Ganesha is one of the best-known and most widely worshiped deities in the Hindu pantheon. Ganesha is widely revered as the Remover of Obstacles and more generally as Lord of Beginnings and Lord of Obstacles, patron of arts and sciences, and the God of intellect and wisdom. He is honored at the beginning of rituals and ceremonies and invoked as Patron of Letters during writing sessions
Ganesha is the son of Shiva and Parvati. Once, while Parvati wanted to take a bath, there were no attendants around to guard her and stop anyone from accidentally entering the house. Hence she created an image of a boy out of turmeric paste which she prepared to cleanse her body, and infused life into it, and thus Ganesha was born. Parvati ordered Ganesha not to allow anyone to enter the house, and Ganesha obediently followed his mother's orders. After a while Shiva returned and tried to enter the house, Ganesha stopped him. Shiva was infuriated and it started a chain of events leading to war of the entire heavenly kingdom and the lone child. Midst the war, Shiva could manage to severe the boy's head with his trishula (trident). When Parvati came out and saw her son's lifeless body, she was very angry. She immediately revealed her true self as the adi-shakti, the primal energy sustaining matter and demanded that Shiva restore Ganesha's life at once. The Gods prostrated at her feet and an elephant's head was attached to Ganesha's body, bringing him back to life. To appease Parvati further, Shiva declared that the child be made head of the ghost-followers (Gana's) of Shiva and worshiped by everyone before beginning any activity, and Gods accepted this condition.
Ganesha is usually depicted with a human body and an elephant head. He is usually red or yellow in color. He is often dancing, or sitting. He usually has a big potbelly. He usually has four arms, some of them carrying weapons (ax, noose, etc). His vehicle is the rat.
You can find more information on the Ganesha page on Wikipedia.
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