Lord Ganesha  

Posted by Stella Clark

Lord Ganesha Cover
Ganesha, also spelled Ganesa or Ganesh, also known as Ganapati, Vinayaka, and Pillaiyar, is one of the deities best-known and most widely worshipped in the Hindu pantheon. His image is found throughout India and Nepal. Hindu sects worship him regardless of affiliations.Devotion to Ganesha is widely diffused and extends to Jains, Buddhists, and beyond India.

Although he is known by many other attributes, Ganesha's elephant head makes him easy to identify. Ganesha is widely revered as the Remover of Obstacles and more generally as Lord of Beginnings and Lord of Obstacles (Vighnesha, Vighneshvara, patron of arts and sciences, and the deva of intellect and wisdom. He is honoured at the beginning of rituals and ceremonies and invoked as Patron of Letters during writing sessions. Several texts relate mythological anecdotes associated with his birth and exploits and explain his distinct iconography.

This God of knowledge and the remover of obstacles is also the older son of Lord Shiva. Lord Ganesha is also called Vinayak ( knowledgeable ) or Vighneshwer (god to remove obstacles). He is worshipped, or at least remembered, in the beginning of any auspicious performance for blessings and auspiciousness.

Ganesha emerged a distinct deity in clearly recognizable form in the 4th and 5th centuries CE, during the Gupta Period, although he inherited traits from Vedic and pre-Vedic precursors. His popularity rose quickly, and he was formally included among the five primary deities of Smartism (a Hindu denomination) in the 9th century. A sect of devotees called the Ganapatya, who identified Ganesha as the supreme deity, arose during this period. The principal scriptures dedicated to Ganesha are the Ganesha Purana, the Mudgala Purana, and the Ganapati Atharvashirsa. In his praise the Ganesha Chalisa is sung.

He has four hands, elephant's head and a big belly. His vehicle is a tiny mouse. In his hands he carries a rope (to carry devotees to the truth), an axe (to cut devotees' attachments), and a sweet dessert ball -laddoo- (to reward devotees for spiritual activity). His fourth hand's palm is always extended to bless people.

A unique combination of his elephant-like head and a quick moving tiny mouse vehicle represents tremendous wisdom, intellegence, and presence of mind.

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This entry was posted on 15 April 2010 at Thursday, April 15, 2010 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

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