This ten-armed dancing Ganesha holds his broken tusk, weapons, a pot with sweetmeats, and many other attributes that have broken away. Two snakes—one stretched above his head, the other drawn across his chest as a sacred thread—are attributes that connect him to his father, Shiva. Unlike smaller portable images cast in metal, this large, sandstone example would have been placed in a temple niche to remove obstacles standing between the worshipper and the divine.
As leader of the ganas (nature deities), Ganesha stands in a pose that emphasizes his playful and rambunctious nature—in contrast to his father Shiva’s cosmic dance of creation and destruction. As remover of obstacles, Ganesha clears a path to access Shiva while also bestowing wealth and prosperity.