Hindu devotees worship Ganesha when they are beginning a new phase or faces obstacles in their lives. In investigating the personal devotion of Hindu gods in India, we have found that there is a difference between the ways a Hindu worships the god Ganesha at a public shrine than in their own home. The main difference in worship style is that in the home, the worshiper acts as his or her own priest. There is room for greater interpretation in worship style and offerings made to the deity. Since our topic is personal devotion, we were drawn to the private aspect of the Hindu devotee. We wish to highlight the differences between the private and public worship of Ganesha. Although scholars have addressed public shrine worship and private worship separately, there has not been much scholarly comparison of the two. By looking at Bridegroom’s Wedding Crown (19th Century), Dancing Ganesha, Lord of obstacles (11-12th Century), and Ganesha, Lord of obstacles (10-11th Century), we hope to demonstrate that although both public and private are forms of personal devotion, home worship is less elaborate than public worship. This suggests that worship is not only for the individual’s religious interests but also for their social standing.
Taylor, Madeline; Garner, Katherine; and Purnell, Naomi, "Ganesha: A Study of Personal Worship to a Personal God" (2012). Pepperdine University, Featured Research. Paper 76.