Deities: Ganesh

No traditional Hindu will launch upon a new undertaking without invoking Ganesha, for it is he, as Vighneshwara, the remover of obstacles, who clears the path to success. The Sarvajanik puja or public worship of Ganesha is popular mostly in Maharashtra and Orissa. Contributions are collected from the neighbourhood and a huge idol of the deity is installed in a public space. A variety entertainment is held after the daily worship each evening, when the devotees assemble before the deity. The idol is later taken in a procession and ceremonially immersed in water. The legends about the birth and exploits of this deity are many; different Puranas giving different versions of the same incidents.

Our story is based solely on the Shiva Purana version.On the heights of Mount Kailasa, the divine household of Shiva and Parvati stood divided; for Shiva came and went as he pleased and Parvati was irked by his intrusions on her privacy. Out of that divine dissension was born Ganesha, who rose to become perhaps the most loveable deity in the Hindu pantheon. His lineaments are familiar – for song, story and ritual have made them so. An elephant head with the trunk curled gracefully over a generous potbelly, four arms bearing his distinctive emblems of godhood and his portly figure mounted on a tiny mouse, his chosen vehicle. There are many interpretations of this unique combination. The most popular is that the deity embodies the power and wisdom of the elephant and the mobility of the agile mouse.

Script : Kamala Chandrakant
Illustrator :C.M. Vitankar
ISBN : 81-7508-148-1

Code: 509

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