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Inspecting the Different Elements of Ganesha Paintings

Indian Art Ideas

Nov 2016

Original Post

Posted on:
April 29, 2019
Posted in:
Art News

The world of art is full of elucidation of human emotions.

Artists, from the centuries, are known to pour out their sentiments through colors, patterns, and coded meanings.
Some of the artworks are too apparent to interpret while others are hard.

Abstract artworks, for instance, demand undivided focus and an open mind to dig out the hidden meaning.

Similarly, figurative artworks are too easy to understand as we can relate with the real-life objects and the interpretation attached to it.

But what about religious artworks?

We are used to seeing the same version of deities in paintings for a long time. People who buy such artworks are more devoted towards the particular God or Goddess and not in what lies behind such manifestation.

I mean, how many times you have looked at Ganesha paintings, Shiva artworks or Krishna’s art pieces and thought, “Why are these Gods manifested like this?”

Zero, right.

Hence, this blog is going to uncover the obscure meaning that lies in paintings of Ganesha. Let’s start:

The Head

We all are aware of the mystique tale of how Ganesha got his elephant head.

But do you know the buried meaning of the big head of Ganesha?

Ganesha is considered as a God of wisdom. Hence, the colossal head of Lord Ganesha is a symbol of boundless knowledge that a brain can keep in itself.

Ganesha was wise (as referred in the sacred texts) and witty. He used his intelligence to offer justice and balance to the world.

This is the reason that artists from thousands of years are drawing a huge head of Lord Ganesha to indicate the tenacity of knowledge and wisdom.

Missing Tusk

Ganesha’s depiction in paintings is quite stagnant.

Looking closely at these artworks would bring to your notice that Ganesha only has one tusk.

His other tusk is missing.

I know, most of us are not even aware of this, right?

The tale of broken tusk takes us to two stories.

One story tells that when Pashuram and Ganesha were indulged in a fierce battle, the former attacked with a weapon given by Lord Shiva. Ganesha, seeing the weapon, identifies his father’s gift.

So, as a sign of respect and devotion, Ganesha took the blow willingly, which made his tusk shatter.

The second story states that Ganesha himself broke the tusk so as to use it as a pen to jot down the epic Ramayana.

This is the reason that if Ganesha paintings show two hands of this God, it is regarded as a bad omen.

The big belly

Also, while crafting the spectacular manifestation of Ganesha, artists ensure to represent the big tummy always.

People wrongly relate to the representation with the big appetite of Ganesha. However, the obscure meaning of big tummy is more than just related to appetite.

The big belly of Ganesha is a symbolization that all the sorrows and joy of the world are comfortably consumed by this auspicious deity.

A generic interpretation will be that Ganesha tells us that we should take all the good and bad times on an equal level.

The humungous ears

While observing a Ganesha painting, you can also notice that artists have drawn massive ears of this deity.

These massive ears are not just depicted because Ganesha had an elephant head.

Rather, this representation is a way of telling that God hears everyone’s prayers without ignoring anyone as such.

Simply put, God listens to everyone despite being good or bad.

Tiny Eyes

Albeit the big belly and the big head, the eyes of Ganesha are mostly depicted quite small in the artworks.

Can you guess why?

The hidden interpretation of small eyes in Ganesha paintings is to tell the criticality of concentration and awareness.

This symbolic depiction tells us that we should be extremely focused in order to accomplish excellence in our field of work.

If we do so, it is assured that the blessing of Lord Ganesha would always be with us.

The Trunk

Last but not least, artists have also showcased a massive looking trunk of Ganesha. This depicts that people should not be seeking shortcut instead should work with flexibility and efficiency if they seek success.

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