Ganapati Mandala

Artist/maker unknown, Tibetan

Printed in India, Asia
or Nepal, Asia

Modern Tibetan

c. 1971

Woodcut print, black ink on handmade paper

Image: 16 1/2 x 16 1/2 inches (41.9 x 41.9 cm) Sheet: 25 1/8 x 21 1/4 inches (63.8 x 54 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Print Revolving Fund and the Suspense-Paolozzi Fund, 1972

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Buddhist devotees worship Ganapati (also called Ganesha) to remove obstacles to their desires and thus attain their wishes. The implements he holds (an axe, a noose, a bow, and an arrow) are metaphors for controlling malevolent forces. The initial ga (the first sound in his name) appears at the point of each lotus leaf, which in turn point to one of eight different auspicious symbols. Like a sorcerer's spell, the initial ga and the other sacred Sanskrit syllables on Ganapati's chest and in two concentric circles around him are believed to invoke the deity and persuade him to do one's bidding.