About the Art

Standing Ganesha, 12th Century

Watch a scene from Hidden Treasures

“Aum Ganapati Aum.
Aum Gam Ganapataye Namah.
Vinayaka! -- What is dear to Thee,
That will I offer Thee! With what fondness
Thou hold kolukattai in Thy Hand!
I know Thou like it. Thou art sweetness.
Mudakaratta modaka, with smooth rice dough,
Will I envelop and wrap
Jaggery sweet mix with sesame powder,
Cook in steam -- that I serve Thee with devotion.”

On loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art from the collection of Florence and Herbert Irving, this is the only object in the Museum where the public is allowed to leave offerings.

The Hindu god of auspiciousness, Ganesha is worshiped as the deity who removes obstacles. Offerings are made to him before any serious undertaking.

In his upper left hand, he holds a lasso; in the upper right, a battle-axe; in the lower left, a sweet (one of his favorite treats); and in the lower right, one of his own tusks, which he broke off in a fit of anger and hurled at the moon.

If you would like to make an sweet offering, here are some recipes.