Ganeśa: Lord of Obstacles, Lord of Beginnings
Oxford University Press, 1985 - Religion - 274 pages
Part animal and part intellectual, an image found in virtually every Indian home, Ganeśa--the elephant-headed god--is one of the most important and popular gods throughout India and Hindu Southeast Asia. In this, the first comprehensive, full-length study of Ganeśa, Courtright covers not
merely the mythology but also the ritual, the political uses, and the modern as well as the Vedic manifestations of the god. The book begins with a consideration of the various myths of Ganeśa, stories of his birth, his beheading by his father Siva, and his subsequent restoration as the lord who
gives, or withholds, success in undertakings. In the end, the author turns to the role Ganesa has played in recent Indian history as the patron deity of some formulations of neotraditionalist values and ideology. Throughout Courtright portrays both the complexity of the deity's many roles and
stories and the integrated manner in which they come together.
Excerpt from the Preface by Wendy O'Flaherty:
Ganeśa has everything that is fascinating to anyone who is interested in religion or India or both: charm, mystery, popularity, sexual problems, moral ambivalence, political importance, the works. One can start from Ganeśa and work from there in an unbroken line to almost any aspect of Indian
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The Making of a Deity
The Mythology of Ganesa
Ritual Psychological and Religious Themes in
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