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Ganesh: The Hindu God of Success
Ganesh is the God of Success and Overcoming Obstacles, but is also associated with wisdom, learning, prudence, and power. As the god of success, the names of Lord Ganesh are chanted at the start of any important venture, and of course, during a Ganesh Pooja. As the remover of obstacles, he is invoked at the start of every journey, marriage, religious rite, house construction, the writing of a book or even a letter.
How Ganesh Was Born
There are two legends about the birth of the Hindu God Ganesh and how he came
to posses the head of an elephant. One story relates that his mother, Parvati,
had to go for her bath when her husband, Shiva, was not at home. As Shiva had
gone on a meditation retreat and was not expected to return, Parvati ordered
Sri Ganesh to keep guard and not let anyone inside the room. But after a while
Shiva arrived and when he tried to enter, the child refused to let him do so.
This angered Shiva, who cut off the Ganesh's head.
The Qualities of Lord Ganesh
According to legends Ganesh is a great scribe and learned in religious lore and scriptures. Hence, Ganesh is often depicted with only one tusk, since it is believed that he broke off the other so that he could inscribe the Mahabharata, a Hindu religious epic, which was dictated to Ganesh the seer Vyasa.
Because Ganesh is seen as the God of Opening Doors (and hence, the God of success), it is common for Hindus to make an offering to Lord Ganesh first before making an offering to their chosen deity. They do this to request Ganesh's help in ensuring that their subsequent offering will be successful.
One thing to note is that while the name Ganesh is well known in the West, he is more often referred to as Ganapati in India.
Ganesh Pictures and Images