Another legend has it differently. One day his parents Shiva and Parvati, were resting in their chamber leaving Ganesh outside with instructions not to allow anyone to enter in. Meanwhile, there came Parasurama, the Brahmin warrior known for his short temper and wrathful nature. He wished to immediately see Lord Shiva but Ganesh did not allow him to enter his chamber. The exchange of words turned into an exchange of weapons. Parasurama tried all weapons, one after the other, and when all failed, he picked up his 'parasu', a celestial battle-axe, which Lord Shiva had himself given him. Lord Ganesh recognised his father's weapon and in reverence to it, allowed it to hit him. He bore it on his right tusk, which it broke.
A third, and perhaps the most popular one, is far more interesting. Ganesh had a weakness for 'modakas' ball-shaped sweet. On one of his birth-days he consumed more 'modakas' than his belly had space for. This over-eating made him uneasy. To relieve himself of it, he thought of strolling around for a while. Riding his mouse when he reached forest, there appeared serpent Vasuki. Seeing the serpent his mouse, throwing away his master, ran away into the forest. When thrown, his belly burst and 'modakas' contained therein rolled away all around. Lord Ganesh greedily collected each one and put it back into his belly and to avoid any further risk picked up the serpent Vasuki and tied around his belly. The Moon god with his wife was seeing this curious drama and could not conrol his laughter. With fury in eyes, Lord Ganesh looked at the Moon god and, as he had no weapon in hands, broke one of his tusks and hurled it at the Moon.
The Ekadanta Lord is in a posture that reveals unique ease. In sculptural tradition this posture is known as 'lalitasana' a sitting posture that reveals beauty of form. This thirty-six inches tall and fifteen inches wide wood-piece has, as its base, a lotus 'pitha' and as its apex a 'prabhavali' comprising conventionalised floral creeper. The elephant headed god is seated on a large sized fully blooming lotus. Except a leaf motif on the left side, the lower half of the 'prabhavali' is plain but beyond shoulder-height it consists of beautifully designed floral creeper with colourful parrots perching on it. It emerges from the right side, has elaborate leafy apex, and terminates on the left with a couple of beautiful banana buds. The deity has a banana bud also in his lower left hand. In his upper hands, he is carrying a goad and a noose. Elaborately bejewelled and partially costumed image of Ekadanta is a magnificent piece of art.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes
on the aesthetics of ancient Indian literature. Dr Daljeet is the chief
curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, New
Delhi. They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art and
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