Ganesha, Lord of Obstacles

Ganesha, Lord of Obstacles. From the Crow Collection of Asian Art

Ganesha, Lord of Obstacles, Lord of Beginnings
India, 10th Century
Clever Ganesha

Ganesha and his half brother Skanda were promised a boon by their parents, Shiva and Parvati. The prize would go to the one who returned first from circling the universe. Skanda, a keen warrior, geared up for his voyage and took off with great speed. Ganesha fortified hmself with a modaka, his favorite sweet, and respectfully circumambulated his parents. Long before Skanda returned, Ganesha was awarded the prize.

Adapted from the Siva Purana, trans. Paul Courtright