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Ganesha (Sanskrit: गणेश, IAST: Gaṇeśa), also spelled Ganesh, and also known as Ganapati, Vinayaka, and Pillaiyar, is one of the best-known and most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon and is the Supreme God in the Ganapatya sect. His depictions are found throughout India. Hindu denominations worship him regardless of affiliations. Devotion to Ganesha is widely diffused and extends to Jains and Buddhists and beyond India.
|Affiliation||Deva, Brahman (Ganapatya), Saguna Brahman (Panchayatana puja)|
|Abode||• Mount Kailash (with parents) |
|Mantra||Oṃ Shri Gaṇeśāya Namaḥ|
Oṃ Gaṃ Gaṇapataye Namaḥ
|Weapon||Paraśu (axe), pāśa (noose), aṅkuśa (elephant goad)|
|Symbols||Swastika, Om, Modak|
|Day||Tuesday and Wednesday|
|Texts||Ganesha Purana, Mudgala Purana, Ganapati Atharvashirsa|
|Festivals||Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesh Jayanti|
|Consort||Buddhi, Riddhi and Siddhi or celibate in some traditions|
|Japanese Buddhist equivalent||Kangiten|
Although Ganesha has many attributes, he is readily identified by his elephant head and four arms. He is widely revered, more specifically, as the remover of obstacles and thought to bring good luck; the patron of arts and sciences; and the deva of intellect and wisdom. As the god of beginnings, he is honoured at the start of rites and ceremonies. Ganesha is also invoked as a patron of letters and learning during writing sessions. Several texts relate anecdotes associated with his birth and exploits.
While scholars differ about his origins dating him between 1st century BCE and 2nd century CE, Ganesha was well established by the 4th and 5th centuries CE, during the Gupta period and had inherited traits from Vedic and pre-Vedic precursors. Hindu texts identifies him as the son of Parvati and Shiva of the Shaivism tradition, but he is a pan-Hindu god found in its various traditions. In the Ganapatya tradition of Hinduism, Ganesha is the Supreme Being. The principal texts on Ganesha include the Ganesha Purana, the Mudgala Purana and the Ganapati Atharvasirsha.
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