Ganesha

It is the birthday today of the Remover of Obstacles. 

As old as the centuries, as young as yesterday, represented in the widest variety of styles and materials, Ganesha is thought to be more widely represented than any other Hindu divinity.

These representations are from Gujarat and from Jaipur, Rajasthan.

May he remove our all obstacles until his birthday comes again!

 

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On exhibit in the compound of the Lakhota Palace floating in a lake, Jamnagar, Gujerat.   Unknown date.

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Dancing Ganesha, c. 790, sandstone.  From an exterior wall of a temple dedicated to Shiva.  Possibly Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh.  Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

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dsc00068Ghanesh as a decorative element in a plaster wall in Ahmedabad, 2010 

 

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Standing Ganesha, Tamil Nadu, 12th century, copper alloy.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

 

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Plaster of Paris models awaiting painting.  These will be taken in procession to the River Sabarmati in Ahmedabad to be dipped into the water.

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A card bought in Ahmedabad.  A candle, I said.  Before the words were out of my mouth and fast enough and loud enough to prevent the god from having heard me,  my Indian friend said:  Ganesha! 

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An arch in Jaipur, Rajasthan

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In a fabric shop just off CG Road, Ahmedabad, Gujerat

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In the interior of the Amber Fort, Jaipur, Rajasthan

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In the private residence of a friend, herself a member of the Parsi community, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

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 A card bought in Ahmedabad, Gujarat

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Dancing Ganesha, 10th century, sandstone, Madya Pradesh.  Metropolitan Museum, NY

 

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Ganesha in the personal shrine of Mahatma Ghandi at the ashram he relocated to a site on the Sabarmati River in Ahmedabad in  1917.  It was from here that Ghandi organized the march to Dandi in early 1930 to protest the British Salt Law.  In consequence, the ashram was seized.  Ghandi, who left the ashram in the early 1930s, had made a promise to return  when India gained her independence and was assassinated before he could.

 

 

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Ganesha, 1st half of the 11th century, schist.  Bihar or Bengal. Walters Museum of Art, Baltimore

 

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Shrieking one evening, and stamping my feet because a mouse had come into my bedroom and had ensconced itself in a cupboard, I was expected to becalm myself (and I did) on being shown the relationship of the mouse to Ganesha.  In the event, I locked the mouse in that cupboard and the following morning it fled rather than deal with an  unsympathetic heretic.

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A half dozen or so elephants which remain in Ahmedabad are housed and fed at the Jagurna Temple.  They are lent out for transporting loads and frequently process through the city and often, for blessing, up to the the temple of BadraKali, the protectress of the city.

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