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Ganesa: Lord of Obstacles, Lord of Beginnings

Paul B. Courtright (Author)
Synopsis The book opens with a consideration of the various myths of Ganesa, stories of his birth, his beheading by his father Siva, and his subsequent restoration as the lord who gives, or withholds, success in undertakings. These mythic themes are then analyzed in relation to ritual, psychological, and religious aspects of Hindu culture. Later chapters explore the historical and ethnographic context of the cult of Ganesa in the Marathi-speaking region of India where his worship is most prevalent. The author also examines the role Ganesa has played in recent Indian history as the patron deity of some formulations of neotraditionalistic values and ideology. A concluding chapter portrays Ganesa as a “protean” deity, one having the ability to assume many identities yet remain distinctly and recognizably himself throughout, thereby displaying his power to bring his devotees into a sustaining and intense relation-ship with him. Throughout the book, Courtright illustrates both the complexity of the deity’s many roles and stories and the integrated manner in which they come together.
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About the author

Paul B. Courtright

Paul B. Courtright is Professor in the Department of Religion at Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.

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Bibliographic information

Title Ganesa: Lord of Obstacles, Lord of Beginnings
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2001
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8120816102
length xx+274p., Bibliography; Index.