Karma is the topic for this week's Illustration Friday.
I was tempted to use Karma in the sense of 'just desserts' or reward for living righteously and do something based on the feather of Maat.
Maat was the Egyptian Goddess of Balance [in the sense of Equilibrium - of the Universe and of individual people]. The newly dead souls were brought to Maat's Hall and their hearts [consience] were weighed in the Balance against Maat's feather of Truth. If the heart weighed the same as the feather then the deceased soul could pass to the afterlife but if the heart was heavier, it was devoured by Ammut.
Ammut was a 'demoness' with the head of a crocodile and the body of a lion and the rear quarters of a hippo.
In the end i decided to paint the Lord of Karma , the elephant headed Hindu God, Ganesha [or Ganesh].
Ganesha is the God of Wisdom and Success and the Destroyer of Pride.
In Hindu mythology, Ganesha is depicted with a fairly human body and an elephant head with one broken tusk. A rat or mouse always accompanies him, sometimes Ganesha is depicted riding on the back of the mouse.
The mouse symbolises the quickness of the mind, the ability reason [and like the mouse, work our way to the bottom of things] but also represents fickleness and that human thoughts are easily swayed by good or ill.
Ganesha is always shown with more than 2 arms - multiple arms is a symbol of Divinity. Each hand holds one of Ganesha's symbols [apparently there are over 50 symbols commonly associated with Ganesha]
In this image i have shown him with an axe to cut down the obstacles in life's path ; a rope , to carry devotees to Truth; the abaya pose [open hand meaning 'without fear'] which is a protective or blessing sign and prayer beads.
Ganesha is also associated with the Om/Aum symbol - turned upside down this symbol makes a shape similar to Ganesha's head and Ganesha is also called 'Ohmkara' due the association with the Om symbol. In this case, i have put the symbol on his head, which i've seen in other paintings of Ganesha.
The large belly symbolises plenty and the lelephant ears symbolise an ever listening God.
He wears a snake as a belt, and this symbolises the kundalini energy -the creative or life force energy .