Ganapati or Ganesha, the Lord of Ganas, the elephant faced God, represents the power of the Supreme Being that removes obstacles and ensures success in human endeavors. Ganesha is revered as the son of the Shiva and Parvati, and is always honored first in most worship services and rituals. Ganesha is also known as Ganapati, Vigneswara, Vinayaka, Gajamukha and Ainkaran. He is worshipped for siddhi, success in undertakings, and buddhi, intelligence. He is worshipped before any venture is started.
He is also the God of education, knowledge and wisdom, literature, and the fine arts. Ganesha is also one of the five Gods the worship of whom was popularised by Adi Shankaracharya; the other four are Vishnu, Shiva, Devi and Surya. The worship of these five deities is called the pancayatana puja. In some cases, a sixth God, Skanda is also worshipped. The large head of an elephant symbolizes wisdom, understanding, and a discriminating intellect that one must possess to attain perfection in life.
The wide mouth represents the natural human desire to enjoy life in the world. The large ears signify that a perfect person is the one who possesses a great capacity to listen to others and assimilate ideas. The trunk relates to the power of human mind which must be strong enough to face the ups and downs of the external world and yet delicate enough to explore the subtle realms of the inner world.
The two tusks denote the two aspects of the human personality, wisdom and emotion. The right tusk represents wisdom left tusk represents emotion. The broken left tusk conveys the idea that one must conquer emotions with wisdom to attain perfection. The eyes: the elephant eyes are said to possess natural deceptiveness that allows them to perceive objects to be bigger than what they really are. Thus the elephant eyes symbolize the idea that even if an individual gets "bigger and bigger" in wealth and wisdom, he should perceive others to be bigger than himself; that is, surrender one's pride and attain humility.
The four arms and various objects in the four hands: the four arms indicate that the Lord is omnipresent and omnipotent. The left side of the body symbolizes emotion and the right side symbolizes reason. An axe in the upper left hand and a lotus in the upper right hand signify that in order to attain spiritual perfection, one should cut worldly attachments and conquer emotions. This enables one to live in the world without being affected by earthly temptations, just as a lotus remains in water but is not affected by it.
A tray of Laddus near the Lord denotes that He bestows wealth and prosperity upon His devotees. The lower right hand is shown in a blessing pose, which signifies that Ganesha always blesses his devotees.
A body with a big belly: the human body possesses a human heart, which is a symbol of kindness and compassion toward all. Ganesha's body is usually portrayed wearing red and yellow clothes. Yellow symbolizes purity, peace and truthfulness. Red symbolizes the activity in the world.
A mouse sitting near the feet of Ganesha and gazing at the tray of Laddus: a mouse symbalizes the ego that can nibble all that is good and noble in a person. A mouse sitting near the feet of Ganesha indicates that a perfect person is one who has conquered his (or her) ego. Right foot dangling over the left foot illustrates that in order to live a successful life one should utilize knowledge and reason to overcome emotions.