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Ganesa: The God of Asia

M.K. Dhavalikar (Author)

Ganesa is probably the most popular god in India among the Hindus and was accepted by the Buddhist and Jaina as also by the Tantrics. His very therianthropic form evokes curiosity and many attempts have been made to explain it on the basis of literary testimony which, however, is a later fabrication. Relevant archaeological testimony, however, was largely ignored. But it should be emphasized that only archaeology offers reliable data which has been employed here for the first time. It very convincingly explains the rise of the elephant-headed divinity from a sacred animal and an animal totem to the exalted position of a cult deity in Hindu pantheon. This long journey of the god from gaja to gana to Ganesa to Maha-Ganesa and a cult deity, as great as Siva and Vishnu, is truly amazing. His popularity in a large measure is due to his being a vighna-karta (obstacle-creator) changing into a vighna-harta (obstacle-remover), when properly propitiated. Wherever Indians went and settled, they took Ganesa with them for removing obstacles, and therefore Ganesa is the only divinity who can truly be called the God of Asia.

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About the author

M.K. Dhavalikar

Professor Madhukar Keshav Dhavalikar (b 1930) studied archaeology at Deccan College, University of Pune. After serving Archaeological Survey of India (1953-65), joined Nagpur University (1975-76) and was later Professor of Archaeology and Director, Deccan College Post-Graduate Research Institute (now a Deemed Univeristy) Pune, up to 1990. He carried out several excavations of protohistoric sites such a Kayatha, Inamgaon, Somnath and Kuntasi. He was President, Indian Archaeological Society, 1986, and is President, Indian History Congress, 1999. Environment and Culture: A Historical Perspective (2002), and Encyclopaedia of Indian Archaeology, vol. III (in press), besides excavation reports.

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Bibliographic information

Title Ganesa: The God of Asia
Format Hardcover
Date published: 20.08.2016
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788173055553
length xvi+174p., Illustrations; Colour 13; B/W 62; 22cm x 28cm.