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Stone sculpture of Shakti-Ganesha
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Ganesha is the elephant-headed son of the Hindu gods Shiva and Parvati, renowned throughout India as the Lord of Beginnings. For this reason he is worshipped before the start of any new venture.

Ganesha is usually depicted with one head and four arms, but in this rare sculpture he is shown with five heads and ten arms. He holds weapons including a trident, a discus and a bow and arrow as well as other objects such as a pomegranate, a fly-whisk and his broken tusk. Ganesha usually appears alone, but here a female Shakti (consort) sits on his left leg. His vahana (vehicle), the small rat on which he rides, appears in the cave at the base of the image. The base is supported by ganas (dwarves), th attendants of Shiva and Parvati. Ganesha is the chief of these dwarves, and another name for him is Ganapati (“lord of the ganas”).

Stone sculpture of Shakti-Ganesha

Probably from Konarak Orissa, eastern India,
XIII century AD
Ht. 102 cm.

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