Laddus are small spherical sweets about the size of apricots or plums. They are stacked on trays, filling bowls, laid at his feet, on the table next to him, in his pockets and in his mouth constantly. He loves to throw them in the air and catch them in his mouth when he is making a point. There are many types of Laddus; Coconut Laddus, Boondi Laddus, Besan Laddus, and Malai Laddus to name a few. Millions of people offer him Laddus with Ghee or Soy in them, and although he is touched by their generosity and so he blesses these people, he does not eat them. Ganesh is a strict Vegan.
The best Laddus in the world are found at Mother’s Market and Deli in Orange County California. There they sell Raw Vegan Fruitarian Laddus almost every day. They are found in the Deli in with the pastries but are rarely on display. You must ask for them because they are hidden on a shelf behind the pastry display counter. They do not call them Laddus, instead they call them doughnut holes; they must hide them and call them this ridiculous name because of Vegan Ganesh.
They know that if Vegan Ganesh finds out about these Laddus, he will appear outside the store again. He starts playing his Vegan Mrdangam drum in the parking lot, slowly approaching the store as he starts chanting. Soon everyone starts singing the Shiva Bhajans he creates on the spot, and while the crowd that forms starts clapping, singing and dancing, he usually disappears for just a few seconds unnoticed, racing throughout the store, knocking over displays of fruits and vegetables, breaking mustard and vinegar bottles, stepping on prepared sandwiches, spilling guacamole containers until he finds the hidden Laddus and eats every single Raw Vegan Doughnut hole Laddu in the store.
Yes, Ganesh is Vegan and so he is referred to as Vegan Ganesh, Vegan Ganapati and Vegan Gan Deva. He is not a typical vegan, he is soy free. He is not soy intolerant, he just does not need the phytoestrogens. He eats Laddus all the time, but will eat anything Vegan that does not contain soy in between his Laddus. It seems that by being soy free, he gets to eat many different types of bean dishes, especially Dahl and Sambar which he loves, and thus he devotes himself primarily to Indian food, happily missing out on all the mock meats and Vegan Chinese Food restaurants. Vegan Gan Deva also loves nuts, coconuts, dates, and especially ripe loquats. Be careful, he spits the loquat seeds which is one of his favorite secret weapons.
I don’t think people realize that Vegan Ganapati, although civilized, wise, educated and lots of fun is like his mother and father, a hillbilly at heart. Vegan Parvati Devi’s name, his mother, means ‘Of the Mountains.’ So sometimes when he constantly chews Laddus or Loquats, he looks a bit like a mountain man chewing tobacco. The difference is that chewing tobacco leads to tongue, lip, mouth and throat cancer but Laddus leads to smiles and a large tummy.
The way Vegan Ganesh was born is a Mountain folk story classic. Vegan Parvati had covered her body and face with exotic moist clays mixed with spices and herbs like sandalwood, turmeric and frangipani, to let it all dry in the sun and absorb impurities before bathing in the waterfall basin. She flicked some of this magic clay from her arm into a small golden brass bowl and said a prayer to create a guardian to protect her from intruders while she was in the water. Poof, her first son was born. A city woman would have showered first, imported clays and used a Lalique crystal bowl with her closest friends watching just before a large exclusive baby shower on a yacht. The fact that Parvati had not yet rinsed brings out an unrefined, simple Mountain folk naturalness to the tale.
When her husband arrived, the young son fought him off as ordered by Mother. Vegan Shiva fought with his son to no avail. Then Vegan Vishnu, Vegan Brahma and others tried to wrestle with him for entrance to the waterfall with no progress to be made. The young boy lost his temper, or as it is said colloquially ‘lost his head,’ in defiance during his fights and became less God like and more animal like. The Karma for this is to have an Elephant head throughout the rest of his incarnation as a God. There was no violence in this vignette, no animal was killed for his sudden metamorphic head change because all the Gods and Goddesses are Vegan and very peaceful.
Everyone in India knows that both Vegan Shiva and Vegan Parvati, Gan Deva’s parents, are famous not just for being great Yogis, but for their extreme ascetic practices. What most people will not face is the fact that their purification does not stop there, but extends into a strict Vegan regime. Originally Vegan Shiva had a loincloth of leaves and then later tree barks wove his attire. As a God, he created a vegan leopard skin wrap way before pleather was fashionable, being way ahead of his time, to help in the winters cold in the Manali Hills area while he and Vegan Parvati were looking for the hot springs.
Basically, it was a nomadic lifestyle with Mom riding a lion, Dad riding a bull and everyone with knapsacks singing Kirtans and Bhajans as they hiked through the hills, collecting roots and flowers, nuts and fruits and leaves for meals and medicine along the way.
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