The elephant-god Ganesha (or Ganpati) is one of the most prominent deities in Hinduism. Widely revered as the ‘Remover of Obstacles’ and ’Lord of Beginnings’, his name is always invoked before any other deity’s name in Hindu wedding prayer rituals.
Legend has it that Lord Ganesha received this distinction as a blessing from his parents, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. He is designated as the chief (eesha) of all of Lord Shiva’s ganas (servers) – hence the name, Ganesha.
An illustration by artist Katie Daisy.