My Ganesh dharma began in Cambodia. I booked a room in the Grand Hotel d’Angkor where the service was so impeccable my feet barely touched the ground, and organized day trips to temple relics, to get in touch with a deeper sense of spirituality. It was at the mysterious overgrown jungle temple of Ta Prohm where I received my first Ganesh statue. Ta Prohm (1186) is a truly chaotic and spiritual temple ruin built by Jayavarman VII, dedicated to his mother and his guru. It was here I met the wizened monk who sweeps the steps of the temple to ensure the gods will have a safe passage up the steep narrow stairways. I bought a bamboo cowbell from him and posed for a photo. My father thought at least I was meeting men on my travels! As I left, the monk placed a tiny golden Ganesh in my hand. “He protects travelers and will help you find your way,” he told me as my guide translated. A sort of golden light washed over me in that moment, and then the monk was gone, and I began to wonder… why did he think I was lost?
What is your first Ganesh story?