Lord Ganesha in Artistic Expression


"Vakratunda Mahakaya, Surya Koti Samaprabaha
Nirvighnam Kurumedeva Sarva Karyeshu Sarvada"


Salutations to the one who has a curved trunk, and a huge body, the one who radiates the glow of millions of Suns, and to the one who removes obstacles.

Bless me before all my endeavours always and forever.

Photo by 🇮🇳Amol Nandiwadekar from Pexels
Photo by 🇮🇳Amol Nandiwadekar from Pexels

Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, is Pratham Puja (the first recipient of a devotee's prayers). Hence, he adores the honour of being the first deity to be worshipped before any puja or ceremony. As Lord Ganesha is hailed as Sukhkarta (the giver of happiness), Vighnaharta (Vighna meaning obstacles, 'harta' means remover) and Dukhharta (the one who eliminates sorrow). Furthermore, Lord Ganesha is associated with goodness or auspiciousness.

This Ganesh Chaturthi, we will seek more to Lord Ganesha beyond his fame and wisdom but rather dig more into artistic expressions.

If we will closely analyse the stature and anatomy of Lord Ganesha, we will realise that it is truly a piece of art. A seamless portrayal of the artist’s imagination that depicts society through Lord Ganesha's sculptor.

And now the question arising that WHAT IS ART?

Photo by viresh studio from Pexels
Photo by viresh studio from Pexels

ART is perception. The combination of Perception, Intellect, and Response creates Art. In art significance/symbol is one of the most imperative part. An artist gives messages through significance/symbol. And if we decode the significances of the artist message that convey through his/her art, then the Artist’s message will reach us.

This is sure, Ganesh Sculpture created by an artist. But the artist who create Ganesh’s sculpture, what message convey through it? Which significances are in the sculpture of Ganesh? And What the artist tries to communicate by those!

Let’s find out, 

GANESH (Gana + Ish) ‘Gana’ means Unity, Humans Unity that defines Society in one word. And ‘Ish’ means ‘Ishwar’ or God. In total Ganesh = God of Society or God of Humans Unity.

But how does it gets portrayed by the artist?

Let’s start, Lord Ganesh’s Size is very big just like Society.

Photo by Sharath G. from Pexels
Photo by Sharath G. from Pexels

The main odd one and highlighted part are his Head. The head of Lord Ganesh is an elephant’s head. But Why? Because Elephant is a Strong, Sensitive, Intelligent, and Socialized animal in the same way society has all of these features.

Lord Ganesh has two Male hands and two female hands because Society is a balanced form of male and female. And each hand has a worthy element that society needs like ‘Sankha’ mean Conch, ‘Chakra’ means Cycle, ‘Gada’ means Maul, and ‘Padma’ means Lotus. These elements significances are Conch represents Civilization of society, Cycle represents Progress of society, Maul represents the strength of society and Lotus represents Development of society. These four are always required for a healthy society.

The third eye signifies the concept of perception, compassion, and collaboration of society.

No one can able to see everything that is happening in society but probably be able to hear everything happening in society that’s why Lord Ganesh has not had big eyes but has big ears.

Art by Suvrodip Saha
Art by Suvrodip Saha

Ganesha's vehicle is the rat, why rat? Rats are animals that have high birth rates and are good at finding food. Ganesha needs a lot of food in the same way as social needs, for this reason, rats symbolize as Ganesha's vehicle as symbol. For other reason, rats also signify large and small social postions as well.

So, the Worship of Ganesha is the worship of society or community at the same time. Worship means acknowledging the best as the best, Great as great. The worship of Lord Ganesha represents recognising society as the best and the great.

Source- Debdebider Rup-Katha by Alok Dutta


Souvik Paul

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