Wrapping up an amazing week, which saw to the release of our latest series, CHANDRA for Van Gelder Indian Jewellery Contemporary Collections.
We thought it only befitting to touch on this beautiful small sculpture of the Hindu god Ganesha.
In the Hindu pantheon this elephant-headed creature is the God of wisdom, the patron of sciences, arts and all creative activities. He is also seen as the remover of obstacles and is one of the most widely worshipped deities in India. Simple every day routines, a new business, a journey, even an examination, all are preceded by a prayer to Ganesha, beseeching his benediction.
He is present in every family shrine, where he is usually placed to the south, the direction of the demons, to defend the other gods from their harmful influences
Ganesha is the son of one of the principal Hindu deities, Shiva and his wife, mother goddess Paravati. This couple is seen as the parents of the Universe, and therefor Ganesha is considered the blessed child for all gods, sages and humans.
His mount is a rat, and he has altogether 39 attributes in his various manifestations o.a. a rope, an axe, a goad, a lotus and a bowl of sweets.
Ganesha only has one tusk. There are several explanations for this. According to one myth the moon laughed at Ganesha, whose stomach had burst after he indulged himself in sweet offerings. Enraged, Ganesha broke off a tusk and hurled it into the sky, where it caused the waning phase of the moon. (The decreasing of the Moon after a full moon)
Another fascinating feature of Ganesha is his connection to “OM” or the Pranava Mantra. This mystic symbol of God is a representation of the sound or vibration from which the world was created.
The shape of this monosyllable loosely represents Ganesha’s elephant form, therefor it is believed that the OM symbol is a manifestation of Ganesha.
Ganesha’s elephant head is explained by several legends. According to one, his mother Paravati was proudly showing her baby after his birth to the other Gods of The Hindu Pantheon. Only Shani (The Hindu planet Saturn) hesitated to look at the infant since he was cursed with the gaze of destruction. His gaze turned everything to ashes. Paravati, insisted that Shani should have a look at her baby, which he did and immediately the baby’s head was gone.
Lord Vishnu then consoled the grief-stricken parents Shiva and Parvati, saying that the head of the first creature the mother looked at would become the head of Ganesha.
Parvati glanced back, saw an elephant and its head was at once on the shoulders of the baby. The infant was named Ganesha and all the Gods blessed the child, wishing him power and prosperity.
Happy weekend, happy always!
PC: 20k gold Statue of Lord Ganesha, set with diamonds
Van Gelder Indian Jewellery Archives