Ganesh PrayerSuklaam Baradharam Vishnum
Prasanna Vadanam Dhyayet
Sarva Vighno Pasaantaye
Agajanana Padmarkam Gajanana Maharnisam
Anekadantam Bhaktanam Ekadanta Mupasmahe
The bright moon-like complexioned, all-pervading one, in white clad, with four arms and an ever-smiling face, I meditate upon Thee to bless me and remove all the obstacles.
This is the most important sloka recited before the beginning of any Hindu function / venture / religious ceremony. It is believed that Ganesha, aka Lord 'Vignesawara' is the remover of obstacles and evils. The word Vishnum in this sloka is not related to Lord Vishnu but it literally means the all-pervading and it implies to Lord Ganesha. In fact, no Hindu would dare to start any work without first reciting this slokam. Ganesha is the elder son (according to some beliefs He is the second son) of Lord Shiva and Parvati Devi.
Lord Ganesha is the Lord of all the Ganas (i.e groups), hence he is also known as Ganadhipati / Ganapati ('adhipati' means lord). Ganesh meaning is (Gan + Esh) 'eshwar' i.e. Lord of 'Ganas'
More Ganesha SlokasGajananam Bhootaganadhi Sevitam
Kapitha Jambuphala Charubhakshanam
Umasutham Sokavinasa Karakam
Namami Vigheswara Padapankajam
Vande Nirantara Samasta Kalaa Kalaapam
Girija Kumaaram Lambodaram
Vakratunda Mahaakaaya KotiSurya Samprabha
Nirvighnam Kurume Deva Sarva Karyeshu Sarvada
Ganesha is believed to be the Lord of Success and He is worshiped by the devotees not only for removing obstacles but also for having good education, gaining knowledge and wisdom.
Lord Ganesha in spite of his short stature is believed to be highly knowledgeable and wise. It is He who could successfully script the great epic of Mahabharata non-stop while it was being dictated non-stop by the author / composer Sage Veda Vyasa.
Every year Hindus celebrate His birthday as Ganesh Chaturthi on Bhadrapada Suddha Chaturthi day. Ganesha's idols are installed in the street corners. These are kept for 9 continuous days in some regions as a part of Vinayaka Navaratri celebrations. On the 11th day, these idols are taken in huge processions accompanied with dance and music and are immersed in the nearby water resources like lakes or rivers.