God of the Week 03/22/2010: Ganesha
Ganesha is a popular Hindu deity. Though he is depicted with the head of an elephant, he appears to be surprisingly nimble, since he is often shown dancing or sitting in a lotus position. He is one of the most widely revered gods in the Hindu pantheon and is also worshiped within Jainism and Buddhism.
The deity Ganesa is especially honoured as being the god who averts obstacles, whence he becomes a divinity of good fortune, who should be worshipped before each new undertaking. Various legends, hard to reconcile with each other, are told of his parentage and to explain his elephant’s head, which is apparently a symbol of wisdom. He is probably a god of some aboriginal tribe who was adopted by Hinduism.
-Mythology of All Races, Volume VI, Indian and Iranian, Edited by Louis Herbert Gray