This He did by raising an obstacle that disheartened the devas themselves. When the devas and the asuras began to churn the ocean with the serpent Vasuki tied around the Mandara mountain, it gave way and plunged into the ocean. Vishnu realised that none other than the mischievous Ganesha had caused it to happen, so He assumed the tortoise form of Kurma and held up the mountain on His back to facilitate the manthan.
Pilgrims to Tiruvanjali, where the samudra-manthan is said to have taken place, pray to the Shveta Ganpati on the banks of the Kaveri to this day. Polished almost the colour of rose gold, this sculpture of Ganesha brings out the innocence and generosity of His demeanour. Seated in lalitasana on a blooming lotus, He is draped in the silks and shringar fit for the heavenly being that is Shiva-Parvati's offspring. His trusty vahana, the mouse, stands at His feet, offering Him another laddoo (that plump belly is proof that no amount of sweets is enough for the Lord!). The usual implements are in His hands - weapons, His own broken tusk, and of course the laddooes. The superb crown, together with the ornately engraved halo and shapely, generously adorned elephant ear-flaps, conveys a great deal of majesty. Note how lifelike are the eyes of the Lord, and the tattooed trunk that curls down over His torso.
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