Online Encyclopedia

GANESA, or GANESH

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V11, Page 451 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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GANESA, or GANESH, in Hindu mythology, the god of wisdom and prudence, always represented with an elephant's head possibly to indicate his sagacity. He is the son of Siva and Parvati. He is among the most popular of Indian deities, and almost every act, religious or social, in a Hindu's life begins with an invocation to him, as do most books. He typifies not the wisdom of knowledge but that worldly wisdom which results in financial success, and thus he is particularly the god of the Hindu shopkeeper. In his divine aspect Ganesa is ruler over the hosts of heaven, the spirits which come and go to do Indra's will.
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