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Dancing Ganesha


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 251

Like other Vajrayana deities, Ganesha in his wrathful manifestation dances within a ring of flames and holds ritual implements such as the skull bowl and vajra, along with weapons, ritual staff, fly whisk, and elephant goad. Smaller figures of Ganesha and Jambhala (God of Wealth) emphasize his association with good fortune and abundance. The black ground format—reserved for Buddhist protector figures—fits with Ganesha’s role as a remover of obstacles. This form of Ganesha was regarded as an emanation of Avalokitesvara, the bodhisattva of compassion who removes the obstacle of false perception.

Dancing Ganesha, Opaque watercolor on paper, Mongolia

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