Q:

What does Ganesh hold in his hands?

A:

Ganesh is normally depicted holding three objects in his hands: an elephant prod, known as an "ankusha;" a noose, known as a "pasha;" and a bowl of sweets, known as a "modaka." Each of these objects symbolizes a concept that Ganesh is meant to characterize as a deity.

In India, the ankusha and pasha are used to bring wild elephants under control. Ganesh carries these objects to remind his followers to bring their minds under control as an elephant trainer tames a wild elephant. The pasha also signifies that attachment to worldly desires is like a noose, while the ankusha is meant to prod humankind along the path of truth. The modaka symbolizes the sweetness that comes to those who achieve enlightenment or self-realization.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why do Hindus not eat meat?

    A:

    Many Hindus do not eat meat because it is considered tamasic, meaning influenced by ignorance. Some Hindu scriptures do not sanction meat, poultry, fish or eggs, although this is open to interpretation, as other scriptures refer to meals involving meat.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you fast and pray?

    A:

    There is no definitive way to fast or pray; however, there are tips one can use to do so effectively. Fasting can be done by setting an objective, committing to the fast, getting prepared physically and mentally and reading scripture. Since pray means "to speak to God especially in order to do something," according to Merriam-Webster, prayer styles will differ by individual choice.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the three Confucian principles?

    A:

    The three core Confucian principles are filial piety, humaneness and ritual. These values permeate Chinese culture and everyday life, and also influenced cultures of neighboring people, such as the Japanese and Koreans.

      Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What happens at a Bar Mitzvah service?

    A:

    The Bar Mitzvah service marks the point where a boy transitions into adulthood. It includes a ceremonial reading of the Torah on the boy’s 13th birthday to signify that he is now viewed as a man. It also includes a party with eating and dancing.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore