If you are slightly attentive, today many people display the statue of Lord Ganesha, whether at private home, office, businesses or others. Why? The elephant-headed god is usually placed in the front yard, right at aling-aling or divider of courtyard and entrance gate space. At Taman Punggul, Abiansemal - Badung, for instance, virtually every home has a Ganesha statue. Aside from functioning as decorative work, it is also functioned as shrine.
Prof. Dr. I Made Titib, the Rector of the Hindu Dharma Institute (IHDN) of Denpasar, said that Ganesha statue was believed by Hindu community in Bali as a remover of any obstacles (evil intent). It was placed in front of the house as an entry guard. “Ganesha as the son of Lord Shiva serves as ganeswara believed to remove all the obstacles,” he said.
As the gods of wisdom and intelligence, Ganesha statue was placed in schools. Its vehicle was a mouse symbolizing a great wisdom and could always suppress the cunning of mouse. “Broken fang of Ganesha symbolizes if he has been able to eliminate the internal enemy, so that he can also defeat the external enemy,” he explained.
Prof. Titib added that Semaradahana palm-leaf manuscript told about the birth of Ganesha originating from the powerful ogre that disrupted heaven. Lord Shiva then meditated, so that it was born a god (elephant-headed human). Ganesha baby then fought against the ogre. He was willing to break the fangs to beat the powerful ogre. “In other words, when we are able to overcome our internal enemies we are surely able to beat the external enemies, too,” he said.
Balinese people also commonly place a Ganesha statue in haunted places. To place the statue did not require special offerings, but depended on the people’s capability. There was no requirement to place a Ganesha statue, but Hindu community believed in its strength. To make it more secure, around the statue was also planted with broadleaf lady palm and holy basil that also functioned to remove evil spirits.
The power of the Lord Ganesha was also evidenced by rishi gana ritual where it was equipped with the installation of Ganesha pennant so that the environment was free from evil spirits. “Many people also directly make the statue, so they feel more confident,” he added.
Meanwhile, Wayan Balik, a sculptor of Sura Patung in Batubulan said that a Ganesha statue could be made from any materials provided that they were sturdy. Some sculptors used stone, clay, concrete, wood, jewelry or gold.
In keeping with the increasingly rampant placement of the decorative sculpture, Balik suggested to pay attention that the statue should be placed honorably. So, it would not be placed haphazardly because it functioned as decoration. (BTN/015)