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The Compendium on Ganesa
The Compendium on Ganesa
Description
From the Jacket

Ganesa’s popularity is manifold. He is the favourite god of the masses. He is also the favourite subject for curio-hunters and collectors of icons. Painters and sculptors have revelled in depicting this god in a varity of forms and postures. The Tantrik practitioners have found in him a beneficent poer, quick to acquire and enduring in nature.

Literature about Ganesh is remarkable, varied and large. Works in Sanskrit, which appear to have provided the main source material for all of them, are themselves large in number and varied in nature. An attempt has been made here to present a comprehensive picture of Ganesa that is of interest to an Indian mind. The picture assumes the Vedic origin of Ganesa and the Smrti and the Tantric involvements of the deity. It recognizes the primal importance ogiven to this god in the daily life of millions of Indians. It seeks to provide authentic information about Ganesh from texts.

The books contain drawings of numerous Ganesa icons, worshipped in temples or preserved in museums.

Vidyalankara, Sastra-Chudamini, Sangita-Kalaratna, Professor Saligrama Krishna Ramachandra Rao, is a well-known scholar who combines traditional learning with modern research. Well versed in Sanskrit, Pall, Ardhmagadhi and several modern Indian languages and acquainted with Tibetan and some European languages, he has written extensively on Vedanta, Buddhism, Janism, Indian Culture, Art and Literature.

In his professional career, however, he was a Professor of Psychology. He has headed the Department of Clinical Psychology in the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore and the Department of Indian Culture in the Collision College Study Center of the University of the Pacific (U.S.A.) He was the senior associate of National Institute of Advanced Studies (Indian Institute of Science), Bangalore, and Guest Faculty, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and member of the Governing Council of TTD (SVCL Research Center), Tirupati. He has been member of Karnataka State Lalitha Kala Academy and Sangita Nritya Academy and Sangita Nritya Academy; he has served on the Agama Board (Govt. of Karnataka). He is President of Silpa-Kala Pratisthana. The Govt. of Karnataka has honored him with the 1986 Rajyotsava Award. He has received awards from Lalita-Kala Academy and Sangita Nritya Academy. He has been awarded the Veda-Sanman for the year 2000 by the Govt. of India (Ministry of HRD, Sandipani Mahavidhyalaya, and Ujjain). He has written more than Sixty Books in Kannada, a Play in Sanskrit, and a Pali Commentary on a Buddhist classic. One of his books on Iconography in Kannada has won the State Sahitya Academy Award, as also another of his Book on the Tirupati Temple.

Among his numerous English Publications are three Vols. of Encyclopaedia of Indian Iconography, Tibetan Tantrik Tradition and Tibetan Meditation, Consciousness in Advaita, and a series of Six Books on Indian Temples Origins of. Indian thought. He is also Musicologist, a Sculptor and Painter, and has held some one man shows.

 

Introduction

Ganega’s popularity is manifold. He is the favourite god of the masses. He is also the favourite subject for curio-hunters and collectors of icons. Painters and sculptors have revelled in depicting this god in a variety of forms and postures. The tantrik practitioners have found in him a benevolent power, quick to acquire and enduring in nature. There is no religious group in the Country which dispenses with his services. And more importantly, Ganesa has been subjected to endless enquiry about his origin, nature, significance, symbolism and cultic involvement. Research scholars have surrounded him with diverse theories: sociological, anthropological, cultural, historical, literary and linguistic, political and economic answers are suggested to be the secret of his popularity agriculture, hunting, elephant capture, formation of early totemistic communities, and strife amongst them are sought to be seen in the background of this deity. Excessive use of imagination appears to be the undercurrent in all such studies, which have also incidentally brought to surface many interesting aspects of Ganesa-worship.

Literature about Ganesa is remarkable, varied and large. Every Indian language has works bearing on this deity and on his worship. Works in Sanskrit, which appear to have provided the main source-material for all of them, are themselves large in number and varied in nature puranas, kalpas, paddhatis, sadhanas, vidhis and namavalis. Representations of Ganesa in stone, metal, clay and wood, and in painting are equally numerous and varied.

It would doubtless be a foolhardy proposition to attempt to bring all this material together in one volume, however large. Nor would it be a practical proposal to document all the so-called research-findings on the cult of Ganesa. Neither the one nor the other of these two ambitions has stirred me to prepare this compendium. The intention is quite modest: to present a meaningful account of the god from a strictly traditional viewpoint. The matter included here has been taken directly from the texts which are held sacred by those who may be described as the ‘believing folk’: the Vedas, the brahmanas, the smrtis, the tantras, the kalpas and the puranas.

People on the other side of the fence are likely to be disappointed by my refusal to take cognizance of such problems as the deity s totemistic origin, Dravidian’ ancestry and folk character, at any rate in this book. But my aim is to present a picture of Ganesa that is thoroughly indigenous, and not to feed the curious and critical minds. I have refrained from utilizing any of the modern books on Ganesa, like the one by Alice Getty or the other by Rev. Heras. Not that they are of no value, but such discussions are not relevant to the traditional approach.

An attempt has been made here to present a comprehensive picture of Ganesa that is of interest to an Indian mind. The picture assumes the Vedic origin of Ganesa and the Smrti and the tantrik involvements of the deity. It recognizes the primal importance given to this god in the daily life of millions of Indians. And it seeks to provide authentic information about Gaea from our own text.

Two earlier works on the subject that have been helpful in the preparation of this work are the Hindi Ganesa-Ank (of ‘Kalyan’, Gorakpur, 1947) and the Marathi Ganesa-Kosha (ed. By Amarendra Gadgil, Sri-rama Book Agency, Pune, 1981). But the present publication seeks to provide new material, a fresh insight and an integrated approach. This is not a mere complication, but a presentation.

It contains drawings of numerous Ganesa icons, worshipped in our temples or preserved in museums. Most of the drawings are done by the author, but drawings from the pen of my artist-friends Sri. Appukuttan-Achari and Sri. M.S. Raman have also been included. The drawings of the thirty two form of Ganapati given at the end have been taken from the scroll in possession of my late friend, the renowned artist, Sri Subrahmanya Raju. The thirty-two paintings reproduced in the book are from the illumined manuscript of Sri-Tattva-nidhi, preserved in the Oriental Research Institute, Mysore, obtained through the courtesy of the Superintending Archaeologist of the Archaeological Survey of India, Mid- southern circle.

My sincere thanks are due to all of these sources of information and illustration; and special mention must be made of Daivajna Sri. K.N. Somayaji, Director of Kalpatharu Research Academy, Bangalore, who made the first edition of this publication possible. I am grateful to my friends in Indian Books Centre, Delhi, for having brought out the second and enlarged edition.

 

Contents

 

  Introduction  
1. The Vedic Background 1-34
2. In the Smrti Context 35-68
3. Tantrik Involvements 69-130
4. Myths and Legends 131-219
5. Forms for worship 220-272

Sample Pages













The Compendium on Ganesa

Item Code:
NAC011
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
2005
ISBN:
8170308283
Size:
10.0 inch X 7.5 inch
Pages:
308 (Illustrated Throughout in B/W and 32 Color Illustrations)
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 745 gms
Price:
$35.00   Shipping Free
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From the Jacket

Ganesa’s popularity is manifold. He is the favourite god of the masses. He is also the favourite subject for curio-hunters and collectors of icons. Painters and sculptors have revelled in depicting this god in a varity of forms and postures. The Tantrik practitioners have found in him a beneficent poer, quick to acquire and enduring in nature.

Literature about Ganesh is remarkable, varied and large. Works in Sanskrit, which appear to have provided the main source material for all of them, are themselves large in number and varied in nature. An attempt has been made here to present a comprehensive picture of Ganesa that is of interest to an Indian mind. The picture assumes the Vedic origin of Ganesa and the Smrti and the Tantric involvements of the deity. It recognizes the primal importance ogiven to this god in the daily life of millions of Indians. It seeks to provide authentic information about Ganesh from texts.

The books contain drawings of numerous Ganesa icons, worshipped in temples or preserved in museums.

Vidyalankara, Sastra-Chudamini, Sangita-Kalaratna, Professor Saligrama Krishna Ramachandra Rao, is a well-known scholar who combines traditional learning with modern research. Well versed in Sanskrit, Pall, Ardhmagadhi and several modern Indian languages and acquainted with Tibetan and some European languages, he has written extensively on Vedanta, Buddhism, Janism, Indian Culture, Art and Literature.

In his professional career, however, he was a Professor of Psychology. He has headed the Department of Clinical Psychology in the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore and the Department of Indian Culture in the Collision College Study Center of the University of the Pacific (U.S.A.) He was the senior associate of National Institute of Advanced Studies (Indian Institute of Science), Bangalore, and Guest Faculty, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and member of the Governing Council of TTD (SVCL Research Center), Tirupati. He has been member of Karnataka State Lalitha Kala Academy and Sangita Nritya Academy and Sangita Nritya Academy; he has served on the Agama Board (Govt. of Karnataka). He is President of Silpa-Kala Pratisthana. The Govt. of Karnataka has honored him with the 1986 Rajyotsava Award. He has received awards from Lalita-Kala Academy and Sangita Nritya Academy. He has been awarded the Veda-Sanman for the year 2000 by the Govt. of India (Ministry of HRD, Sandipani Mahavidhyalaya, and Ujjain). He has written more than Sixty Books in Kannada, a Play in Sanskrit, and a Pali Commentary on a Buddhist classic. One of his books on Iconography in Kannada has won the State Sahitya Academy Award, as also another of his Book on the Tirupati Temple.

Among his numerous English Publications are three Vols. of Encyclopaedia of Indian Iconography, Tibetan Tantrik Tradition and Tibetan Meditation, Consciousness in Advaita, and a series of Six Books on Indian Temples Origins of. Indian thought. He is also Musicologist, a Sculptor and Painter, and has held some one man shows.

 

Introduction

Ganega’s popularity is manifold. He is the favourite god of the masses. He is also the favourite subject for curio-hunters and collectors of icons. Painters and sculptors have revelled in depicting this god in a variety of forms and postures. The tantrik practitioners have found in him a benevolent power, quick to acquire and enduring in nature. There is no religious group in the Country which dispenses with his services. And more importantly, Ganesa has been subjected to endless enquiry about his origin, nature, significance, symbolism and cultic involvement. Research scholars have surrounded him with diverse theories: sociological, anthropological, cultural, historical, literary and linguistic, political and economic answers are suggested to be the secret of his popularity agriculture, hunting, elephant capture, formation of early totemistic communities, and strife amongst them are sought to be seen in the background of this deity. Excessive use of imagination appears to be the undercurrent in all such studies, which have also incidentally brought to surface many interesting aspects of Ganesa-worship.

Literature about Ganesa is remarkable, varied and large. Every Indian language has works bearing on this deity and on his worship. Works in Sanskrit, which appear to have provided the main source-material for all of them, are themselves large in number and varied in nature puranas, kalpas, paddhatis, sadhanas, vidhis and namavalis. Representations of Ganesa in stone, metal, clay and wood, and in painting are equally numerous and varied.

It would doubtless be a foolhardy proposition to attempt to bring all this material together in one volume, however large. Nor would it be a practical proposal to document all the so-called research-findings on the cult of Ganesa. Neither the one nor the other of these two ambitions has stirred me to prepare this compendium. The intention is quite modest: to present a meaningful account of the god from a strictly traditional viewpoint. The matter included here has been taken directly from the texts which are held sacred by those who may be described as the ‘believing folk’: the Vedas, the brahmanas, the smrtis, the tantras, the kalpas and the puranas.

People on the other side of the fence are likely to be disappointed by my refusal to take cognizance of such problems as the deity s totemistic origin, Dravidian’ ancestry and folk character, at any rate in this book. But my aim is to present a picture of Ganesa that is thoroughly indigenous, and not to feed the curious and critical minds. I have refrained from utilizing any of the modern books on Ganesa, like the one by Alice Getty or the other by Rev. Heras. Not that they are of no value, but such discussions are not relevant to the traditional approach.

An attempt has been made here to present a comprehensive picture of Ganesa that is of interest to an Indian mind. The picture assumes the Vedic origin of Ganesa and the Smrti and the tantrik involvements of the deity. It recognizes the primal importance given to this god in the daily life of millions of Indians. And it seeks to provide authentic information about Gaea from our own text.

Two earlier works on the subject that have been helpful in the preparation of this work are the Hindi Ganesa-Ank (of ‘Kalyan’, Gorakpur, 1947) and the Marathi Ganesa-Kosha (ed. By Amarendra Gadgil, Sri-rama Book Agency, Pune, 1981). But the present publication seeks to provide new material, a fresh insight and an integrated approach. This is not a mere complication, but a presentation.

It contains drawings of numerous Ganesa icons, worshipped in our temples or preserved in museums. Most of the drawings are done by the author, but drawings from the pen of my artist-friends Sri. Appukuttan-Achari and Sri. M.S. Raman have also been included. The drawings of the thirty two form of Ganapati given at the end have been taken from the scroll in possession of my late friend, the renowned artist, Sri Subrahmanya Raju. The thirty-two paintings reproduced in the book are from the illumined manuscript of Sri-Tattva-nidhi, preserved in the Oriental Research Institute, Mysore, obtained through the courtesy of the Superintending Archaeologist of the Archaeological Survey of India, Mid- southern circle.

My sincere thanks are due to all of these sources of information and illustration; and special mention must be made of Daivajna Sri. K.N. Somayaji, Director of Kalpatharu Research Academy, Bangalore, who made the first edition of this publication possible. I am grateful to my friends in Indian Books Centre, Delhi, for having brought out the second and enlarged edition.

 

Contents

 

  Introduction  
1. The Vedic Background 1-34
2. In the Smrti Context 35-68
3. Tantrik Involvements 69-130
4. Myths and Legends 131-219
5. Forms for worship 220-272

Sample Pages













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