Ganesha

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Ganesha, the god with an elephant head and rides on a mouse, is an important deity of Hinduism. He is the god that represents new beginnings. The introduction of Ganesha to Buddhism dates back to early tenth century, when the influence of trades and merchants introduced this deity to the rest of Asia. While his image appeared in Buddhist scriptures during the late Gupta period.

Consequently in Mahayana Buddhism, he appeared in the form of Buddhist god "Vinayaka", or also as a demon who must be propitiated in order to avoid destruction. As the Buddhist god Vinayaka, he is often shown dancing, with red complexion and matted locks of hair. This form of his is called Nritya Ganapati, which is also popular in northern India, later adopted in Nepal, and then in Tibet.


Painting Description:

This painting depicts all the important aspects of Ganesha, that holds special place in the Hindu as well as Buddhist communities. This Tibetan styled painting is both unique and symbolic to those who are familiar with him.

The Elephant Head of Ganesha signifies the Atman or the soul (The supreme reality of human existence), this is beautifully decorated with jewels and crown. The body represents Maya (Mankind's earthly existence), his trunk represents Om (The sound symbol of cosmic reality), fan-like ears convey that he will always hear the prayers of the faithful and the snake that runs round his waist represents energy in all forms.

He is seen dancing on a lotus pedestal over the bank of two intersecting rivers, with a goad in his upper left hand that helps him propel mankind forward on the eternal path and remove obstacles from the way. While, On the other hand he's got a Rosary that symbolizes that the pursuit of knowledge should be continuous. His humble nature is depicted by his ride, the lowest of creatures, a mouse.

Size: 20cm x 30cm


Ganesha in Buddhism:

In Buddhism, Ganesha can be quite different with respect to the Hindu interpretation of him. He is the only Hindu God regarded as a Bodhisattva a (Buddha-to-be). He is an ambivalent figure in Tibetan Buddhism. He is also shown being trampled upon by a Buddhist deity, Mahakala. In another form, he is the Destroyer of Obstacles, Nrtta Ganapati, the dancing god who made his way into Tibet through Nepal. As a red, many-limbed and fearfully armed deity, he is an emanation of Avalokiteswara, the Buddhist deity.

The early Buddhists took Ganesha with them to Japan, where he became a minor deity called Kangiten. Several rituals and beliefs practiced by his worshippers in Japan correspond with the Indian cult of Ganapatya. Many prominent temples have been dedicated to Ganesha in Japan. While businessmen propitiate him for success in their enterprises, young lovers pray to him for a fruitful courtship.