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Ganesha (Sanskrit: गणेश; IAST: Gaṇeśa; Ganesha.ogg listen (help·info)), also spelled Ganesa or Ganesh and also known as Ganapati, Vinayaka, and Pillaiyar, is one of the best-known and most widely worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon.5 His image is found throughout India.6 Hindu sects worship him regardless of other affiliations.7 Devotion to Ganesha is widely diffused and extends to Jains, Buddhists, and beyond India.8

Although he is known by many other attributes, Ganesha’s elephant head makes him easy to identify.9 Ganesha is widely revered as the Remover of Obstacles10 and more generally as Lord of Beginnings and Lord of Obstacles (Vighnesha, Vighneshvara),11 patron of arts and sciences, and the deva of intellect and wisdom.12 He is honoured at the start of rituals and ceremonies and invoked as Patron of Letters during writing sessions.13 Several texts relate mythological anecdotes associated with his birth and exploits and explain his distinct iconography.

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india, god, indian, hinduism, worship, lord, divine, shiva, ganesha, siva, prabhu

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