The remover of obstacles and god of beginnings, Ganesha or Ganapati is one of the most well-known and worshipped Hindu deities. In this painting by Giampaolo Tomassetti, you’ll find that his form is captured beautifully in shades of grey and gold. As Ganesha is worshipped as the remover of obstacles, a patron of arts and sciences, a deva (‘shining one’ or deity) of wisdom and intellect, and one whose name is invoked at the start of something new, it’s only fitting that we begin our journey of spirituality and self-discovery with this evocative rendition of Ganesha.
In just one look your eyes are drawn to the incredible detailing that the artist has rendered in this unique, one-of-a-kind spiritual artwork. The first feature that captures your attention is Ganesha’s mighty trunk that symbolises a balance between Gyaan Shakti (knowledge) and Karma Shakti (action), as the elephant is the only animal that solely relies on its trunk to carry out all its functions. The raised hand signifies protection, while the lowered hand is an invitation to bow in obedience. You’ll also notice the ankusha in Ganesha’s hand, which is a tool that is used to guide. This is symbolic of how Ganesha helps us stay on the path of karmic righteousness when we’re led astray or allow our spiritual awakening to come to a halt. It reminds us to ground our mind when the chaos creeps in.
Look closer, and you’ll find captivating details everywhere. For instance, a Natraja avatar of Shiva resides in Ganesha’s ankusha and a string of elephants marching into the horizon, at Ganesha’s feet, against the backdrop of mountains, stormy clouds and temples and trees. The artwork invites us to make all these elements a part of our consciousness as we go on with our lives.
As you glean layers of meaning from this piece of art, we hope you imbibe into your spiritual awareness the qualities that Ganesha is best known for: courage, endurance, power and empathy.