Pot Belly Obesity: Was Ganesha Diabetic?


Dr KK Aggarwal, Group Editor-in-Chief, IJCP Group    31 January 2018

one hand. Yet he never had diabetes. A spiritual interpretation to this can be that the big tummy symbolizes retention of all information gathered from listening with two big elephant ears. Sweets mean control of desires. There is a medical interpretation too, where the big tummy represents susceptibility of Asian Indians to pot belly obesity and to metabolic syndrome. Abdominal obesity is one of the diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome. The sweets denote uncontrolled desire to eat sweets, which can be controlled by the offerings (fruits and leaves) to Ganesha through their antidiabetic properties.

“Gajananam Bhoota Ganadi Sevitam; Kapittha Jambu Phalasara Bhakshitam; Umasutam Shoka Vinasha Karanam; Namami Vighneswara Pada Pankajam”.

“Oh Elephant-faced, worshiped by the existing beings, of all living beings, tasting the elephant apple (kaith) and jambolana (jamun), the Son of Uma, destroyer of grief, I bow to the lotus feet of Ganesha who is lord of all”.

This main Ganesha mantra can also be interpreted as explaining the antidiabetic properties of the various offerings to Ganesha.

Gajananam (the big tummy one worshipped by all) Bhoota (Durva grass and Bilva patra) Ganadi (in equal quantity) Sevitam (if consumed); Kapittha (Kaith) Jambu (Jamun) phalasara (fruits) bhakshitam (to be consumed); Umasutam (son of Uma) Shoka (diseases) Vinasha karanam (get rid of); Namami (I bow to) Vighneswara (destroyer of grief) Pada Pankajam (feet of lord)”

The mantra talks about four medicinal herbs: Durva grass and Bilva patra, elephant apple fruit (Kaith) and Jamun. Durva grass has antidiabetic, cholesterol-lowering, immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory activities. Bilva patra (Bel leaves) and Elephant apple (Kaitha) also have antidiabetic properties. Jamun is an antidiabetic, antioxidant and DNA protective and is an essential ingredient of most antidiabetic Ayurveda preparations.

Disclaimer: The views and interpretations expressed in this write up are my own based on listening to many Ayurveda experts.

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