Studies of an Asian God

Edited by Robert L. Brown

Subjects: Tantra
Series: SUNY series in Tantric Studies
Paperback : 9780791406571, 358 pages, August 1991
Hardcover : 9780791406564, 358 pages, August 1991

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Table of contents

A. K. Narain
Note on Transliteration
Robert L. Brown

1.   Ganesa: A Protohistory of the Idea and the Icon
A. K. Narain

2.   Ganesa: Myth and Reality
M. K. Dhavalikar

3.   Ganesa's Rise to Prominence in Sanskrit Literature
Ludo Rocher

4.   Ganesa as Metaphor: The Mudgala Purana
Phyllis Granoff

5.   Images of Ganesa in Jainism
Maruti Nandan Tiwari and Kamal Giri

6.   The Wives of Ganesa
Lawrence Cohen

7.   "Vatapi Ganapatim": Sculptural, Poetic, and Musical Texts in a Hymn to Ganesa
Amy Catlin

8.   Ganesa in Southeast Asian Art: Indian Connections and Indigenous Developments
Robert L. Brown

9.   The Tantric Ganesa: Texts Preserved in the Tibetan Canon
Christopher Wilkinson

10. Ganesa in China: Methods of Transforming the Demonic
Lewis R. Lancaster

11. Literary Aspects of Japan's Dual-Ganesa Cult
James H. Sanford

List of Contributors


This book examines the complete Ganesh for the first time. Here is the God in his multiple forms from the different geographical areas in Asia. Particularly important are chapters that deal with his Buddhist and Tantric forms. The controversial question of his origins is also thoroughly discussed.

Robert L. Brown is Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Adjunct Curator of the Pacific Asia Museum.


"This book displays 'state of the art' scholarship on the mythology, literature, iconography, and practice surrounding Ganaa. No single scholar could take on the range of traditions, texts, languages, and practices that are represented here. It is a case of strength through diversities of scholarly background and interests with each study thoroughly grounded in original sources. " -- Paul B. Courtright, Emory University

"I liked the wide-range of information presented about Ganaa from a variety of Asian countries, the depth of detail it makes available, the translations of texts otherwise not available, the data on actual rituals, and the data it gives on Tantrism. The book will be useful to those who want to explore a single theme that has run through South, Southeast, and East Asia. It is especially significant for the insight it provides into Tantric practices in Tibet and Japan. " -- Dennis Hudson, Smith College

"It provides a great deal of original and unpublished material which will be of much interest to scholars in the field. It will be an indispensable reference work on the subject. " --Pratataditya Pal, Senior Curator, Los Angeles County Museum of Art