Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Ganapati Main Page

Ganapati Masterworks

- Art History

- Iconography

- Religious Context

- Ganapati Introduction
- Is the Hindu Ganapati & the Buddhist Ganapati the Same?
- A Ganapati Painting
- Elephant Imagery in Art
- Ganesh: Studies of an Asian God (Book Review)

The primary function of Ganapati in Tantric Buddhism is that of a wealth deity - a meditation and ritual practice done for the purposes of obtaining wealth. Most forms of Ganapati belong to the Kriya classification of Buddhist Tantra. In the 11th century Jowo Atisha popularized at least two forms of Ganapati in Tibet. The Indian Pandita Gayadhara introduced numerous other forms of Ganapati which came down through the Sakya Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. In the following centuries the Nyingma Tradition gave rise to a number of different forms through the process of ‘Revealed Treasure.’

The Ganapati of Tantric Buddhism is not the same individual or entity as the Ganesha of the Shaiva religion.

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Jeff Watt 5-2006 [updated 3-2011, 5-2017, 12-2019]