Ajay Salvi


Let me acknowledge right up front that I’m aware that it’s undoubtedly wrong on many levels for me, not a Hindu, to have a favorite Hindu deity. But I do. I have been smitten with Ganesha for decades. Not because he’s so easily recognized (the elephant’s head is a dead giveaway), and not because he always looks so comfortable in his body (so many Hindu gods are profoundly body-positive).

Ganesha is my favorite because 1) he’s the Lord of Obstacles and the God of Beginnings, and how cool is that? You want to start something, but something is preventing you? Call on Ganesha. And 2) he travels by mouse. Really, this isn’t something I’d make up. Ganesha rides a mouse. Okay, some folks say it’s a rat or even a shrew, but trust me, it’s a mouse. I have nothing against rats or shrews, you understand, but mice are way more cool. You want to start something, but something is preventing you? Call on the Lord of Obstacles, God of Beginnings, Mouse-riding Ganesha.

But wait, there’s more. Ganesha is also invoked as patron of letters and writing. He’s said to have transcribed the sacred text of the Mahabharata as it was being dictated. During the transcription, Ganesha’s quill broke. To keep from interrupting the dictation, Ganesha broke off a bit of his own tusk and used it as a pen. Dude is hardcore.

So yeah, my favorite Hindu god — the one who shoves aside obstacles (or puts them in front of the unworthy), rides a mouse, and will do whatever it takes to keep writing. The elephant head and extra arms are just gravy. Did I mention he dances? Yeah, that’s right, Ganesha dances. No contest, my favorite.

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