Ganesa Beyond The Indian Frontiers

Introduction of Ganesa Beyond The Indian Frontiers
Introduction of Religio-Cultural Emissaries From India

Introduction of Ganesa Beyond The Indian Frontiers

Java And Bali (Indonesia):

It appears that Java was known to Indians from a very long period, for the Ramayana refers to the islands as Yava-dvipa, In all probability the first contacts were made about the beginning of the Christian era, if not earlier. Hinduism began to spread in these islands during the time of the great Gupta monarchs in 4th-5th centuries, and Saivism became a most predominant faith. Innumerable sculptures of Brahmanical gods and goddesses have been found in Indonesia. In Java, however, there does not appear to be a cult of Ganesa and no temples were dedicated to him but his images have been found in the temples of Siva.

Among the statues of Ganesa in Java the most primitive is the one discovered in west Java.2S The carving is very crude and the statue appears to be unfinished. Some scholars would like to assign it a very early date only because it is so primitive. However, the image appears unfinished and it is therefore extremely difficult to date it with precision. Another early Ganesa statue is a small bronze which is now in the British Museum. It shows the god seated with two hands without any attributes and there is no head-dress. The trunk is somewhat straight. The statue perhaps represents an early attempt at fashioning the anthropomorphic form of Ganesa and may be ascribed to the 6th century. A slight advance is noticeable in the bronze statuette in the possession of G. Coedes. It also has two arms without any attritutes The trunk is straight and the god wears sparse jewellery. He, however, wears a small conical mukuta over the head.

The stone statue of Ganesa found on the Dieng plateau is believed to be the most ancient representation of the god in Java.26 It appears that, stylistically at least, it may be later than the preceding one. It shows the Ganesa sitting, with four hands; the proper right hand holding the broken tusk and the left the bowl of sweets while the upper two hold a parasu and a aksamala. He wears armlets, bracelets, a necklace and a naga-yajnopavita, but there is no crown on the head.

One of the finest statues of Ganesa from Chandi Banon is now housed in the Djakarta Museum.27 Practically nothing now remains of Chandi Banon, a Saivite monument near Borobudur. The statue depicts the god seated and wearing a flowered garment and jewellery. In the right hand he holds a broken tusk and a rosary while in lower left hand is a bowl of sweets. The object in the upper left hand is broken.