Obstacles of Genasha

Performed live in concert by the SyZyGy Ensemble May 25, 2013 in Ashland Oregon.

The title of Obstacles of Ganesha for oboe, clarinet, viola, and piano refers to the principle attribute of the elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesha: the ability to place obstacles in the way and to remove them. The traditional story of the birth of Ganesha has it that the goddess Parvati created Ganesha, a living human boy, out of sandalwood to guard her privacy while she bathed. Ganesha proved to be so good at his job that Parvati’s husband Vishnu could not gain access to their house. Enraged, Vishnu cut off the boy’s head. Parvati insisted that Shiva restore the boy to life. As the boy’s head could not be found, the head of a dying elephant was used in its place.

Apogee describes Ganesha’s race around the globe with his brother Murugan. Genesha’s vehicle, a little mouse, was no match for his brother’s vehicle, a peacock. As the race got underway, Ganesha realized that his divine parents Parvati and Vishnu were indeed the whole world incarnate. Ganesha was declared the winner after he made the circuit around his parents while Murugan was still just getting started. Elephantine Circus Parade is Ganesha’s triumphal dance after the race.

pdfSee Sample PDF of Score