Notwithstanding the fact that the Ganapati referred to in the famous Rgvedic mantras, gananam tva ganapatim havamahe...' (2.23.1) and 'nisu sida ganapate...' (10.112.9) and the Ganapati we worship today are strangers to each other, all unbiased scholars agree that the seeds of the Ganapati concept are already there in the Rgveda itself.
The Rgvedic deity 'Ganapati-Brahma-naspati' also called Brhaspati and Vacaspati manifests himself through a vast mass of light. He is golden-red in colour. The battle axe is an important weapon of his. Without his grace no religious rite can succeed. He is always in the company of a group (gana = a group) of singers and dancers. He vanquishes the enemies of gods, protects the devoted votaries and shows them the right way of life.
The most commonly accepted form of Ganapati depicts him as red in colour and in a human body with an elephant's head. Out of the two tusks, one is broken. He has four arms. Two of the arms hold the pasa (noose)and ankusa (goad). The other two are held in the abhaya and varada mudras. The belly is of generous proportions and is decorated with a snake-belt. There is also a yajnopavita (sacred bhraminical thread), either of thread or of serpent. He may be seated in padmasana (lotus-posture). When the belly does not permit this, the right leg may be shown bent and resting on the seat.
Apart from beautiful robes and ornaments, he wears a lovely carved crown.
The trunk may be turned to the left or to the right.
He is normally seen helping himself to liberal quantities of modaka (a kind of sweet).
A mouse, of ridiculously small proportions, is seen near him, nibbling at his share of the sweet, hoping perhaps, to gain enough strength to carry his master!
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