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, Gane?a--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 Gane?a, 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 Gane?a, 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:
"Gane?a 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 Gane?a and work from there in an unbroken line to almost any aspect of Indian culture."
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
The Making of a Deity
The Mythology of Gapeśa
Ritual Psychological and Religious Themes in
4 other sections not shown
Other editions - View all
according action appears associated auspicious bath became become beginning beheading birth body born Brahmin bring British called caste child comes context created creation cultural curse defeated deity demon desire devotees divine elephant expression father festival followed forces Gaņeśa give goddess gods groups guardian hand head Hindu honor human important Indian Indra king later look lord Maharashtra male meaning mother myth obstacles offerings once origins particular Pārvati patron pattern performed play political presence priest protect pūjā Pune Purāņa received region relation religious remain remove restoration rite ritual river role sacred sage serves shrine similar Śiva Siva's Skanda social sons South stands story substance symbol temple theme threshold Tilak tion told tradition turn tusk universe various Vedic village Vişņu wife worship