Hinduism is the primary religion across India and Nepal, with over 900 million practitioners or followers around the world. This religion honors different deities, each with his or her own story, and many Hindus have statues and altars honoring each deity at home.
At Vintage India NYC, we sell beautiful statues of some deities, and other symbolic spiritual items. For those unfamiliar with Lord Ganesh, here are five facts about this well-loved and easily recognized Hindu deity:
* Lord Ganesh is the son of Lord Shiva and his wife, Parvati, and he has four hands, an elephant’s head and a human body.
* Ganesh is the God of knowledge and new beginnings, the remover of obstacles and is also known as the Lord of success and transformation.
* According to Hindu mythology, Ganesh obtained the elephant’s head when his own was chopped off in a struggle with Lord Shiva. Parvati created Ganesh as her son, and as protector to her bathing chamber. When he denied access to Lord Shiva, a fight ensued, with Ganesh losing his human head as a result. Parvati was upset, and demanded that Lord Shiva send his attendants to find a replacement – using the head of the first being they came across. This happened to be an elephant, and so Ganesh is depicted with an elephant’s head.
* Ganesh is also the protector of the home, which is why many – observant or simply just spiritual – choose to have his statue in their homes.
* Ganesh’s name can also be spelled or written as Ganesa or Ganesha and known as Ganapati, Vinayaka and Pillaiyar.