Ganesh, also known as Ganapati, is immediately recognizable as the elephant-headed god. He is the god of wisdom and learning, as well as the remover of obstacles, and consequently the sign of auspiciousness. It is customary to begin cultural events, for example, by propitiating Ganesh, and older Sanskrit works invoked his name at their commencement. Ganesh is said to have written down the Mahabharata from the dictation of Vyasa. He is the lord (Isa) of the Ganas or troops of inferior deities, but more well-known as the son of Shiva and Parvati. In the most common representations of Ganesh, he appears as a pot-bellied figure, usually but not always yellow in color. In his four hands, he holds a shell, a discus, a club, and a water lily; his elephant head has only one tusk. Like most other Indian gods, he has a ‘vehicle’, in his case a rat: this rat is usually shown at the foot of the god, but sometimes Ganesh is astride the rat.