Thailand, Ratanakosin Style. c. 19th century Prosperous, learned and worldly, the delightfully rotund Elephant-headed Indian god Ganesh is worshipped by Buddhists as well as Hindus, particularly among businessmen at the outset of new enterprise, as the Remover of Obstacles. He is also the Patron of Learning to whom students turn at examination time in hopes of success. This jolly Lord of the Good Life lies happily recumbent upon the three-fold coils of a triple-hooded cobra, displaying his four traditional attributes: an elephant goad, the broken-off tusk that he used to pen the Mahabharata, a lasso, and a bowl of (laddu) sweets. His vehicle, a mouse - said to be accomplished at gnawing through obstacles - stands attentively at his portly side. The spreading hoods of the cobra, a standard feature of Ganesh iconography only in South-east Asia, evoke the muchalindanaga image of the Buddha, popular especially in Cambodia and Thailand. Both serpent and elephant are aquatic beasts propitious to the aboriginal water goddesses of South-east Asia and therefore regarded as especially benevolent and Buddha-friendly. When, for instance, the Buddhas cousin (on his fathers side), Devadatta, attempted to provoke a schism by setting loose a wild elephant in an attempt to assassinate the Enlightened One, the Buddha foiled the plot by taming the elephant and converting him to Buddhism. The Buddha himself was once born an elephant in a previous life; the immaculate conception of his mother, Maya, occurred upon the entry of an elephant into her right side at the point from which the Buddha was later born; and the wild elephant converted from Devadattas assassin to personal votive of the Buddha by pledging to protect the Law, Magnanimity and Prosperity, are all reasons why Buddhists in South-east Asia regard the Hindu Elephant God Ganesh as a friendly and familiar beast-divinity who will promote their personal endeavors. (RN)
Bronze Each piece you see here is made individually by our master artisans. The craftsmanship involved creates slight variations in color, finish, size, and shape - a quality we consider to be an added touch of uniqueness. The remarkable detail of our bronze sculptures is due to meticulous and labor-intensive care by Thai craftsmen to produce these unique sculptures of exquisite detail and timeless durability. Buffing, polishing, and patinising give each piece its final green-grey verdigris or bronze luster, which conveys the essence of what we at Eastern Serenity admire in South-East Asian art.