In daily life, Ganesha is remembered in marriages, worships, and auspicious functions so that unforeseen happenings can be prevented. Obstacles may range from the late arrival of the event manager to disagreeable “friends” and relatives and from simple health problems to unavoidable circumstances, summarized as “acts of God.” Such hurdles, which are easily perceptible to us, can be categorized as occurring at the physical level of existence.
Obstacles at the mental plane may include emotional stress, recalling of discouraging memories from the past, lack of clarity, and activation of our tamas instincts, which force us to consider the wrong to be righteous. As the bestower of buddhi (intellect), Ganesha can protect us from these limitations as well.
For spiritual seekers who know how to control their mind in meditation and have gained perfection in pranayama, obstacles may take the form of siddhis or other similar deflections from the true goal of spirituality. Obstacles on the spiritual plane are so strong and difficult to decipher that we may never realize their grip on us. But, again, devotion to Ganesha can save us from getting lured towards materialism during yoga and prayer. His devotion is considered sufficient for focus in spirituality and the alignment of all karma with auspiciousness (righteousness).
Happy Ganesha Chaturthi!