Ganesha: God of All Things

February 2, 2007

Author: Lavina Melwani

Source: Little India


Just starting a new job, buying a new car or embarking on a new relationship? The surefire recipe for success is simple: first get Sri Ganesha's blessings on the project. In fact, nothing in the Hindu world begins without appropriating the approval of Sanathana Dharma's beloved elephant-headed God, the son of Shiva and Parvati.

Who doesn't know Ganesha? His image is everywhere from temples to roadside dhabas, from the high art of classical miniature paintings to the low art of the bazaars. Ganesha is omnipresent from the sculptures in ancient 5,000 year old temples to guest appearances in Bollywood films like Don. At the recent Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in Mumbai, Ganesha was even seen as muscle-bound 'Krrish.'

He's even starred in Terence McNally's off-Broadway play, The Perfect Ganesh and is an integral player in Vikram Chandra's acclaimed novel, Red Earth and Pouring Rain. American artist Heyoka Merrifield designs Ganeshas out of gold, silver, rubies and diamonds and his Ganesha shrine was in the collection of Beatle George Harrison.

The actress Goldie Hawn is a big believer and Olivia Hussey has a whole collection of Ganeshas. The Hollywood screenwriter Tracey Jackson constantly wears a Ganesha around her neck. And President Clinton is known to keep a silver image of the Lord of Wisdom on his office desk in Harlem.