As a child, Ganesha teased a cat by pulling its tail, rolling it over on the
ground and causing it great pain, as naughty young boys are wont to do.
After some time, tired of his game, he went to his mother Parvati. He found
her in great pain and covered with scratches and dust all over. When he
questioned her, she put the blame on him. She explained that she was the cat
whom Ganesha had teased.
His total devotion towards his mother is the reason why in the South Indian
tradition Ganesha is represented as single and celibate. It is said that he
felt that his mother, Parvati, was the most beautiful and perfect woman in
the universe. Bring me a woman as beautiful as she is and I shall marry her,
he said. None could find an equal to the beautiful Uma (Parvati), and so the
legend goes, the search is still on...
In a different, slightly erotic version from Tantric thought, Ganesha is
depicted in a form known as "Shakti Ganpati". Here he is depicted with four
arms, two of them holding symbolic implements. With the other two arms he
fondles his consort, who is comfortably balanced on his left thigh.
This sculpture is a temple carving from the state of Tamil Nadu.
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