Hindu Deity Ganesha  

Posted by Stella Clark in , , , , ,

Hindu Deity Ganesha Image
Ganesha is India's cutest god. He has the head of an elephant on which is perched a dainty tiara, four pudgy hands joined to a sizeable belly with each hand holding its own symbolic object. One has a trishul, or a trident, the second, an ankush, or goad made from his very own broken tooth, the third hand elegantly holds a lotus and the fourth a rosary (which is sometimes replaced by modaks - his favourite sweet). His appetite for sweets is legendary and offerings of them are often left at his shrine.

Ganesha is famous not only for being a trickster and for his sense of humour, but equally for his wisdom. He is the son of Shiva (Destroyer in the Hindu Holy Trinity of Creator-Preserver-Destroyer) and Parvati (Shiva's consort).

The chubby, gentle, wise, elephant-headed Ganesh, or Ganesha, is one of Hinduisms most popular deities. He is the remover of obstacles, the deity whom worshippers first acknowledge when they visit a temple. He is also patron of letters and of learning; he is the legendary scribe who, using his broken tusk, which he often holds, wrote down parts of the Mahabharata epic.

"from "Loving Ganesa"

by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami


Tezcatlipoca  

Posted by Stella Clark

Tezcatlipoca Cover
In Nahuatl mythology, Tezcatlipoca (tes-cat-lee-poh-ka) or "smoking mirror" was the god of the night, the north, temptation, sorcery, beauty and war. He was known by other descriptive names, such as Titlacauan (We His Slaves), Ipalnemoani (He by whom we live), Necocyaotl (Sower of Discord on Both Sides) and Tloque Nahuaque (Lord of the Near and Nigh) and Yohualli Eecatl (Night, Wind). When depicted he was usually drawn with a black stripe painted across his face, and is usually shown with his right foot replaced with a mirror made of obsidian or hematite.

Sometimes the mirror was shown on his chest. He would carry four arrows in his right hand to punish the sins of man with. His hair was black and in the style of a warrior, as well as carrying a shield and weapon. He wore twenty gold bells on his ankles, and on his right foot he wore a deer hoof, representing his swiftness and agility. He appears on the first page of the Codex Borgia carrying the 20 day signs of the calendar; in the Codex Cospi he is shown as a spirit of darkness, as well as in the Codex Laud and the Dresden Codex.

According to the Aztecs, he was also the god of discord and deceit as well as the god of robbers, but he was also the god of rulers, warriors and sorcery. He was associated with the notion of destiny or fate and with the jaguar, and was known for inciting wars between peoples.

He owned a mirror (Itlachiayaque - "Place From Which He Watches") that gave off smoke, killing his enemies; he saw everything and he punished wrong doers with illness and poverty, and rewarded good people with wealth and fame. He was the antithesis, rival, and eventually the twin of Quetzalcoatl. It was thought then when a baby was conceived, it was placed there by Tezcatlipoca to decided it?s fate; the day you were born on prophesised the success or failure in your future. How the child looked was also attributed to the whim of Tezcatlipoca. It was thought that he would appear at night as a shrouded corpse, a bundle of ashes or a headless man with his chest and stomach slit open, and anyone who was brave enough to rip out his heart could demand a reward for returning it.

Attributes of both Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl originally came from pre-Aztec traditions of the Olmecs and the Toltecs. The Aztecs assimilated them in their religion, and the two deities were equated and considered twin gods.

They were both equal and opposed. Thus Tezcatlipoca was called "Black Tezcatlipoca", and Quetzalcoatl "White Tezcatlipoca". Mixcoatl was sometimes added to this complex as "Red Tezcatlipoca." Omacatl, Titlacahuan and Tezcatlanextia were also considered aspects of Tezcatlipoca; the four Tezcatlipocas were the sons of Ometecuhtli and Omecihuatl, lord and lady of the duality, and were the creators of all the other gods, as well as the world and man.

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