is the Hindu
god with the body of a human
and the head of an elephant
. He is an extremely popular God
, worshiped by many Hindu before the start of any venture.
He is a god of knowledge
, and literature
. Often called "Lord of and destroyer of obstacles".
The most popular story of Ganesha is derived from the Shiva Purana. According to the story Parvati formed Ganesha of dirt from her body. She then asked him to stand guard at the door, while she took a bath.
While she was taking her bath, Shiva returned home. Ganesha refused to allow Shiva to enter the home. This angered Shiva and so Shiva cut off the boy's head and disposed of it.
When Parvati came out of her bath and found this she was very sad. She explained to Shiva who Ganesha was. Shiva then ordered his troops to go out and bring him the head of anyone found sleeping with their head pointing north. They found an elephant asleep and brought back its head.
Shiva attached the new head and revived Ganesha. He then named Ganesha commander of his troops, and proclaimed that before any undertaking, Ganesha would need to be worshiped.