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Ganesha also spelled Ganesh, is the elephant Hindu God of removing obstacles, success, and beginnings. He also governs thinkers, bankers, and writers. His parents are Shiva, who is also known as Mahadeva and is one of the main Gods in Hinduism, and Parvati, a supreme Hindu Goddess. His sister is Ashokasundari, Goddess of beauty and luxury. His brother is Kartikeya, God of war. The marital status of Ganesha is a source of controversy. Some say Ganesha is unmarried with no consorts. Others say he is unmarried with the consorts Riddhi (prosperity) Siddhi (attainment) and Buddhi (intelligence). Still, others say he is married to Sarasvati, Goddess of culture, and the arts. Any way you slice it, He still lives at home with his parents, on Mount Kailash.

Ganesha’s symbols are the Om, the swastika, and modak, which is a sweet dumpling dish. The swastika isn’t what the Germans made it to be. It has been used in Hindu spirituality for longer than the WWII Germans or the Neo-Nazis have been using it. He has a nifty ride though. He rides a bandicoot rat which actually symbolizes his ability to overcome obstacles to get whatever his heart desires.

There are differing stories as to Ganesha’s birth. The first says that Parvati molds her child out of a piece of cloth and she asks Shiva to bring him to life, which he does. The second is that Parvati, desiring an uninterrupted bath, molds a child out of the dirt from her body. The boy comes to life only to be killed by Shiva taking off his head in a fit. To make amends, Shiva gets the head of an elephant, puts it on the boy’s body, and restores his life. In all this, one of the elephant tusks is broken and that is why Ganesha is sometimes depicted with and holding a broken tusk.

Ganesha is the embodiment of so many good things. Success, beginnings, removing obstacles, thinking, finance, persistence are the top few I mentioned. He is known, too, to put obstacles in the way of people who need to be taken down a peg or two. So what that he lives with his parents. He makes a positive God to call on.

What do you think of Ganesha? Is He a God you might like to get to know? Let me know what you think in the comments below? What Smite God would you like to see next? Til next week…