Nandan gauri ganesh
Dukh dwandan fandan haran
Sunder suvan mahesh
Glory, Glory, all glory to you, O Ganaesha: to you the whole world pays homage, for you are the delight of Gauri and the charming son of Shiva. You are the extirpator of all pairs of contraries ( such as joy and sorrow, birth and death, attration and repulsion, etc ) and deliverer from them.
A son of Shiva with face like that of elephant, Ganesa or Ganapati was appointed chief of the ganas (attendants) or lord of hosts by his father. Though there are several accounts of his birth, in one given by the chalisa, Parvati is said to have "created him from the scurf of her body so that he could act as her door-guardian." When Shiva tried to enter the room where Parvati had gone to take her bath clad in a single clothing, Ganapati prevented him from doing so. Enraged at this obstruction, Shiva cut off his head, but, in order to placate Parvati, he offered to replace it with that of elephant.
To those who explain his appearance symbolically, " his obesity contains the whole universe, his trunk is bent to remove obstsacle, and his four arms represent the four categories into which things (e.g. castes, vedas) can be divided. His companion animal (vahana) is a bandicoot. " This is illustrative of the several ways in which obstacles can be overcome, to attain religious ends. While the elephant tramples down all that comes in its path, the bandicoot creeps through narrow holes and cracks to achieve the same ends.
Ganesha is painted red in colour, though in some texts he is represented as a short fat man of yellow colour, with a protuberant belly, forehands, and the head of an elephant, which has only one tusk. As one who banishes all obstacles, he is invoked on all auspicious occasions, at the commencement of ritual or begining of a journey; as a God of learning and wisdom, he is adored by all seekers of knowledge and authors begin their compositions with the words Namoh Ganeshaya Vighnesvaraya. He has two wives: with Riddhi and Siddhi.