'Ganesha, the god of wisdom and remover of obstacles'

'Ganesha, the god of wisdom and remover of obstacles'

'Ganesha, the god of wisdom and remover of obstacles'
Painting
India
About 1825
Museum no. IM.444-1923

Ganesha is the popular Hindu god of wisdom and the remover of obstacles. He is portrayed as a four-armed fat man with the head of an elephant and is often shown riding his vehicle, a rat. This rat is most commonly called 'Mooshika'. Some believe that it was once a powerful but slow-moving demon, whom Ganesha defeated in a battle. The demon then offered to become Ganesha's faithful servant, so Ganesha turned him into an agile rat. Hindus generally believe rats represent prudence and foresight.