Thursday, July 31, 2008


Mushaka vahana means "having a mouse or rat for a vehicle".

Comic Book Art

Wanting a child and helper, the Goddess, Shri Parvati created a boy out of fragrant paste. Thus Shri Ganesha had a virgin birth, like Lord Jesus. Later His head was replaced with the head of an elephant, signifying wisdom and lack of ego.

Village Pottery

Photos by Jeronimus

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Saturday, July 26, 2008




With Family

Miniature Painting
South Indian Painting
Shri Ganesha with his parents Shri Shiva Parvati and brother Shri Kartikeya.
These paintings also depict the respective animal vahanas (vehicles) of the Holy Family:
Shiva - Bull, Shakti - Tiger, Kartikeya - peacock, Ganesha - rat.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Statue of the Mushaka (mouse or rat), vehicle of Shri Ganesha, before the Ganesha Swayambhu temple at Ganapatipule, on the coast of Maharashtra, India.

The Mouse Chief Reepicheep from CS Lewis' Prince Caspian.

Though apparently meek and insignificant, mice represent the power of Innocence and Humility to pervade - rodents are able to infiltrate places inaccessible to larger creatures. Walls are no obstacle to them. Mice are a recurring motif in children's stories.
Lamp with mushaka, used for performing Aarti (waving of lamp) to Shri Ganesha.

Eco-friendly Idol

Each year on Anant Chaturdashi, the last day of the Hindu festival of Ganeshotsav, countless idols of Lord Ganesha are submerged in the sea or a nearby body of water. This is called the Visarjan (sacrifice). Many of the modern mass-produced idols used for this purpose are made with materials and paints that are toxic to aquatic life, and sometimes decorated with plastic garlands. Here is an example of a traditional, eco-friendly statue, made from clay and painted with organic pigments such as turmeric. To be auspicious, an image of Ganesha should be made by an artisan with a connection to the Divine, out of an attitude of devotion rather than commercial motives.



CD Cover




Miniature Painting

Ganesha -Nurpur miniature circa 1810



Shri Ganesha statue in Jaipur(?), reputedly made from a single piece of red coral! I've never seen a piece of red coral anywhere near that big, so maybe it's really coral-coloured stone? In any case, red coral is the precious material associated with the Mooladhara Chakra.

Scribe of the Mahabharata

Still from the Peter Brook film of The Mahabharata.
According to Indian mythology, Shri Ganesha was the scribe who wrote down this immense epic - sacrificing His own tusk to use as a pen - as it was dictated by sage Vyasa.


Shri Ganesha is known as Chaturbhuja (four-armed, four-handed) but is sometimes depicted with six or more.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mooladhara Chakra

Shri Ganesha resides in the Mooladhara (or Muladhara) Chakra. It is the base centre of the subtle system. Mula means root or origin - a reference to the Kundalini, which is the Root of the Tree of Life, and the origin of the Creation. Dhara means support, thus Shri Ganesha is the supporter of the Kundalini, His Mother. This indicates that Innocence, the quality of Lord Ganesha, is necessary for spiritual ascent.


The red planet corresponds to the Mooladhara Chakra in the subtle system, wherein Shri Ganesha resides. Mars gets its reddish hue from iron oxide, a mineral associated with Ganesha Swyambhu sites around the world.
Astrologers often refer to Mars as a 'malefic' (unlucky) planet, because of the obstacles they have observed in connection with it, over the centuries. However, in India, Mars is given the name Mangala, which means 'auspicious'. The reason for this apparent contradiction is that Shri Ganesha is the Lord of Obstacles - He removes them for the Innocent, but lays them in the path of those whose motives are selfish or impure.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Shri Ganesha Swayambhu Uluru


Shri Ganesha Swyambhu (self-created earth formation)
Ganapatipule, Coast of Maharashtra, India.

Goddess with Child Ganesha

Kalighat painting
Source: Art Gallery of NSW

Ivory Carving


Engravure work on brass statue.

Reading a Book

Large stone statue (in Ireland!) of Shri Ganesha reading a book. As the Lord of Wisdom, He is invoked by students embarking on a course of study or facing exams.

Protector of Innocence

Shri Ganesha is the protector of children and the innocent.

Another Book

Illustration inspired by village art

The Trunk

When turned to His left side (as above), Shri Ganesha's trunk signifies blessing. When turned to His right, it represents destruction of negativity. It is usual for artists to depict the more benign turning of the trunk.


Cover illustration, Tanjore (Tanjavur) painting.
In this book, Ganesha: The Auspicious The Beginning, Smt. Shakunthala Jagannathan and Dr. Nanditha Krishna, mother and daughter, have brought out the relevance and importance of Ganesha from ancient times to the present day.
They have covered historical and archaeological evidence, legends and parables, and Ganesha imagery in India and abroad to make a multi-dimensional study of this deity through the ages. The chapters on Symbolism and Worship of Ganesha explain his symbolic importance and modes of worship.
Copiously illustrated with a number of colour and black-and-white photographs (several of rare antiques) and with attractive line drawings, this comprehensive book covers all aspects of this greatly adored deity. The book would be of equal interest to the layman, the scholar and the devotee and a valuable addition to every home and library.
(from a review of the book)

Balinese Statue

Source: Blogger -I've Been to Bali Too


Source: Flickr danielle_blue