Project Description

Ganesha in Grey Stone

There are any number of origin myths explaining why Shiva and Uma’s firstborn son has the head of an elephant. This tale is the most well known;

Shiva was often away from home for extended periods, leaving Uma at home alone, wishing she had someone to share her loneliness. One day while thinking on this as she cleaned her body with herbal paste, she moulded the discarded pulp into the figure of a child. She wished the paste-child had life and in an instant it transformed into a living child. Uma was delighted and instantly adopted the beautiful baby boy as her own. All was well until Shiva returned home, where he found a strange boy guarding his wife’s bath chamber. The child refused to let this stranger pass, and in a rage, Shiva beheaded him. A distraught Uma threatened to destroy the universe if her son was not brought back to life, so a chastened Shiva sent messengers to bring him the head of the first newborn they encountered. When they come back, it was with an elephant calf’s head, and with no other option, Shiva attached pachyderm’s head to the child’s headless torso, resurrecting him. Shiva so admired the boy’s courage in defying him he named the boy Ganesha, translated variously as Lord of the Common People, Lord of Ganas, goblin-like creatures who shared the cremation grounds with Shiva, or Lord of the Gana, elements of the cosmos. Whatever the source of his name, Ganesha is tremendously popular throughout South Asia, whether Hindu or Buddhist.

This piece is an excellent example of a sculptor’s skill and patience, and shows an exuberant attention to detail not usually found in Indian sacred sculpture. Here Ganesha rests on a double lotus (padmasana) in the pose of royal ease (lalitasana). At his feet in adoration sits his rat vahana, or mount, Mushika, who symbolizes the idea of craft and cunning as a way to overcome obstacles if charging right at it like an elephant doesn’t do the job. In Ganesha’s right forward hand he holds his broken tusk-pen (Ekadanta) symbol of his knowledge and wisdom, while the left cradles a sweet rice ball (modaka), symbolic of the rewards of a life lived wisely. His left rear hand holds a noose (pasa) representing the obstacles we face on our spiritual path (dharma), while his right rear hand holds the elephant goad (ankusha) symbolizing the motivation required to stay true to our Dharma.

Inquire about this beautiful, hand-carved, 21″ Ganesha sculpture. Satisfaction is guaranteed. Shipping and insurance are free of charge. 

21 in / 53 cm
29.87 lb / 13.55 kg

(note; two of the flames have broken off in shipping and repaired with epoxy. The price has been reduced accordingly)