Hindu God Ganesha is from Greeks ?

tornada

Ad Honoris
Mar 2013
15,287
India
#41
The question was not if India had much architecture before the Greeks came, it was if India's architecture showed depictions of Ganesha before the Greeks came .

- but I dont really expect you to answer the question without some diversion like this ... as you cant seem to help doing it .

maybe one day you will answer the question directly ? For now, I will have to take your answer as a 'no' then - no, India does not have depictions of Gensha in its architecture before the arrival of Greeks .


It is not a question of "this is enough for us" ... typically Indian response regarding historical questions .... it an historical issue, not a personal one all tied up in cultural identity .



There does not have to be mention of an Elephant God in Greek mythology for a person with a headress of an elephant to eventually become a God with an elephant's head in another culture.

It is not an unknown thing in Indian culture . Look at Alexander the Great ;

" Somewhere in the valley of the river Kabul, a group of frightened rajas came to Alexander, saying that they had heard stories about visiting gods, but had never seen a deity themselves, which was why they had come to submit themselves to Alexander. It is hard to reconstruct what lies behind this incident, but it is likely that the Indian leaders recognized the conqueror as avatar of Vishnu."

Alexander's Self-Deification - Livius
The point that India doesn't possess significant archaeological evidence from the Ashokan era and before is relevant. It's not just Ganesha. There is a lack of archaeological and epigraphic evidence because of the Indian preference for Wood till this time. You could just as easily locate any deity to the Greeks under the logic that there's no physical evidence prior to the Greeks arriving.
For the most part I consider it unlikely for the Indians to have adopted Ganesh from the Greeks though. The idea of worshipping elephants and an elephant deity is far more likely to have evolved indigenously than because outsiders who had no significant experience with elephants suggested it.

Demetrius having an elephant cap is I retesting but it's important to remember that the Diadochi made a big deal about elephants in warfare, with indian elephants in particular playing a key role for the Seleucids in defeating the Antigonid ascendency. I don't see it as being a very convincing argument for the indian worship of an elephant linked god. My belief is that the imagery of Ganesh is more likely to have evolved from an appropriation of local cults. The worship of elephants was either anthropomorphised and absorbed or an elephant god was appropriated, linked up with the somewhat settled pantheon of relations that was gradually emerging in India over the course of the 6th Century BCE till about the 3rd Century CE. Either way, local practices taken over, colonized and reshaped is more likely than picking it up because of Greek awe for them as tools of war.

PS: there's especially no reason for why Demetrius would even be worshiped in India. He had no major presence in the region. A Seleucid ruler could still be justified but an Antigonid is just unlikely. Why would Indians begin worshipping a man who they likely never even heard off?
 

Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
4,352
New Delhi, India
#42
As we are all making our guesses, I may come back to my previously mentioned guess that probably Demetrius I of Bactria was a devotee of Lord Ganesha. Aryans clled their Prajapati as Mriga (Deer). We have a lot of other animal deities Garuda, Shesha (Lakshmana and Balarama), Monkey (Hanumana), Bull (Nandi) and a Riksha (Bear) being the father-in-law of Lord Krishna (Jambavanta) in addition to having Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Nrisimha, Hamsa (Swan) as avataras of Lord Vishnu. An elephant God too would come just naturally to Hindus. :)
 
Last edited:
Oct 2015
582
India
#43
There does not have to be mention of an Elephant God in Greek mythology for a person with a headress of an elephant to eventually become a God with an elephant's head in another culture.

It is not an unknown thing in Indian culture . Look at Alexander the Great ;

" Somewhere in the valley of the river Kabul, a group of frightened rajas came to Alexander, saying that they had heard stories about visiting gods, but had never seen a deity themselves, which was why they had come to submit themselves to Alexander. It is hard to reconstruct what lies behind this incident, but it is likely that the Indian leaders recognized the conqueror as avatar of Vishnu."

Alexander's Self-Deification - Livius
This controversy was expected but I did not comment on it in the original post because it was already too long.


Practice of deifying kings existed in Roman Empire. For example at least 16 temples were constructed in which Roman Emperor Augustus (27 BCE - 14 CE) was deified. [1] But obviously this practice got dis-continued perhaps because Roman Empire became weak and / or ended.

India has a long and continuous history. In Ancient Indian history no king has been deified as God till around 1200 CE. Hence to hypothesize that Demetrius was deified in not tenable. There have been hundreds of powerful kings like Ashoka, brahmin king Pushyamitra, Indo-Greek kings like Menander, and so on who were not defied. There is one broken statue of Kushan King Kanishka which was broken by removing the head in the stature. [2]

For this reason I had proposed that Ganesha existed in Hindu mythology and Demetrius's head-dress was a copy of that.

Later , may be after 1200 CE, two very ancient kings - Rama and Krishna - were deified.

[1] Temple of Augustus - Wikipedia
[2] Kanishka - Wikipedia
 
Oct 2016
2,182
Australia
#44
The point that India doesn't possess significant archaeological evidence from the Ashokan era and before is relevant. It's not just Ganesha. There is a lack of archaeological and epigraphic evidence because of the Indian preference for Wood till this time.
This surprises me, I had thought Indian stone work was more extensive before this time, especially temples and palaces ?
Or is it all a product of Persians or Buddhism ? What about Magadha architecture and building ? Not significant ?

You could just as easily locate any deity to the Greeks under the logic that there's no physical evidence prior to the Greeks arriving.
For the most part I consider it unlikely for the Indians to have adopted Ganesh from the Greeks though. The idea of worshipping elephants and an elephant deity is far more likely to have evolved indigenously than because outsiders who had no significant experience with elephants suggested it.
So, the answer to my question is still 'no' . With a further; ' there is also a lack of all significant archaeological evidence from the Ashokan era and before ' as well as a lack of architectural depictions of Gensha.

I was asking a simple question and this answer ^ would have sufficed, if not all mixed up with Aupys evasions and photo cropping and claiming elpahants trunks are snakes .

Demetrius having an elephant cap is I retesting but it's important to remember that the Diadochi made a big deal about elephants in warfare, with indian elephants in particular playing a key role for the Seleucids in defeating the Antigonid ascendency. I don't see it as being a very convincing argument for the indian worship of an elephant linked god. My belief is that the imagery of Ganesh is more likely to have evolved from an appropriation of local cults. The worship of elephants was either anthropomorphised and absorbed or an elephant god was appropriated, linked up with the somewhat settled pantheon of relations that was gradually emerging in India over the course of the 6th Century BCE till about the 3rd Century CE. Either way, local practices taken over, colonized and reshaped is more likely than picking it up because of Greek awe for them as tools of war.
Yes, that makes sense. My question was a simple one and need not negate any of this.
PS: there's especially no reason for why Demetrius would even be worshiped in India. He had no major presence in the region. A Seleucid ruler could still be justified but an Antigonid is just unlikely. Why would Indians begin worshipping a man who they likely never even heard off?
I wasnt suggesting this is what happened either , when I wrote that and posted the quote it was presented as a possibility, a possible path of influence , and it was a comment in response to Aupy asking me if there was a God with an Elephant's head in Greek mythology . Often, what I write is taken out of context as it is not seen as a response and in context to something I was responding to - which isnt too hard to see, as I quote what I am responding to just above my comment .

Thank you for your clearer and more detailed explanation though, ( with no need for trickery, or photo cropping :rolleyes: ) .
 
Oct 2016
2,182
Australia
#45
This controversy was expected but I did not comment on it in the original post because it was already too long.


Practice of deifying kings existed in Roman Empire. For example at least 16 temples were constructed in which Roman Emperor Augustus (27 BCE - 14 CE) was deified. [1] But obviously this practice got dis-continued perhaps because Roman Empire became weak and / or ended.

India has a long and continuous history. In Ancient Indian history no king has been deified as God till around 1200 CE. Hence to hypothesize that Demetrius was deified in not tenable. There have been hundreds of powerful kings like Ashoka, brahmin king Pushyamitra, Indo-Greek kings like Menander, and so on who were not defied. There is one broken statue of Kushan King Kanishka which was broken by removing the head in the stature. [2]

For this reason I had proposed that Ganesha existed in Hindu mythology and Demetrius's head-dress was a copy of that.

Later , may be after 1200 CE, two very ancient kings - Rama and Krishna - were deified.

[1] Temple of Augustus - Wikipedia
[2] Kanishka - Wikipedia
The deified idea I presented was to show there are other possible influences besides the one Aupy asked about ; that is , if there was an elephant headed God in In Greek mythology.

I think it is more likely that he adopted the headdress for the reasons Tornada outlined ; " Demetrius having an elephant cap is interesting but it's important to remember that the Diadochi made a big deal about elephants in warfare, with indian elephants in particular playing a key role for the Seleucids in defeating the Antigonid ascendency.. "

I think this is likely than him becoming a devotee of Ganesha .
 
Jun 2014
4,352
New Delhi, India
#46
This surprises me, I had thought Indian stone work was more extensive before this time, especially temples and palace? Or is it all a product of Persians or Buddhism? What about Magadha architecture and building? Not significant ?
'After this time'. Persians and Buddhists are not important, Sculpture in India basically began after Greeks. I do not think we have any significant sculpture dating from before the Greeks. If I am wrong, members may correct me. Much of Patliputra would have been in wood as it was in the middle of Gangetic plains and not close to hills, and that is what Megasthenes and other historians say. As I have already mentioned, grand sculpture is not a necessity in Hinduism. Even rock out-crops do. Gods and Goddesses appear out of rocks and river beds as and when they desire (Swayambhuh - self-born).
Pataliputra - Wikipedia
 
Mar 2013
15,287
India
#47
This surprises me, I had thought Indian stone work was more extensive before this time, especially temples and palaces ?
Or is it all a product of Persians or Buddhism ? What about Magadha architecture and building ? Not significant ?



So, the answer to my question is still 'no' . With a further; ' there is also a lack of all significant archaeological evidence from the Ashokan era and before ' as well as a lack of architectural depictions of Gensha.

I was asking a simple question and this answer ^ would have sufficed, if not all mixed up with Aupys evasions and photo cropping and claiming elpahants trunks are snakes .



Yes, that makes sense. My question was a simple one and need not negate any of this.


I wasnt suggesting this is what happened either , when I wrote that and posted the quote it was presented as a possibility, a possible path of influence , and it was a comment in response to Aupy asking me if there was a God with an Elephant's head in Greek mythology . Often, what I write is taken out of context as it is not seen as a response and in context to something I was responding to - which isnt too hard to see, as I quote what I am responding to just above my comment .

Thank you for your clearer and more detailed explanation though, ( with no need for trickery, or photo cropping :rolleyes: ) .
If my intervention came across as accusative, I apologize. I was merely trying to provide my information, not make it about "you're wrong." Tone doesn't always communicate itself well over text unfortunately.

I will just add this to your first point. Stone architecture for the most part does not survive from the Mauryan era. A little after usually, and those are often reconstructed. Thus the Sanchi stupas for instance. More often though, they survive as fragmented ruins, such as Ahsoka's pillars or the Heliodorus pillar. More complete remains start arriving much later. Hatigumpha for instance dates roughly to the 2nd Century BCE. The oldest free standing structures, as far as I know, date to the 3-5th centuries CE, though I'm speaking off the top of my head here.

In terms of Mauryans, we have some stray evidence of wall art, but mostly just inscriptions and reconstructions and preservations from slightly later eras. Like the Sudarashan lake and Junagarh inscription which were Mauryan constructs and repaired by later rulers
 
Likes: specul8
Sep 2015
375
Sri Lanka
#48
This surprises me, I had thought Indian stone work was more extensive before this time, especially temples and palaces ? Or is it all a product of Persians or Buddhism ? What about Magadha architecture and building ? Not significant ?

I think they were significant first Indian Stone Work Architecture during that Period ! However they are now dilapidated Also the Original Mahabodhi Temple apparently built by King Asoka, But much is rebuilt and restored and Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Bodh Gaya !
All great Hindu temple Architecture were only after Gupta Period!!
 

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Last edited:
Jun 2014
4,352
New Delhi, India
#49


Oh yeah, impressions of Lord Vishnu's feet or that of Lord Rama and Mother Sita - you would find them all over India. This one is the impression of Lord Hanumana's feet in Sri Lanka. Vishnupada in Gaya, Bihar.



Charanpaduka (Lord Vishnu's foot-wear) in Badrinath and that of Mother Vaishno in Jammu.

 
Last edited:
Apr 2018
1,032
Mythical land.
#50


Oh yeah, impressions of Lord Vishnu's feet or that of Lord Rama, Mother Sita and Lord Hanumana - you would find them all over India. This one is the impression of Lord Hanumana's feet in Sri Lanka.
so two feets,just?
i mean if this was really real then we would find such marks all over the place,and frankly this doesn't even look like a footmark,and this is a comeplete unfalsifiable claim.
 
Likes: specul8

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