Amid the clouds of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands and thousands of individuals in India on Saturday warmly welcomed the favored elephant-headed God, Lord Ganesha, also called Ganapati and Vinayaka. The ambiance of the pandemic could have dialled down the celebrations a bit in comparison with different years, nevertheless, that does not make the day any much less particular as a result of it’s nonetheless about one of many best-known and most worshipped deities within the Hindu pantheon.
Immediately, we pose the query to our readers — Which nation has an image of Lord Ganesha on its foreign money be aware? And earlier than your thoughts defaults to the obvious reply, it is best to jolt again into remembering that it isn’t India, since foreign money notes right here carry the picture of Mahatma Gandhi, as any elementary college lesson will inform you.
Then which nation is it? Effectively, though it won’t be as apparent as first, as a matter of truth — the picture of Lord Ganesha, the beloved remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences, and the deva of mind and knowledge, is discovered past India and even… Hinduism. Sure, his picture is present in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bali (Indonesia) and Bangladesh and in nations with massive ethnic Indian populations together with Fiji, Mauritius and Trinidad and Tobago. Not simply that, devotion to Lord Ganesha is broadly subtle and extends to Jains and Buddhists as nicely.
He’s honoured in the beginning of rites and ceremonies. Ganesha can be invoked as patron of letters and studying throughout writing periods. A number of texts relate mythological anecdotes related together with his start and exploits.
Which brings us to our authentic query — Which nation has an image of Lord Ganesha on its foreign money be aware? As a touch, allow us to say that it is a Muslim-majority nation nevertheless it continues to be impacted and formed by the wealthy historical past of Hinduism and its mythology.
Too troublesome? Effectively, don’t hassle beating up your mind cells anymore — the reply is Indonesia.
Sure, the nation whose non secular composition includes 86.7% Islam and 1.74% Hinduism did carry the picture of Lord Ganesha on its 20,000 rupiah be aware from 1998 to 2008, together with Ki Hadjar Dewantara, a number one Indonesian motion activist.
Don’t get confused as we have now the reply to this. Indonesia is a Muslim-majority, sure, however in many of the locations, you’ll see Hindu motifs a lot in order that, when L.Ok. Advani visited Jakarta in 2010 he was left awestruck by the wholesome respect the Muslim majority has for Hindus and vice versa.
It’s believed that Hinduism got here to Indonesia within the 1st-century by merchants, sailors, students and monks. and remains to be one of many six official religions of the republic. A syncretic fusion of pre-existing Javanese tradition and Hindu concepts, that from the Sixth-century synthesized Buddhist concepts as nicely, advanced because the Indonesian model of Hinduism. These concepts continued to develop through the Srivijaya and Majapahit empires.
The Bali island in Indonesia has a Hindu majority and within the Indonesian mainland, aside from the picture of Lord Ganesha within the foreign money be aware, emblems and symbols of Hinduism are scattered throughout a number of motifs within the nation. The Nationwide emblem of Indonesia is named Garuda Pancasila. Garuda, the car service (vahana) of Lord Vishnu, additionally seems in lots of historic Hindu temples of historic Indonesia.
It’s a incontrovertible fact that Ganesha is one among a variety of Hindu deities who’ve reached international lands. Statues of Ganesha are discovered all through Maritime Southeast Asia, usually beside Shiva sanctuaries. The types of Ganesha discovered within the Hindu artwork of the Philippines, Java, Bali, and Borneo present particular regional influences and modified types of worship in different places Burma, Cambodia, and even Thailand.