The lovable deity Ganesha is one of the most fascinating figures in Hindu culture. He is also a figure full of symbolisms.
*According to one legend, the head of Ganesha is not that of an elephant at all but that of one of the ‘ganas’, the deformed beings who were loyal followers and friends of Ganesha’s father, Shiva. These beings were said to have limbs without bones and this imagery over the centuries was corrupted to the elephant trunk (the only limb without bones that people could imagine). On granting his son the head of a member of the ‘ganas’, Shiva gave the boy the name Ganapati (chief of the ganas) or Ganesha (lord of the ganas)
**There are many stories surrounding Ganesha’s one broken tusk. According to one story, he broke off the tusk to use for writing the Mahabharata, narrated to him by the sage Ved Vyasa. According to another, the tusk broke during a violent struggle with Parshuram who wished to meet Shiva while Ganesha denied permission as Shiva was spending some private time. According to some interpretations, the broken tusk represents one-pointedness of the mind or the destruction of duality.
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