Monday, April 14, 2008

References available upon request

There's no substantial evidence per se, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Ganesha, the Elephant-headed Hindu Lord of Obstacles, got me my job.

I first met Ganesha in 1997, in the Theatre Arts section of a used bookstore. I was an intercollegiate competitive speaker at the time, and I was digging around for material to use at an upcoming tournament, when I came across a hardcover edition of Terrence McNally's Pulitzer-nominated play A Perfect Ganesh. There are four characters in the show: Margaret and Katherine, best friends, each secretly dealing with a personal tragedy, who have decided to have a two-week adventure in India; "Man," an ensemble performer who takes on numerous roles; and Ganesha, who plays Himself, but who is also an ensemble performer who takes on numerous roles. Because, as He says in the opening scene, "I am everywhere."

It's an incredibly powerful story, and it was my introduction to the concept of immanence--that is, God(s) in everything. And while I didn't immediately fall to my knees and start singing the praises of Ganesha, I did develop a healthy respect for Him.

A couple of years later, while working for the Episcopal Church, I saw a wooden Ganesha plaque tucked in among the all-natural candles at my local Whole Foods. I'd wanted an image of Ganesha ever since I read the play, although I'd never found one that particularly moved me (I'm very picky about icons). But this one grabbed my attention, so I bought it, went back to work and put it next to my office computer. A few months later, I ended up with a beaded sandalwood choker that was too small for me, so I hung it on the plaque. I figured He might like it.

And that was that. I read a few more things about Ganesha here and there, coming to the conclusion that He was All Right in My Book, but I never venerated or gave offerings or developed any kind of religious practice around Him. And I never asked Him for anything, which is kind of odd, considering that's His stock in trade. He's the Remover of Obstacles: that's what He does, and by all accounts He's very good at it. I just kept His image around, thought about Him whenever I saw it, and went on with whatever I was doing at the time.

Fast-forward ahead a few more years. I was working for this awful design firm, which was quickly and unstoppably going out of business. They hadn't paid me for weeks, mainly because they'd run out of money, and I had no clue what I was going to do next. One day, while dolefully clicking about the Internet, I happened upon a job posting for an editorial assistant position. I sent in my résumé on more of a whim than anything else, heard back from them the next day, and two weeks later, I was sitting in the CEO's office in the middle of my second interview.

Got the job the day after that, been there ever since. Yay for me and my excellent résumé-writing abilities.

Fast-forward again, during which time I collect a few more pieces of Ganesha memorabilia: a small framed portrait (ends up on my desk); an adorable stuffed toy; a glass-encased candle. So I'm sitting in the CEO's office this afternoon, and we're happily discussing strategies and solutions and synergy, and when the meeting's over, I stand to leave and turn around and notice a brass Ganesha statue on his bookshelf.

Darshan. Totally.

If you accept the immanence of Deity, and if you believe that the image of a given Deity can act as a focal point for His or Her manifestation, then Ganesha's been with the company longer than I have. He was there during my second interview, and He's literally been behind me everytime I've walked into the CEO's office.

And if you think back to me at that design firm, and what a crappy situation I was in, and how suddenly I just fell into a Dream Job that's turning into quite the lucrative career...

Oy.

Like I said at the beginning of this, I don't have any proof whatsoever that Ganesha had anything to do with me getting and keeping this job. But on the off-chance he did...

When I got home this afternoon, I flung myself in front of my Ganesha plaque, lit my candle, burned some sandalwood incense (seeing a fragrance theme here?), grabbed my mala and chanted 108 times, poured Him a big glass of milk and presented Him with a heaping bowl of bite-sized donuts.

Just in case.

If you have a few moments, and you feel like giving Ganesha a howdy-do, click here. Don't forget to tell Him I said hi.

6 comments:

Cosette said...

Congratulations! And thanks for link to the Ganesha site. I love it.

I don't have a lot to add except that I completely understand the quiet presence of a deity. That's how my relationship is with Brigid. I don't really actively worship her though she has a little spot on my altar. But I think of her and feel her.

Evn said...

ShreeGanesh.com is one of my favorite sites. Lots great information there.

I don't really actively worship her though she has a little spot on my altar. But I think of her and feel her.

Yup, that's exactly how it was with me and Ganesha. Except from here on out, He'll get milk and cookies whenever He wants them. Re: Just in case.

Anne Johnson said...

We at "The Gods Are Bored" salute Ganesha, awesome finder of wonderful jobs, and hope he will find us one even though our whole altar is devoted to Queen Brighid the Bright. We'll make room for his cookies...

Evn said...

Ganesha is dutifully saluted. Give Him milk, too, and aim for pastry over cookie. Results guaranteed.

Code Name Sarah said...

I'm so pleased that Ganesha is not lactose intolerant...particularly since my tiny, tiny Ganesha is currently sitting next to a bottle of perfume oil that smells like pastry and milky tea with honey!

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