and so place of गणपति. Based on the place or the host, गणपति’s name, form, color, vehicle and decoration changes. So there are infinite forms of गणपति based on variations in प्राण combinations of each object (living or dead) has.

For trees, microbes play critical role at roots. For us, in GUT. This is no coincidence. Where there are मरुत गण, there is गणपति.

First and foremost thing we can do to Ganesh Pooja in human form is to maintain proper posture. 🙂 Right posture means stability of प्राण in देह-मध्य.

Second, we can keep our GUT clean. Modak made from Desi Cow ghee helps here in this season. 🙂

Note: देह-मध्य शुचिता (cleansing of center of the body) is important post-monsoon. We can prepare Modak (GUT cleaning mental and physical actions) for us but who will take care of trees and plants? Desi cow’s gobar, milk, ghee, mutra are their Modak.

1) Do प्राणायाम
2) Do conscious breathing. Regulate your Prana.
3) Strive to become जितेन्द्रिय