Bronze Masterpiece Statues of Hindu Gods by Bronze Creative  

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Ganesh, The Remover of Obstacles

Statues depicting the Hindu God Ganesha (also called Ganesh) show him as a portly figure, with the head of an elephant.  Within Hindu culture, elephants are respected for their intelligence, strength, and loyalty or devotion to others.  Specifically, the Hindu god Ganesha is known as the ‘remover of obstacles,’ a role that real elephants play in the jungle as their large bodies make clear paths.

How Ganesh lost his head is a somewhat contested myth, however one common story attributes the loss of his head to Shiva, one of the Hindu gods of the Trimurti (and Ganesh’s father).  As legend tells, Shiva had been away for many years and missed the birth and part of his son Ganesha’s childhood.  When he returned, Ganesh wouldn’t let Shiva in the door because he didn’t recognize his own father and was protecting his mother, Parvati.  Irritated, Shiva chopped off his own son’s head, which rolled down the mountain and was lost forever.  It was a generous nearby elephant who offered his head so that Ganesh could live again, and today many Hindus and spiritual leaders collect sculptures of Ganesh as a reminder of the importance of self-sacrifice.

The other Hindu myth that tells of how Ganesh lost his head shows a different side to his mother, Parvati.  Ganesh was instead created instantaneously from a loving gaze that Shiva gave to his wife, and all the other gods were immediately captivated by Ganesh’s amazing beauty.  Jealous of her son’s beauty, Parvati cursed her son, wishing he would become ugly and have the head of an elephant.  Shiva then balanced his wife’s terrible wish by giving Ganesh great power to rule over success or failure, and a scribe with much wisdom.  Eventually, Ganesh became known as a god of wisdom and prudence, despite his lack of human beauty.

 

Ganesh Statue

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Ganesh Statues

The many stories of Ganesha show that this Hindu god had a very complex personality.  Not only is Ganesh regarded as a god of wisdom, but statues of Ganesh are said to bring good luck, remove obstacles that remain in the way of success, and clever thinking.

Ganesha statues often feature very large ears, so that Ganesh can hear prayers well.  Statues of Ganesh also show a large belly, which is said to contain the entire universe inside.  Fittingly, many statues of Ganesh depict a small mouse scurrying around the Hindu god’s feet–a symbol of the human mind–on top of which Ganesh rides.  Sculptures that include the depiction of the mouse are reminders of the limitless power of human minds that remains unknown to most people.

The Hindu god Ganesha is known for having a delightful sense of humor.  In September of 1995, the ‘Milk Miracle,’ an event in which Lord Ganesha actually drank the sacrificial milk presented at an Indian temple, was an internationally broadcast breaking news incident.  Camera crews converged on Hindu temples all over the world and filmed the disappearing milk in front of statues of Ganesha.  Ultimately, the Milk Miracle served as a gentle (and somewhat humorous) reminder that the purpose of life is not to serve one’s own self, but to serve God.

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