Lord Ganesha, his two wives – Riddhi & Siddhi, story and significance of Lord Ganesha and his two wives Riddhi and Siddhi..
Gurudev, yesterday you spoke at length about Lord Ganesha. It is said that Lord Ganesha has two wives or consorts: Riddhi and Siddhi. What is the significance behind this?
In our country, we see this with a great deal of symbolism. Riddhi (intelligence) andSiddhi (extraordinary abilities) always go hand in hand with knowledge. A wife is one who is always with you in every aspect. So Riddhi and Siddhi were represented as wives of Lord Ganesha and always shown along with Him.
This is just a symbolic representation. There are no celestial or divine ladies by the name of Riddhi and Siddhi as such. Do not misunderstand this.
The wife of Lord Surya is called as Chhaya Devi (“Chhaya” in Hindi means shadow). This does not mean that there is some Goddess by this name seated high up in the Heavens. We have interpreted this all so foolishly, that we have not been able to grasp the deep and hidden meaning behind all this symbolism.
People construct a Sun temple for Lord Surya and then install the idol of a goddess alongside Him. They have started having a marriage ritual for the two as well (laughter). Wherever there is sunlight, there is shadow. They go hand in hand, isn’t it? Whenever light falls on an object, it also casts a shadow as well, isn’t it? When the sun rises and there is sunlight, do not all objects cast their own shadow? In order to represent this symbolically, they have depicted Chhaya Devi as the consort of Lord Surya.
Lord Ganesha is said to be the Lord of Wisdom. So the representation of two goddesses on His sides is only to depict that both Riddhi (intelligence) and Siddhi(enhanced abilities) go together with wisdom. We have forgotten this deeper meaning and instead have started keeping two lady idols carrying rice or flowers on each side of Lord Ganesha. When you do not understand the deeper meaning, then you become foolish and this does not bring you any Siddhi also!
You mindlessly perform Puja of the idols without knowing the significance. I tell you, there is no use.
Adi Shankaracharya says so beautifully, “Atma tvam Girijamatihi sahachara prana shariram griham. Puja te vishayopabhoga rachana nidra samadhi sthithihi. Samchara padayoha pradakshina vidhi stotram sarvagiro. Yadyat karma karomi tat-tad-akhilam Shambho tavaradhanam” (Concluding verse, Para Puja by Adi Shankaracharya)
It means that Lord Shiva is your very soul, and Goddess Parvati is your intelligence, your intellect. The Prana (subtle life force) or the Pancha-Prana (five types of subtle airs or life energies) constantly circulates within your body. Your body is like the temple that houses the Divine. This is what has been said. Lord Ganesha is a Shakti (divine force or power), and Riddhi and Siddhi go hand in hand with that Shakti.
Note – Its an excerpt of Sri Sri Ravishankar Guruji’s satsung at Art of Living.