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Ganesha Presence - from Ancient time to Now

The adored elephant-confronted Deity prominently known as Ganesha is a prominent Hindu Deity worshipped as the “Lord of Beginnings” and the “Remover of Obstacles.” And has charmed reasoning men from one side of the planet to the other, all through the ages even unto the current day. Ganesh is the benefactor God of knowledge & wisdom, and ostensibly the most notable of the Hindu Gods. He is loved across all factions of Hindus and by Buddhists and Jains. Mantras and ceremonies committed to Ganesh are offered before the beginning of any consecrated customs or celebrations to guarantee assurance.

Pattachitra - How Ganesha got his head

The hallowed writings give an assortment of stories portraying the succession of Ganesha's introduction to the world. The most famous being the one referencing that Ganesha was made by Goddess Parvati to guard her: After a major fight and death of this boy, he was brought back to life by Shiva with an elephant head. This child of Parvati was given the name ‘Ganesha’ by Shiva. The word Ganesha is composed of Gana (adherents of Shiva) and isha (master), along these lines Shiva selected him as the ruler of his ganas.

There have been wide varieties in his portrayal over a period of time, and across different nations and societies. Also he is the god with whom people have taken maximum creative liberty in his representation.

Ganesha is normally portrayed either as a pictograph or as a symbol with the body of a man and the top of an elephant, having just one tusk, the other tusk seeming broken and with a twisted trunk, usually turned to leave but sometimes to right. His special element, other than the elephant head, is the enormous stomach essentially falling over his lower article of clothing. On his chest, across his left shoulder, is his hallowed string, frequently as a snake. The vehicle of Ganesha is the mouse, frequently seen paying deference to his master. All these features have also given him distinctive names. He has 108 different names based on different characteristics.

According to the Hindu iconography, Ganesha figures with only two hands are taboo. Hence, Ganesha figures are most commonly seen with four hands which signify their divinity. Some figures may be seen with six, some with eight, some with ten, some with twelve, and some with fourteen hands, each hand carrying a symbol which differs from the symbols in other hands, there being about fifty-seven symbols in all, according to the findings of research scholars.

Design and figures are inseparably connected in India. In this way, on the off chance that one discusses Indian engineering without observing the shower-designed adornment with which landmarks are covered, a fractional and contorted picture is introduced.

Terracotta Ganpati - Gupta Period - Julian Sherrier Collection, London

One of the earliest sculpture references were found in a few Ganesha like terracotta images recovered in excavations from different Indus Valley sites. Very early historical references of Ganesh sculptures were found in the Pre-Mauryan period as well. With its increasing & improving presence during Mayuryan, Shunga, Kushanan, & Gupta Period. Indian art reached its zenith in the Gupta period with the noble experiment of harmonising rupa and bhava thus during this period his statues, both of aesthetic interest as well as a votive, had well set. In initial sculptures, though the images of the Gupta period revealed unique plasticity and great elegance and were rare in aesthetic & décor they were quite simple.

Bronze Ganpati- 12th Century

In the post-Gupta period statues of Lord Ganesha began assuming the highly decorative character and diversified forms. Early sculptures of Ganesha were usually seated, ‘padmasana’ – lotus-seated, or otherwise, and invariably in thoughtful quietude with very simple or no ornaments. However, the sculptors of the subsequent period preferred Ganesha's standing images, often in a posture of dance, or at least bending right or left, sometimes in ‘tribhanga’ – three-curved posture, in some innovations even reclining with his head supported on his right hand or on a huge bolster, and sometimes playing on musical instruments, drum in particular and many more.

Not so much the early, his subsequent images were well bejewelled. Two snakes, one serving as a belt around his belly, and the other, as ‘yajnopavit, were almost essential features of Ganesha's adornment.

Countering this essentially Shaivite attribute he was adorned with a crown that revealed Vaishnava character. In some other sculptures, Ganesa was portrayed with Saraswati and Lakshmi on equal footings. In these architectural references, the material used varies from Terracota, stone, marble, wood, Iron, Copper, Brass to bronze (Kasa).

In the present times, people have begun carving for Ganesha sculptures from every possible thing, from sand to chocolate, the world has now seen it all. With the rising concern towards environmental issues, awareness among the people raised. This led to the idea of the creation of Lord Ganesha idols with materials that are not only eco-friendly but also leave no harmful residue once immersed in water (talking in the reference of Ganesha Visarjan here). For instance, an idol of Ganpati completely made out of chocolate was immersed in milk in the year 2020 by a renowned businessman in Mumbai, and later that milk was served among the poor as ‘prasad’. This is how the times have changed in comparison to the ancient times.

Ganesh Utsav Preparation

With the Ganesha Utsava going on, people bring idols of Lord Ganesha to their home for 10 days and pray to him, offer him his favourite dishes like Modak, and serve him with great fervour. The legend around the elephant-headed God is a notable story and on the grounds that he has a curious look, it turns out to be significantly more interesting to return home the right type of symbol. Choosing a Ganpati symbol includes not just a couple of complexities, it ought to likewise radiate satisfaction and warmth. From grasping a laddu to which side his trunk ought to be, there are such a large number of guides on purchasing or making the right symbol. Yet, did you realize that there is likewise a correct method to put the symbol at home? As indicated by Vastu Shastra, if a Ganpati icon is put the correct way, it acquires amicability and success.

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