In yet another story, Ganesha is created directly by Shiva's laughter.
Ganesha is also considered to be the lord of buddhi, which is a feminine noun that can be variously translated from Sanskrit to English as intelligence, wisdom, or intellect.
The colors most-often associated with Ganesha are red and yellow, but other colors are prescribed for use in specific forms and situations.
That said, even the gods are not immune from Ganesha's obstacles.
Shiva promptly sent his servants to the North, the holy direction, so that they could find a new head for Ganesha.
Ganesha agreed, but only on the condition that, in a truly miraculous exercise of memory, Vyasa recite the poem without interruption.
The principal scriptures dedicated to his worship are the Ganesha Purana, the Mudgala Purana, and the Ganapati Atharvashirsa.
By this theory, showing Ganesha as master of the rat proclaimed his function as remover of obstacles, and also suggests his possible role as a village deity who later rose to greater prominence.
Ganesha refused to let him in and a struggle ensued, after which Shiva beheaded Ganesha.
Ganesha is also the focal point of a ten-day festival occurring in the late summer (between late August and mid-September) called Ganesha Chaturthi.
The Sanskrit vowels are as discussed in the section above.
Ganesha also does not appear in literature of the epic period, save for a brief passage in the Mahabharata in which he serves as Vyasa's scribe.
Between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries, Ganesha also became the focal point of two Puranic texts of his own, the Ganesha Purana and the Mudgala Purana.
Ganesha is also commonly depicted with a short, stocky build, and a comfortable pot-belly.
Ganesha is often identified with the Hindu mantra Aum (?, also called Om, Omkara, o?k?ra, or Aumkara), the fundamental sound of the universe.
The earliest name referring to Ganesha is Ekadanta ("One Tusk"), referring to his single tusk; the other is broken off.
have survived in this region, including some depicting Ganesha, suggesting that the worship of the deity was in vogue in the region at that time.
until approximately 600 C.E., when his worship declined significantly in North India in conjunction with the rise of Ganesha.
The poison spreads upward to the realm of the gods, and so they came to Shiva for refuge, who in turn went to Ganesha.
Ganesha has many other titles and epithets, including most prominently Ganapati (meaning "lord of the group"), and Vignesha, (meaning "Lord of Obstacles").
In Buddhism in general, Ganesha is seen not only as a benevolent deity, but also in the form of a demon called Vin?yaka.
Ganesha is a popular figure in Indian art, and representations of him are not only abundant but also widely varied.
The gradual emigration of Hindus to Southeast Asia also established Ganesha in modified forms in mostly Buddhist nations such as Burma, Cambodia, and Thailand.
Krishan is among the academics who accept this view, and states flatly that Ganesha "is a non-vedic god.
Ganesha can also remove obstacles for his devotees just as easily.
Ganesha informed his father that it was he who had created the obstacle for the purpose of visiting punishment upon the gods for attempting to obtain immortality without Shiva or himself in mind.
Despite these fragments of information, questions as to Ganesha's historical origin are still largely unanswered, and many theories persist as to how he came into being.
The mouse is first mentioned in the Matsya Purana, and later in the Brahmananda Purana as well as the Ganesha Purana The rodent is also the most common vehicle among Ganesha's avatars.
Another common form of Ganesha worship is performed by chanting the Ganesha Sahasranamas, which literally means "a thousand names of Ganesha."
One pattern of myths based in various Puranas associates Ganesha with the concepts of Buddhi (intellect), Siddhi (spiritual power), and Riddhi (prosperity), three qualities personified as goddesses who are considered to be Ganesha's wives.
David Brown suggests that it speaks to Ganesha's status as a god of enterprise, since the rodent rivals the god in his ability to get past any obstacle.
By about the tenth century C.E., Ganesha's independent cult had come into existence.
Ganesha's rise to prominence was codified in the ninth century C.E.
The name Ganesha derives from the Sanskrit words gana (meaning "a group") and isha (meaning "lord" or "master"), togther translated as "Lord of Hosts" - a familiar phrase to many Christians and Jews.
onwards was marked by the development of new networks of exchange and a resurgence of money circulation throughout Asia, and it was during this time that Ganesha became the principal deity associated with traders.
The worship of Ganesha is considered complementary with the worship of other deities, thus, Hindus of all sects begin prayers, important undertakings, and religious ceremonies with an invocation of Ganesha.
Among Buddhists in Thailand, for example, Ganesha maintained his traditional Hindu function as a remover of obstacles and is therefore considered a god of success.
On this first day, clay images (murtis) of Ganesha, fashioned by sculptors, are installed in family homes.
One of the main names for Ganesha in the Tamil language is Pille or Pillaiyar, which means "Little Child".
According to the Mudgala Purana two different incarnations of Ganesha use names based on Ganesha's paunch: Lambodara ("Pot Belly," or literally "Hanging Belly") and Mahodara ("Great Belly").
Ganesha is often shown riding on or attended by a small rodent, either a mouse or a rat.
The earliest cult image of Ganesha so far known is found in the niche of the Shiva temple at Bhumra, which has been dated to the Gupta period.
Aside from Puranic texts, evidence of Ganesha's links to these goddesses can be found elsewhere.
The concept of buddhi is closely associated with the personality of Ganesha, especially in the Puranic period, where many stories were developed in order to showcase his cleverness and love of intellect.
According to Ananda Coomaraswamy, the oldest known depiction of Ganesha with a shakti of this type dates from the sixth century C.E.
Ganesha also spread into a wide variety of additional cultures.
A common depiction of this motif shows Ganesha seated with the shakti upon his left hip.
Puranic myths provide a wide variety of other explanations for Ganesha's form.
Some of Ganesha's epithets refer to his physical features.
Ganesha is one of the most easily recognizable gods in the Hindu pantheon, known as the elephant-headed deity.
Another name employed in the Ganesha Purana and Ganesha Sahasranama is Buddhipriya or "lover of intelligence"
remain the core texts involved in devotion to Ganesha.
Ganesha as we know him today does not appear in the Vedas, at least not explicitly.
Offerings are commonly made to Ganesha, in the form of various sweets, such as small sweet balls (laddus).
Accordingly, some devotees have even claimed to have seen similarities between the shape of Ganesha's body and the shape of Om in the Devan?gar? and Tamil scripts.
The sage agreed to this condition, and found that in order to obtain occasional reprieve from this exhaustive feat, he needed to recite highly complex passages so that Ganesha would ask for clarifications.
Ganesha's marital status varies widely in mythological stories.
Ganesha's diametrically opposed functions as both obstacle-creator and obstacle-destroyer are vital to his character, giving it significant depth as he is venerable for both negative and a positive reasons.
Other scholars have interpreted the myths of Ganesha as revelatory of his status as a former totemic emblem.
A distinct type of iconographic image of Ganesha depicts him with human-looking females called shaktis, referring to uniquely female creative energy.
Widely worshiped among Hindus as the lord of beginnings, Ganesha is honored as the patron of arts and sciences, intellect and wisdom.
During the puja, Ganesha himself causes Buddhi and Siddhi to appear so that Brahm? can offer them back to Ganesha.
References to Ganesha occuring in Puranas predating this (such as those in the Vayu and Brahmanda Puranas), are considered to be later interpolations made during the seventh to tenth centuries C.E.
Ganesha also appears in both China and Japan in forms that show distinct regional character.
Several stories relate episodes of sibling rivalry between Ganesha and Karttikeya, such as their competition over women, which may reflect historical tensions between the respective sects.
Longing for a son, she gave birth to the young man, Ganesha.
In Chapter I.18.24-39 of the Ganesha Purana, Brahm? performs worship in honor of Ganesha.
Ganesha has three primary functions: he is 1) the remover or creator of obstacles, 2) the god of Buddhi (or intelligence), and 3) the personification of the primordial sound AUM.
Ganesha appears as a distinct deity in clearly-recognizable form beginning in the fourth to fifth centuries C.E., suggesting the emergence of the Ganapatya (Ganesh-worshipping) sect (probably an offshoot of mainstream Shaivism).