I've seen this written at various places say shop entrances, home entrances and other places.

These terms are generally written besides Lord Ganesha's image. Not only this, it is also written on marriage invitations and Diwali greetings.

The terms are often associated with swastika symbol (well, most of the time).

So why they write the terms Shubh which means auspiciousness and Labh means Profit?

Shubh Labh with Swastika symbol

Image Credits : zns.india.com

  • Isn't this very constricted and narrow question? I have only seen this practice in western India... views? I mean not all Hindus do this.. and there need not be a particular reason for this. Jul 4 '14 at 10:54
  • @VineetMenon There is always a reason behind everything, I mean, why write when there is no reason to do so?
    – Mr. Alien
    Jul 4 '14 at 10:56
  • 1
    okay.. let's wait for someone to provide one. Jul 4 '14 at 11:03
  • 1
    @VineetMenon I saw this mark on local temples in south too.
    – Mr_Green
    Jul 4 '14 at 11:51
  • I'm not talking about swastika, rather about the 'shubha labh' inscription; and it's not found beyond vindhya, simply because 'devnagri' is no longer used. Jul 4 '14 at 11:53

To understand this, you should know the actual meaning of lord Ganesha's story .

The most well-known story about Ganesh’s birth is probably the one taken from the Shiva Purana

Once mother Parvati wanted to take a bath, there were no attendants around to guard her and stop anyone from accidentally entering the cave. Hence she created an image of a boy out of dirt and infused life into it, and thus a little boy was born. Parvati asked the boy not to allow anyone to enter the house, and the boy obediently followed his mother's orders.

Background: There are 2 energies in this Universe. One is the Universal GOD Energy that is outside us and the other is the Soul Energy that is inside a person. Hindu scriptures know that GOD is beyond Man or Women. To explain to a novice GOD is depicted sometimes as a Man and sometimes a Women (Per Hindu scriptures). So sometimes the Universal GOD is depicted as Man and sometimes it is depicted as a Woman. Similarly the soul inside is either a Woman or a Man depending on what the Universal GOD is depicted as.

Explanation: So in the story of Ganesh’s Birth, Parvati is depicted as Universal GOD and Shiva is the Soul in the body.

After a while Shiva returned from outside, and as he tried to enter the house,

Explanation: In a living person, Shiva (Soul) is always trying to reach Parvati (Universal Soul).

Shiva came to meet Parvati and was stopped by the little boy. He told the little boy that he was Parvati's husband, and demanded that he be let in. The little boy would not hear any person's word other than his dear mother's. So Shiva has a fierce battle with the little boy. The little boy was strong and rose up to the challenge and fought Shiva and held him back.

Explanation: The force stopping Soul(Shiva) from reaching Universal GOD (Parvati) is the little child and that is the EGO of the person. EGO is explained in different ways. Will not go in detail on what EGO is in this post. Just know that EGO is so strong that it can stop Shiva(Soul) from reaching Parvati (Universal GOD).

At last Shiva severed the head of the little boy head with his trishula.

Explanation: The only way for Shivato meet Parvati is to cut the head of EGO. i.e Bow the head to the Universal GOD. When EGO is out of the way Shiva(Soul) and Parvati

(Universal GOD) meet in a living person.

When Parvati came out and saw her son's lifeless body she asked that Shiva restore the boy’s life. A Brahma suggested that Shiva replace the boys head with the first living being that came his way which lay with its head facing north. Shiva then sent his celestial armies (Gana) to find and take the head of whatever creature they happened to find asleep with its head facing north. They found a dying elephant which slept in this manner, and after its death took its head, attaching the elephant's head to the boy’s body and bringing him back to life. And thus Ganesha is Born.

Explanation: In a living person the EGO is gone and therefore the Soul(Shiva) of the person has met the Universal GOD(Parvati). The energies activated in the person now is that of Ganesha. Meaning that any action taken by a person while connecting the Soul to the Universal GOD will remove obstacle. The elephant head is depicts the removal of obstacles.

Ganesha is married to 2 sisters Riddhi and Siddhi.

Explanation: In that state Ganesha i.e. Shiva(Soul) and Parvati (Universal Soul) meeting in a living person, interacts with the world. In this world one can only give or/and take from someone. i.e. Ridhi and Sidhi. So Ganesha (living person) is married to the world of giving and receiving. The living person is married to either taking or giving something to this world.

Ganesha has 2 children from Riddhi and Siddhi..Name of the children are Shubh and Labh

Explanation: So a living person in the state of Ganesha interacts with the world Riddhi and Siddhi there is an output from it that interaction i.e. He gets SHUBH LABH or PURE PROFIT.

Shubh and Labh ask their parents for a sister and they get a sister names Santosh.

Explanation: So from the interaction with the world as Ganesha a person gets SHUBH LABH (PURE PROFIT) and from the PURE PROFIT he gets SANTOSH or CONTENTMENT.

That is the purpose of Life. To get CONTENTMENT in every action that one takes in Life.


In a living person the Soul (Shiva) is always trying to meet the Universal GOD (Parvati).

EGO stops the Shiva (Soul) from meeting Parvati (Universal GOD).

When the head of EGO is removed Shiva(Soul) and Parvati (Universal GOD) meet thereby creating igniting the energies of Lord Ganesha.

As Ganesha when a person interacts with the world as, giving (Riddhi) and taking (Siddhi), then the output is Shubh (Pure) Labh (Profit).

From Shubh Labh (Pure Profit) the person gets Santosh (Contentment).


When one prays to Lord Ganesha then one is asking to connect to the Universal Soul to remove obstacles and to give us contentment. All the rituals are fully aligned to this principle.

Quoting from : atul-thakur.hubpages.com


It is a practice to write Shubha Labha along with the image of Ganesha. Shubh is ‘auspiciousness’ and Labh is ‘Profit.’ The two words are mainly written by traders, business men, shopkeepers etc on account books and in front of the shops. Some Hindu cultures consider Shubh and Labh as the sons of Ganesha.

In some Hindu traditions, Ganesh has two wives named Riddhi (material wealth) and Siddhi (intellectual and spiritual wealth). Ganesha has two sons named Shubh and Labh in Riddhi and Siddhi. source:hindu-blog

So writing Shubh Labha is to gain auspiciousness and Profit and its also symbolic to Lord Ganesha's children name too.

  • Yes I have also read that Shubh and Labh are the names of Ganesha's sons Sep 18 '18 at 16:39

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .