• #1178
  • Indian Indian (culture)
  • Celestial Celestial (attribute)
  • Hellish Hellish (attribute)
  • Haunting Haunting (behaviour)

Ganas are Dwarves of Indian mythology. They are ruled by the great powerful god of wisdom, Ganesh. Theword ‘gana’ roughly translates into English as flock, troop, multitude, tribe class or series. They are thus the accompaniment and assembly of Ganesh. They were given to hm by Shiva. For this reason Ganesh is sometimes known as ‘Lord of the Ganas’. The Ganaas on Mount Kailash are the attendants of Shiva. The more fearsome and dangerous Ganas live on the charnel grounds and in cemeteries. Ganas were a bar to those with impure minds. Only true spiritual heroes who had overcome all fear and anxiety could abide with the Ganas in peace and be with Lord Shiva or Ganesh.

In one story there was a meditator called Mahesvara who meditated in the charnel grounds. Shiva asked him why he did this as the charnel grounds are susceptible to vultures and jackals. Mahesvara replied that he had travelled the land to find a place of quiet and solitude and the charnel ground was the only place he could find. Out of his anger and frustration of not being able to find a suitable place he had created the Ganas, Rakshashas and Pishachas. However out of his compassion he bounded such demonic beings to the charnel grounds.

Ganesh has the body of a human but the head of an elephant. He is attended by a rat or rides one which symbolises his power of overcoming obstacles. He has only one tusk which he lost when he stopped the hero Rama from entering into the palace of Shiva. Rama then threw an axe at him to whom Ganesh was quick to respond and almost dodged it causing the axe to break one of his tusks. One story tells that when he was born and showed to Shiva but the powerful glance of Shiva burnt the child’s head. Shiva then told his wife to replace his head with the first and finest creature she came across which was of course and elephant.

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