Sanskrit. ‘Lord of hordes’, a compound name made up of and the word gana, meaning
‘horde’ and isha meaning ‘lord’ or ‘ruler’. He is believed to have
power over obstacles, and is the son of
the consort of
Shiva. He was created by Parvati from the flakes of her skin mixed with oil, and brought to life with water from the
Ganges. He is represented with a human body and the head of an elephant, with one tusk broken off (Ekatanta -
vahana is the
and if depicted riding his mount, or seated in a chariot pulled by rats (fig.), he
may also be
referred to as
literally means ‘mouse-chariot’ or
yet is usually translated as ‘one who
has a mouse (or rat) as his charioteer’ (fig.). According to legend he was decapitated during one of Shiva's tantrums, who promised a new head from the first creature that he would encounter - it turned out to be a baby elephant. His broken tusk is a souvenir from the event when the rat, tired of carrying him, threw him off. The moon who witnessed this laughed mockingly and Ganesha in anger broke off his tusk and threw it at the moon. He is the protector of art (fig.),
remover of obstacles, and the god of knowledge and intelligence, and of
transition and new beginning. In his terrible form he represents the underworld.
In Thailand, Ganesha is known by a variety of
Phra Phikhanesawora (fig.),
Phra Phi Kaneht
and he is worshipped as the deity who improves fortune in trade. He is honoured with
(fig.), sweets and fruit, when business is good, and he is made ridiculous by putting his picture or statue
upside down (on its head), when business is bad or faltering.
performances, he is
represented with a
in the form of an elephant's head, either with two tusks or with one tusk broken
off, and usually with a red complexion (fig.).
Akin to Shiva's
cosmic dance (fig.),
Ganesha may also be
represented with multiple arms and
attributes, while performing a dance (fig.).
In India, his statue is placed over the doorways of homes for protection, often
together with mirrors, that ward off evil spirits.
As such, he is usually the first deity that one encounters in Indian homes (fig.).
In Thai also referred to as
Thep Haeng Kwahm Samret, i.e. ‘Deity of Accomplishment’.
Thevasataan Uthayaan Phra Phi Kaneht (fig.)
is the Thai name of
a Ganesha Idol Park in
featuring a 39 meter tall bronze statue
Ganesha, as well as of a Ganesha Idol Park
fig.), featuring a large Ganesha statue in a
seated pose and with a pink complexion. Recently,
Wat Rong Khun,
i.e. the so-called White Temple (fig.)
also added its own large Ganesha shrine (fig.)
that houses a large bronze image of cast after
a sculpture by the artist Chalermchai (fig.).
Also known as Kodchamukhasoon,
Gajanna, etc. See also