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Etymology and other names[ edit ] Ganesha, Madhya Pradesh, c. Narain differentiates these terms by saying that pillai means a "child" while pillaiyar means a "noble child". He adds that the words pallu, pella, and pell in the Dravidian family of languages signify "tooth or tusk", also "elephant tooth or tusk". Ganesha images were prevalent in many parts of India by the 6th century. A virtually identical statue has been dated between — by Paul Martin-Dubost,  and another similar statue is dated c.
This statue has four arms, which is common in depictions of Ganesha. He holds his own broken tusk in his lower-right hand and holds a delicacy, which he samples with his trunk, in his lower-left hand. The motif of Ganesha turning his trunk sharply to his left to taste a sweet in his lower-left hand is a particularly archaic feature. In the standard configuration, Ganesha typically holds an axe or a goad in one upper arm and a pasha noose in the other upper arm.
In rare instances, he may be depicted with a human head. In one modern form, the only variation from these old elements is that the lower-right hand does not hold the broken tusk but is turned towards the viewer in a gesture of protection or fearlessness Abhaya mudra.
A typical four-armed form. Miniature of Nurpur school circa  Ganesha has been represented with the head of an elephant since the early stages of his appearance in Indian art. Because Shiva considered Ganesha too alluring, he gave him the head of an elephant and a protruding belly.
Jain depictions of Ganesha show his vahana variously as a mouse, elephant, tortoise, ram, or peacock. It was essential to subdue the rat as a destructive pest, a type of vighna impediment that needed to be overcome.
Hence, he is often worshipped by the people before they begin anything new. Ganesha is identified with the Hindu mantra Om. Chinmayananda translates the relevant passage as follows:  O Lord Ganapati!
You are the Trimurti Brahma , Vishnu , and Mahesa. You are Indra. You are Brahman. You are the three worlds Bhuloka [earth], Antariksha-loka [space], and Swargaloka [heaven]. You are Om. That is to say, You are all this. Mula means "original, main"; adhara means "base, foundation". The muladhara chakra is the principle on which the manifestation or outward expansion of primordial Divine Force rests.
Kangra miniature, 18th century. Allahabad Museum, New Delhi. In northern India, Skanda is generally said to be the elder, while in the south, Ganesha is considered the firstborn. As Skanda fell, Ganesha rose. Several stories tell of sibling rivalry between the brothers  and may reflect sectarian tensions. Somayaji says, "there can hardly be a [Hindu] home [in India] which does not house an idol of Ganapati.
Ganapati, being the most popular deity in India, is worshipped by almost all castes and in all parts of the country". Hindus of all denominations invoke him at the beginning of prayers, important undertakings, and religious ceremonies. The festival culminates on the day of Ananta Chaturdashi , when the idols murtis are immersed in the most convenient body of water. In , Lokmanya Tilak transformed this annual Ganesha festival from private family celebrations into a grand public event.
Located within a kilometer radius of the city of Pune , each of the eight shrines celebrates a particular form of Ganapati, complete with its own lore. The first image was discovered in the ruins north of Kabul along with those of Surya and Shiva. It is dated to the 4th-century. This is dated to the 5th-century. His antecedents are not clear. His wide acceptance and popularity, which transcend sectarian and territorial limits, are indeed amazing.
On the other hand, there are doubts about the existence of the idea and the icon of this deity" before the fourth to fifth century A. The evidence for more ancient Ganesha, suggests Narain, may reside outside Brahmanic or Sanskritic traditions, or outside geocultural boundaries of India.
Ganapati Prarthana Ghanapatham in English - Hindusphere