Elephant God Ganesha presence throughout Worldwide

India and Hinduism had a great impact on many countries of East Asia and the Indian Subcontinent as a result of commercial and cultural contacts, one such example is the Lord Ganesha who is one of the many Hindu deities who reached foreign lands as a result. The worship of Ganesha by Hindus outside of India shows regional variation with the acceptance of Hindu ideas in ancient times which still continues even today in world religions.Ganesha was a deity particularly worshipped by traders and merchants, who went out of India for commercial ventures and became the principal deity associated with traders.

In the Hindu religion, the elephant head God Ganesha is also known as Ganapathi, Ekadantha, Vinayaka, Heramba, etc. He brings joy and happiness to the family and may remove all the Obstacles. Innumerable crowds praise this benevolent Lord all over India. He is always worshipped first in temples and private houses.

Ganesha Symbolism:

Big Head – Think Big
Large Ears – Listen more
Small Eyes – Concentrate
Axe – To cut off all bonds of attachment
Rope – To pull you nearer to the highest goal
Small Mouth – Talk less
One Tusk – Retain good and throw away bad
Blessing – Blesses and protects on spiritual path to supreme
Trunk – High efficiency and Adaptability
Large Stomach – Peacefully digest all good and bad in life
Modaka – Rewards of Sadhana
Prasad – The whole world is at your feet and for your asking
Mouse – Desire. Unless under control can cause havoc, you ride the desire and keep it under control and don’t allow it to take you for a ride

Relation of Ganesha With regards to Thailand:

In Thailand, Ganesha is called Phra Phikanet or Phra Phikanesuan and is worshipped as the deity of fortune and success, and the remover of obstacles and is also associated with arts, education and trade. Ganesha appears in the emblem of the Department of Fine Arts in Thailand.

The Hindu temple "Wat Phra Sri Umadevi" in Silom the Ganesha image was transported from India in the late 19th Century where the Thai Buddhists frequently pay respect to Him and other Hindu deities as a result of the overlapping Buddhist/Hindu cosmology. He is honoured with Motaka, sweets and fruit, when business is good, and he is made ridiculous by putting his picture or statue upside down, when business is down. As lord of business and diplomacy, he sits on a high pedestal outside Bangkok's CentralWorld (formerly World Trade Center), where people offer fruit(banana,coconut and cane),golden flowers,9 incenses and a reverential sawasdee as they pray.

Relation of Ganesha With regards to Indonesia:

European scholars call him the 'Indonesian God of Wisdom'. Bandung boasts a Ganesha Street. While there are not temples dedicated specifically to Ganesha, he is found in every Shiva shrine throughout the islands. An 11th-century AD Ganesha statue was found in eastern Java, Kediri which is placed in The Museum of Indian Art (Museum für Indische Kunst), Berlin-Dahlem. The 9th century statue of Ganesha resides in western cella (room) of Prambanan Hindu temple.Bali, Goa Gajah cave. Ganesha statue at Sanggar Agung Temple, Surabaya-Indonesia, worshiped by the Chinese, Hindus, Buddhist and even the Kejawen.

Ganesha is also featured in reliefs from Cambodian temples.

Relation of Ganesha With regards to Buddhism:

As not known by many Buddha appears as a name of Ganesha in the second verse of the Ganesha Purana version of the Ganesha Sahasranama. At the beginning of the Ganesha Sahasranama the positioning of this name indicates that it was of important to the authors of the scripture,the Ganapatya Hindus.

Bhaskararaya's commentary on the Ganesha Sahasranama says that this name for Ganesha means that the Buddha was an incarnation (Avatar) of Ganesha and it is not widely known even among Ganapatya, nor mentioned in the lists of Ganesha's incarnations given in the main sections of the Ganesha Purana and Mudgala Purana. Bhaskararaya also provides a more general interpretation as simply meaning that Ganesha's very form is "eternal elightenment" (nityabuddaḥ), so he is named Buddha who is an avatar of Ganesha.

Relation of Ganesha With regards to Jainism:

Ganesha is worshipped by most Jainas, for whom he appears to have taken over certain functions of Kubera-God of Wealth,which connects them with the trading community which support the idea that Jainism took up the worship of Ganesha as a result of commercial connections. Lord Kuber’s body bears similarity to that of Shri Ganesh. Shri Ganesh became Lambodar (with round big stomach) due to taking his devotees sin. Similarly Kuber also has carried sins of those misusing money and wealth so there is lump on his back. It is old tradition that deities accept the sins of devotees and make them free.Buddhist and Jain mythologies also know him as Vaishravan and Panchanubhuti. Brahma-Vishnu-Mahesh together deputed Lord Kuber as treasurer in Devlok and made him Dikpal of North. The statue of Lord Kuber should be placed at a place where business transactions take place as quoted in Dharmashastra. In most of the Hindu, Jain, Buddha temple Lord Kubera is in the role of Guard Dikpal.

Amazing facts of GANESHA: Did you know there are 250 temples of Ganesha in Japan.
In Japan, Ganesha is known as 'Kangiten', the God of fortune and the harbinger of happiness, prosperity and good.
An Oxford publication claims that Ganesha was worshipped in the early days in Central Asia and other parts of the globe.
Ganesha statues have been found in Afghanistan, Iran, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Mongolia, Japan, Indonesia, Brunei, Bulgaria, Mexico and other Latin American countries.
It means the cult of Ganesha was prevelant all over the world in ancient times.

Ganesha in Europe, Canada and the USA:

Ganesha's idol and paintings are exhibited in all the important museums and art galleries of all the European countries especially in the UK, Germany, France and Switzerland.
Ganesha idols and paintings(as goodluck charm) are also present in thousands of houses/offices of successful business/writers/artists in all the European countries and in Canada and the USA. Recently a figure of Ganesha was unearthed in a village near Sofia, Bulgaria. Like Indians, the Romans worshipped Ganesha before any work was begun. Irish believe in Ganesha luck.
The embassy of Ireland at New Delhi became the first European embassy to invoke the blessings of Ganesha by installing a statue of Ganesha at the main entrance of the embassy.
Silicon Valley in USA selects Ganesha as the presiding Deity of cyberspace technology. “Ganesha is the God of knowledge and Ganesha's vehicle is the mouse and, as you know, for software engineers the mouse is the vehicle that they use to take their ideas and innovations from one place to the other.”
Hence it was decided by the computer industry association to select Ganesha as the presiding Deity of Silicon Valley.

Ganesha on Greek coin:

Early images of an elephant headed Deity, including those on an Indo-Greek coin and elsewhere, dating between the first and third centuries BC, represent Ganesha as the demi God Vinayaka.

Indonesia Currency notes:

One of the Indonesian currency notes carries the picture of Ganesha.

Vedic origin of Ganesha: 10,000 yr old secret of success.

Devotees of Ganesha make reference to his Vedic origin which is around 10,000 years old to push his antecedents back in time.
The Vedas have invoked him as 'namo Ganebhyo Ganapati' (Yajurveda, 16/25), or remover of obstacles, Ganapati, we salute you.
The Mahabharata has elaborated on his personal appearance and Upanishads on his immense power. “Scholars say artifacts from excavations in Luristan and Harappa and an old Indo-Greek coin from Hermaeus, present images that remarkably resemble Ganesha”. (“Robert Brown in his Book “Ganesha: Studies of an Asian God”:State University of New York Albany).

Enumerate all the Ganesh temples is really a hard task as this Hindu God looks well known in a very large number of countries. This benevolent deity, is always helpful to anxious and suffering people, as he is more and more loved and prayed by an increasing number of worshippers. As seen today religious intolerance,is so frequent that prevents His images and cult to spread abroad yet, temples dedicated to Ganesh can be found in each and every democratic country which respect the individual choice of faith.

There are many Ganesh temples in India. Here we are giving the information of temples those present in South-East Asian countries where the Ganesh worship has been practised for the last 1000 years or more. At the end is given a short panorama of western countries, among which the United States, where many Hindu temples have been built.

West Bengal

Vadanagar (village on the banks of river Hooghly) : Ashtabhuja Ganesh temple

Other South-East Asia countries:-

Cambodia
Kandala : Padmasana Ganesha temple

Vietnam

Ganesha has few of his own temples in these lands, tens of thousands of small Ganesha images are found everywhere, and one or two larger images. He was worshiped in the Saivite tradition that covered these areas as early as 400 AD.

Bali/Indonesia

While we do not find many temples dedicated specifically to Ganesha, He is found in almost every Shiva shrine throughout the islands. Bali, Goa Gajah cave temple is one of the oldest temples of Ganesha near Ubud, its a 11th century cave shrine dedicated to the Ganesha and the trinity – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva , all represented in the form of lingas where Goa means cave and its pronounced as ” Guha” and ” Gajah ” is elephant the Hindu Elephant God.

Malaysia

Jalan Brunei/Pasar : Shri Siddhi Vinayaka temple
Jalan Ipoh : Shri Paranjothi Vinayaka temple
Kottu Malai Sri Ganesar Temple, built in 1897
Kuala Kubu Baru : Shri Sithivinayaka temple
Jalan Pudu Lama : Shri Ganeshan temple

Outside Kuala Lumpur

Behrang Ulu, Perak : Siddhi Vinayaka temple
Ipoh : Shri Maha Ganapati temple
Klang : Siddhi Vinayaka temple
Kuantan (Jalan Bukit Ubi ) Pahang Darul Makmur. The temple was build during the world war 2. The temple festivals are saturthi and sangaharasaturthi. Both sathurthis are celebrated eleborately with the main deity is taken around the temple. Besides this, there are the 10 days of Vinaryaka saturthis festival conducted here.
Pulau Pinang (Butterworth) : Sri Balasundara Selva Ganapathy temple. Was built one century ago in the Jalan Telaga Air residential area where many hindu people were living Sandakan.
Sabah : Siddhi Vinayaka temple Sitiawan
Perak : Siddhi Vinayaka temple

Nepal

Kathmandu Valley
Bhaktapur : Surya Vinayaka temple
Bungamati : Karna Vinayaka temple
Chobar : Jal Vinayaka temple
Kathmandu : Ashoka Vinayaka, Chandra Vinayaka temple

Outside Kathmandu Valley

Gorkha : Vijaya Ganapati temple
Janakpur : Rama Temple, Siddha Ganesha temple
Phulahara : Rama/Janaki Temple, Girija Ganesha temple

Singapore

19 Ceylon Road : Shri Senpaga Vinayaka temple, Ph.: 3548176
78 Keong Siak Road : Shri Vinayaka temple, Ph.: 2214853

Sri Lanka

Northern area, Jaffna

Chulipuram : Kannaikothikakkai Pillaiyar temple
Inuvil : Karunakara Pillaiyar temple
Manipay : Maruthady Vinayagar temple
Murukandi : Murukandi Pillaiyar temple
Nallur : Kailasa Pillaiyar temple
Neervely : Arasakesari Pillaiyar temple

Northern area, outside Jaffna

Alaveddy : Kumbalavalai Pillaiyar temple
Batticaloa : Mamanga Pillaiyar temple

Other places

Colombo : Shri Muthu Vinayaga temple, Chettay Street
Bambalapitiya : New Kathiresan temple
Kandy : Selva Vinayaka temple
Katarigama : Manikka Vinayaka temple

Other countries:

Australia
Brisbane, Mclean (4280, Queensland) : Sri Selva Vinayak temple, Beau Desert Road http://www.sriselvavinayakar.org/
Adelaide (5046, South Australia) : Ganesh temple, 3A Dwyer Road,

Oaklands Park

Melbourne : Sri Vakratunda Vinayaka temple, 1292 - 1294, The Mountain Highway, The Basin, Vic 3154 Ph: 03 9792 1835
List of Hindu temples : http://www.kalyanamasthu.com/Australia/IndianTemples.asp

Canada

Brampton (Ontario) : Sri Katpaka Vinayagar temple (Katpaka Vinayagar Kovil), 200 Advance Blvd, Unit # 21. Phone : 905-458 9701 / 416-471 0255
Edmonton (Alberta) : Sri Mahaganapati temple (Maha Ganapathy Society of Edmonton); 128 Running Creek Road. Phone : 403-988 5161
Richmond Hill (Toronto, M4A 2N9, Ontario) : Ganesha temple (Temple Society of Canada), 10865 10945 Bayview Avenue. Phone : (905) 883 9109
Scarborough (Ontario) : Sri Varasiththi Vinayagar Hindu Temple of Toronto (Varasithi Vinayagar Kovil), 3025 Kennedy Road, #10. Phone : 416-291 8500
Toronto (Ontario) : Muthu Vinayagar temple (Muthu Vinayagar Kovil), 435 Parliament street. Phone : 416-413 7747
Tamil temples in Canada : http://webhome.idirect.com/~krish/temple.html
and : http://www.bhakthi.net/pages/canada_index.html

List of Hindu temples in USA and Canada : http://www.geocities.com/kalyan.geo/temple1.html and http://www.hindumandir.us/

France

Paris : Shri Manikkavinayakar Alayam (temple)

Germany

Haltingen : Vara Siddhi Vinayaka temple
Hamm : Siddhi Vinayaka temple
Heilbronn : Vinayaka temple

South Africa

Durban (Natal) : Sithi Vinayaka temple
Ladysmith (Natal) : Ganesha temple
Mt. Edgecombe (Natal) : Ganesha temple

United Kingdom

London : Shri Ganapati temple, Effra Road http://www.ghanapathytemple.org.uk/home.htm

United States

Anchorage (Alaska) : Shri Ganesha temple
Flushing (New York) : Shri Maha Vallabha Ganapati Devasthanam (site ne répond pas).
Nashville (Tenessee) : Shri Ganesha temple
New York : Shri Ganesha temple (Flushing Meadow)
Phoenix (Arizona) : Shri Ganesha temple
Salt Lake City (Utah) : Shri Ganesha temple.
http://faculty.weber.edu/bdavis/pluralism/jordan_ganesh_temple.htm
Seattle (Washington) : Hindu Temple, Shri Ganesha temple

 

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