Ganesha also spelled “Ganesa” or “Ganesh”and also known as Ganapati,Vinayaka and Pillaiyar, is one of the best-known and most widely worshipped gods in the Hindu pantheon. His image is found throughout India. Devotion to Ganesha is widely diffused to Jains, buddists, hindus and beyond India. Although Lord Ganesha is the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. He is the Lord of success and destroyer of evils. He is also worshipped as the god of education, knowledge, wisdom and wealth. Ganesha has got a mouse or a rat which is the transporter (vahana). He has an elephant head with a curved trunk and big ears and the huge pot-bellied body of a human being.
Do you know the story of how Ganesha got his elepant head?
Once goddess Parvati, created a boy out of dirt and ordered him to guard the entrance to her bathroom while she was bathing. When Shiva, her husband returned, he was very angry because of the strange boy who blocked his way. He cut off the boy’s head. Parvati broke down in utter brief and to cool her, Shiva fixed the head of an elephant to the body of the boy and restored him to life. Shiva also bestowed a boon that people would worship the elephant-boy and seek his blessings before undertaking any new venture.
There is an annual festival which honours Ganesha. It falls in late August or early September.It is called the “Vinayagar Chaturthi”.
Viniya and Vivek
Ganesh de resina em efeito marfim
From Shri Siddhivinayaka Temple (Mumbai) website.
Image on the right, from Shri Siddivinayaka Temple (Mumbai)