Written by London Swaminathan


Date: 14 September 2018


Time uploaded in London – 7-58 am (British Summer Time)


Post No. 5429

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources including google, Wikipedia, Facebook friends and newspapers. This is a non- commercial blog.



Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world. When other ancient religions of Egypt, Greece, Rome and China went into museums how did hinduism survive? Even the name Hinduism is only 2500 years old: before the Greeks and Persians called the people living beyond Indus River, Hindus, the religion was flourishing, aptly under the name Sanatan Dharma- The Eternal Religion.


The reason for the amazing success of Hindus is adaptation, absorption and digestion of foreign thoughts and newer ideas. Earlier I wrote about the newest vehicle of Hindu Gods- camel for Anjaneya. Each Hindu god has a vahana/vehicle. Camel is added as a vehicle of Anajaneya also called Maruti, Hanuman and Vayu putra. Strangley the vehicle is found in South Indian Anjaneya temples, where as the camel is a desert animal of Rajasthan and other western states. But Hindus can adopt, adapt, absorb and digest anything and make it look like ‘pukka’ Hindu!


Here is another story not known to many of us. Radish Ganesh! Ganesh with Radish (Muli) is found mostly in South East Asian countries.


Ganesh is one of the most original gods of Hindu pantheon and one of the most loved. Associated with intelligence- knowing and knowledge—he is said to have worshiped by all other gods before embarking on any new adventure. He put the Mahabharata- the longest epic in the world, into writing for Veda Vyasa. He lost one of his tusks in the gigantic task of writing 200,000 lines.


Ganesa is considered the protector of corps. That is why a rat is shown as his vehicle/vahana. It is believed that he protects the crops by controlling the crops. Considered as one who surmounts of obstacles, Ganesh or Vinayaka (or Pillaiyaar in Tami)l is invoked before each undertaking. He does not need big temples. He is shown in natural surroundings in caves, under the trees ad in open spaces without even a roof over his head!

One of his attributes is the axe (Parasu) which cuts and tears down the bad things such as sins and evil fate. In places like Vietnam (Champa of olden days) he is shown with a radish (Mulaka gandha) in one of his hands. The association of the deity with with the world of agriculture, vegetation, more widely, with nature is betrayed by the attribute of a radish in his left hand. This radish with acidic taste is loved by the elephants. We see it in some of  the Indian Ganesh statues of 6th and 8th centuries. The other attribute of Ganesa is a bowl with Modakas ( sweets made up of coconut and rice flour or sometimes ladduka). Ganesh image is rich in symbolism. We see snakes, tiger skin draped around his hips, gem studded gold necklaces, Brahmanical cord (the sacred thread) on left shoulder. One statue of Ganesh was recovered from Myson in Vietnam with missing parts, but others are intact and displayed in museums.



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