Georg von Simson g.v.simson at EAST.UIO.NO
Tue Jul 20 11:51:40 UTC 1999

>     Gatekeeprs or dvarpalas are ordinary humans  while dikpalas or
>guardians of the cardinal directions are semi-divine beings.  Neither
>Ganesha nor Skanda perform this functions.   Harsha V.  Dehejia

This may be true for Skanda, but it is certainly not true for GaNeza. The
gods have also their dvArapAlas, and the myth (ZivapurANa) tells that
PArvatI created Ganesha as her gate-keeper (as such he is beheaded when
trying to prevent Shiva from entering PArvatI's appartments). See S.A.
Dange, article "GaNeza" in Encyclopaedia of Puranic Beliefs and Pratices,
Vol. II, 1987. p.582. GaNeza is thus a prototype of a gate-keeper, quite
naturally, because he is the Lord of Obstacles (Vighnezvara). See also Paul
B. Courtright's monography "GaNeza: Lord of Obstacles, Lord of Beginnings",
New York, 1985.


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