Elephants Wild and Domesticated

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Pachyderms on Parade

where do elephants liveThroughout history elephants have been objects of worship and subjects of stories and song.  In China, the elephant (chia yen) is considered to be one of the Seven Treasures of Buddhism.   The white elephant, a sacred animal, is believed to have announced the Buddha’s birth.   


Hindu mythology includes “Ganesha,” the Elephant-God. This deity has many names and faces.


Ganesha has many names and purposes. The most prominent elephant gods are:

  • Ganapati: lord of the tribe
  • Vigneshwara: controls all obstacles
  • Vinayaka: a prominent leader
  • Gajanana: elephant faced person
  • Gajadhipati: Lord of all elephants
  • Lambkarna: A long eared being
  • Lambodara: pendant with large belly
  • Ekadanta: has only one tusk
  • Gajavadana: an elephant face
    Shoorpa-Karna: small ears
  • Chaturbhuja: has a a red-complexion and rides upon a mouse. This deity has four hands. Three of which carry a Pasha (rope), Ankusha (a curved spear) and Modaka (a sweet pudding dish). The fourth hand gestures a message of help and protection.