is worshipped by Hindus, Buddhists and Jainists alike. The elephant headed god
appears in India before even Shiva as a bringer of good fortune and wisdom, a
remover of obstacles who is called upon at the beginning of a journey or a new
venture. He is also the protector of knowledge, books and education.
finely cast and hand chased bronze is in the traditional form of the god with
his great belly symbolizing the expansive universe, around which he wears a snake
as a girdle as he dances atop an open lotus. In the hands behind him he holds
the ankusha (elephant goad) to guide and the pasha (noose) to convey that worldly
attachments and desires are a snare. In his forward left hand he holds a coconut
to his trunk to drink the sweet juice. His right hand holds the gada, a club sometimes
portrayed as a pestle. This small work is admirably finished, with excellent chasing
in the details of the necklaces, the pleats of the dhoti, and the ridges of the
crown, the figure animated and gracefully poised in movement.