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GANESHA
The Figure of Ganesha

Ganesha's figure is well known in India. The elephant face (Gaja vadana), winnowing pan like ears (Shoorpa-Karna), a huge belly (Lam bodara), four hands (Chaturbhuja) -three of them carrying Pasha (a rope), Ankusha (a spear-like weapon curved at one end) and Modaka (a pudding like sweet dish) - and the fourth held in a gesture which assures help 
and protection to the devotee, a beautiful body of red complexion - this is how he is 
pictured. And he rides a rat.

There is a story that Parvati created Ganesha with the outer dusty layers of her body. On the day of the Ganesha festival an earthen idol is worshipped. This reminds us of his relation to the earth. The idol has four hands. One right hand holds a Pasha. This is endowed with divine greatness. With the help of this, Ganesha attracts the minds of his devotees. The other hand bestows boons. This indicates that those who throw themselves on Ganesha's mercy need fear nothing. Similarly, one left hand carries an Ankusha. This is - a symbol to show that Ganesha will destroy our ignorance. The other hand holds a vessel filled with Modakas. This shows that Ganesha brings joy to every - 
one.

Ganesha's bulky head symbolizes his extraordinary intelligence. His ears are broad like winnowing pans. You know winnowing- pans are used to winnow grain. What happens then? The husk and the grain get separated. So does Ganesha distinguish between truth and untruth. It may also be said that the broad ears symbolize his capacity to listen to the prayers of all his devotees with great attention. While his ever-moving trunk teaches that one should be active always, his single tusk denotes single-mindedness in action.His huge belly signifies that the entire Brahmanda (universe) is hidden within Ganapati.

He rides a rat. The rat personifies evil qualities like anger, too much of pride and 
selfishness. Riding on the rat shows that Ganesha checks these evil passions.

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Ganesha - The Lord of Wisdom, son of Ishwara and Parvati
About Ganesha
Introduction
You are Here! The Figure Of Ganesha
His Names
Outside India
Parvati's Beloved Son
Not Even Ishwara!
He Needed No Help
The Elephant's Head
The First Worship
The Contest
Talasura Humbled
The Boon Of Brahma
"Ganesha Can Subdue Him"
Talasura Learns His Lesson
A Terror To The Gods
Ganesha's Victory
Ganesha Curses The Moon
Krishna Himself Worships Vinayaka
Vyasa Dictates To Ganesha
No Town Without Ganesha's Temple
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