– The Elephant God Of Hinduism Essay, Research Paper
Ganesha is one of the five major Hindu deities. He is the Elephant god, one of the most recognized symbols of Hinduism. He has the head of an elephant, the body of a pot-bellied man, and 4 human arms. Ganesha is the Lord of Success, and the destroyer of evil and obstacles. In addition to that, he is also worshipped as the God of education, wisdom, knowledge, and wealth. He is the son of Shiva and Parvati. He is often the most revered of the Hindu Gods, since he is one of the five major gods, and his followers are called Ganapatyas.
What is the origin of Ganesha? There are two stories of Ganesha s origin. The first, from the Shiva Purana, is a more believed story. It says that his mother, Parvati, wanted to bath without being interrupted, and she therefore made Ganesha, with a human head, out of dirt. She ordered him to stop anyone from bothering her. As Ganesha was guarding her bathing area, Shiva came along to see her, and struck Ganesha s head off when he was denied access. This sent Parvati in a spiral of grief, so Shiva sent his troops to get a head off any sleeping creature that was facing north. They brought back an elephant head, and thus Ganesha was reborn with the head of an Elephant.
From the Brahma Vaivarta Purana comes a second, less followed story, which is that after Ganesha s birth, all the gods and goddesses came to see the boy, and Lord Shani, the son of the Sun God, refused to look for fear of killing the boy. He was talked into looking at the boy, and when he did, the child s head was cut off. Vishu ran to a nearby riverbank and brought back an elephant s head, and attached it to the boy s body.
Ganesha is one of the five major Gods, has a sort of sub-religion based on him, and is the God of many things. All of these are standard of Hinduism, not only the perceived ideas from an outsider, but also what we learned in class. He has symbols of Atman on him and other symbols of Hinduism.
I liked reading this article. One reason is that I learned something new. The other is that on The Simpsons, Apu, the Kwik-E-Mart clerk, has a statue of Ganesha on his countertop at all times, for good luck and success.