In his hand Ganesha wields a noose and goad, and he holds a bowl of sweets. With the noose Ganesh can hold you close or capture and confine both blessings and obstacles. With the goad, Ganesha can strike and repel obstacles from you. Ganesha removes obstacles but he can also put them in your way to prevent you from going down the wrong path.
Ganesha’s four arms stand for his immense power in helping Humanity. Lord Ganesh is the Single-Tusk One, patron of literature, who tore off one of his tusks to scribe the great epic Mahabharata. Through this action Ganapati teaches us that knowledge and dharma are of utmost importance worth sacrificing even pride and beauty to attain.
If you look at statues and imagery of Ganesha, there is frequently a tiny little rat (or mouse) at his feet, Mushika, representing the worldly desires that need to be overcome. This being is known as Ganesh’s “Vahana” or vehicle, and was basically used as a mode of transport after having been tamed by Ganesh. It is said that the contradiction between the heaviness of the elephant and the lightness of the rat is an illustration of Ganesh’s role as one who brings about unity and harmony, and this is further demonstrated by the fact that Ganesh was able to tame a creature considered to be vermin.
Ganesh resides on the mental plane. He sits contentedly upon the muladhara (first) chakra and reigns over it. Ganesh is the deity of the instinctive mind and of the intellectual mind, science, and knowledge ~ making him the Lord of Categories. He organizes and clears the mind so that awareness may flow into it. Ganesh is also the Giver of Success, and is associated with general abundance in life. Among all the wonderful Hindu deities, Shri Ganesha is closest to the material plane of consciousness and most able to assist us in our day to day life concerns.