Ganesha, the Hindu god of wisdom and success, is one of the most beloved deities in the world. As the remover of obstacles, Ganesha is adored before any major undertaking—a journey, a new job, a school year—and he is the patron of scholarly people, financiers, authors, and artists. His potbelly, curved trunk, and a multitude of attributes make him seem like an odd conglomeration, yet every feature in his image has a deeper meaning.
The elephant head represents strength, and the single tusk demonstrates a desire to retain and keep only the good things in life. His big ears, like a sieve, sift and separate the true from the false. His curved trunk embodies the sound-symbol of “Aum,” the universe’s omnipresent chant of existence, life and energy. His big belly embodies the seven oceans above and below and all the seven veils of existence, held together by cosmic energy. Ganesha’s vehicle (vahana) is the elephant and he is often depicted with a noose, both indicating that he can sweep away whatever lies in our path as well as pull loved ones close to him.
While most people associate ganesha statue with Hinduism, he crosses religious boundaries and has touched many cultures around the world in different forms of art, religion and popular culture. In Indonesia, for example, Ganesha is the god of luck and prosperity, and his statues are found in homes, businesses, and government buildings. He is even represented on the national currency. Similarly, in Bali, Ganesha is celebrated by Buddhists, Christians, and Muslims as a protector of the island’s rich cultural heritage and natural environment.
A Ganesha Statue Can Bring You All Kinds of Good Fortune
A ganesha statue in your home can bring you all kinds of good fortune, including wealth and happiness. In fact, Hindus believe that a ganesha statue should be placed in the home before placing any other idols because Ganesha removes all obstacles that may hinder prayer and worship of other deities.
Ganesha is the god of new beginnings and is honored at most Hindu weddings. He is also one of the most popular gods among Westerners who are seeking spirituality and a new life. Many people buy a ganesha statue to give as a gift for someone who is embarking on a new adventure in their lives.
Ganesha is a very important figure in the Hindu faith and is praised for his wisdom, compassion, generosity, and benevolence. For this reason, he is the guardian deity of learning, and it’s no wonder that Indonesian universities feature his likeness in their logos. His popularity in the country has even led to the Blitar, Salatiga, and Kediri regencies/cities featuring him on their official seals. Ganesha’s popularity in Indonesia reflects his universal appeal, and this exhibition showcases the iconographic changes in his representations across time and place.