Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Image: Dancing Ganesha

Dancing Ganesha
India, Uttar Pradesh; 10th century

From the Museum site: Ganesha, lord of beginnings and remover of obstacles, dances as two musicians keep rhythm on their drums. He holds many attributes associated with his father, the Hindu god Shiva: a snake held triumphantly above his head, a battle-axe and rosary in two of his right hands, and a trident in one of his left hands. The bowl of sweets is his own: taking one with his trunk, he fills his corpulent belly with the sugary cakes. According to one story, Ganesha once ate so many sweets that his stomach burst open. Seeing this, the moon began to laugh and in a fit of anger Ganesha tore off one of his own tusks and threw it at his offender. It is for this reason that Ganesha has only one tusk. This sculpture once would have adorned the wall of a temple. When devotees circumambulated the temple (walked around it in reverence), they are likely to have seen Ganesha before the other deities on the temple’s walls, honoring the lord of beginnings at the outset of their visit.


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