Ganesha Purana


The Ganesha Purana religious text dedicated to the deity Ganesha. It is an upapurāṇa that includes many stories and ritualistic elements relating to Ganesha. The Ganesha Purana and the Mudgala Purana are core scriptures for devotees of Ganesha, known as Ganapatyas (Gāṇapatya). These are the only two Purana that are exclusively dedicated to Ganesha.

The Ganesha Purana asserts its status as one of the eighteen upapuranas in its opening lines (I.1.8-9):

"There are, however, eighteen minor Purāṇas such as the Gaṇeśa, the Nārada, the Nṛsiṁha, etc. Amongst these, firstly I am going to recite the Gaṇeśa Purāṇa which is rarely heard, especially by someone in the world of mortals."

These lines indicate that the authors sought to ensure the status of this work as an upapurāṇa, a category whose membership was not fully codified at that time. Thapan (pp. 20–21) believes that the epithet Ganesha (Gaṇeśa) as a widely-used name for this deity appears to have been popularized by the Ganesha Purana, which is associated with the region of modern Maharashtra (Mahārṣṭra), Vananasi, Karnataka, and perhaps some parts of Andhra Pradesh. Today the epithet Ganapati (Gaṇapati) is popular in South India while Ganesha is more frequently used in Maharashtra and North India.