Ganesh is a popular deity all over India, invoked before all Hindu ceremonies as the Lord of Beginnings and Remover of Obstacles (Vighnaharta). His close association with Mumbai is well attested through the Ganapati Utsav, the Ganesh festival, not least because images of his immersion in the sea against a backdrop of skyscrapers have become a visual cliche about the paradox of the modern and the traditional in today's India. But while this form of Ganesh is a temporary visitor to the city, Ganesh as Siddhivinayak has become perhaps the most visible deity in the city with a large new temple built during the period when the name of the city, Bombay, was changed to the local version of the city's name, said to derive from the goddess Mumba Devi. The article looks at a devotional film about Siddhivinayak, produced in cooperation with the shrine, to see how Ganesh is understood today by the way the shrine tells the story of the deity and his devotees.
Vighnaharta Shree Siddhivinayak: Ganesh, Remover of Obstacles, Lord of Beginnings in Mumbai
Rachel Dwyer; Vighnaharta Shree Siddhivinayak: Ganesh, Remover of Obstacles, Lord of Beginnings in Mumbai. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 1 August 2015; 35 (2): 263–276. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/1089201x-3139036
Download citation file: