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In Hinduism, Ganesha, Ganesh often called Ganapati in southern India - "lord of divinity troops" or better "lord of categories" - is the god of wisdom, intelligence, intelligence, education and prudence, the patron of schools and knowledge workers. It is the god who lifts the obstacles. He is the son of Shiva and Pârvatî, the husband of Siddhî, the success and Riddhî, the wealth. He plays an important role in Tantrism.

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Ganesha
GANESHA

 

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Traditionally depicted with a fat red body usually having four arms and an elephant head with a single defense, his vâhana or vehicle is a rat or a mouse, Mûshika. The latter sometimes symbolizes the god alone, as Nandi can do for his father. The two complement each other, the massive elephant, powerful and thoughtful, the rat small, mobile and malicious, have all the necessary assets to solve the problems of the world.

Ganesha

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The most common attributes of Ganesh are:

  • the ax - parashu - classic weapon of Shiva, destroys desire and attachment, and thus suppresses agitation and sorrow.

  • the noose - pasha - which is used to capture the error

  • the elephant sting - ankusha - symbol of his mastery over the world

  • the broken defense knows several interpretations. A myth says that Ganesh used it to write the Vedas or Mahabharata under the dictation of Vyasa. This is why Ganesh Ekadanta is also called - of ek, one and danta, tooth - the one with only one defense.

  • the manta, a garland or a rosary with 50 elements, the 50 letters of the Sanskrit alphabet

  • the cake - modaka - or the bowl of treats - modaka-patra - the sweetness that rewards the truth seeker

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In southern India and Sri Lanka, Ganesh sometimes holds fruit in his hand, a mango or a lemon. We know, particularly in Nepal, representations of Ganesh with more than four arms and more than one head, often related to Tantrism.

Ganesh is most often seated, on a lotus throne, with his left leg bent, his right leg hanging, in a relaxed posture. But he can be represented dancing: let's not forget that his father Shiva is Nataraja, the king of dance. It is also sometimes found lying on a sofa, a book open in front of him.

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Symbolism of Ganesha

Ganapati is one of the symbols of the identity between the macrocosm and the microcosm, between the Divine and the human. This symbolism is found in the respective sizes of Ganesh, the elephant, the largest land animal and its vâhana, the mouse, a very small mammal.

In its representation, the lower part is the human part and the upper part, the head, is the elephantine and divine part. He is a man but his mind is like the cosmos, he can, by the power of thought, remove the obstacles of ignorance and understand the nature of the Universe.

Ganeshapark Elephant Kanchanaburi Thailande

 
Ganesha
 
   
Ganesha
 
 

The stories that explain how Ganesh gets his head are many and varied. Often derived from Shiva Purana, they relate that Shiva, returning from a long period of meditation in the Himalayas, found a young man barring the door of his house to prevent him from entering while Parvati was bathing. The young man was the son whom the (demi) goddess had conceived, by means of the dust and ointments which she had scraped on her skin, to keep her company during her solitude. Furious at being banned from entering his house, Shiva pulled out his sword and cut off the head of his "son" who rolled away and became untraceable.

Seeing this, Pârvatî told him the whole story and, inconsolable, demanded that he give life to his son on the spot. Shiva promised that he would replace the head with that of the first creature to come. An elephant passed ... By this act, and although Ganesh was conceived without him, Shiva assumes his paternity.

According to a Tamil legend of Kanchipuram, the elephant's head is due to the fact that during the antics that led to the conception of the divine child, Shiva and Uma (Pârvatî) had adopted the form of an elephant couple.

In another story, Pârvatî introduced their son to Shiva who opened his third eye and turned his head to ashes. Brahma then asked to replace this head and as an elephant came to pass ...

As for the broken defense, it is said that one night Ganesh fell from his rat and broke a defense. Seeing this, the moon burst out laughing. Ganesh then threw him the broken defense, and since that day during processions in honor of Ganesh one avoids to look at the Moon.

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