The Hindu god of good fortune, he is the son of Shiva and Parvati. He is typically depicted as elephant-headed, and credited with the elephant's good nature and great strength. The remover of obstacles, Ganesha is the god to invoke when embarking upon any important endeavor. He is also considered a patron of students. About the two spellings, English-speaking experts on Hindu art have been wavering about whether we should spell transliterations phonetically or diacritically. Most now lean toward spelling Ganesha the way it's pronounced. A strict Sanskritist would spell it Ganesa, puting dots under the n and the s.Example image of Ganesha:India, Orissa, Seated Ganesha, 14th-15th century, ivory, height 7 1/4 inches (18.4 cm), width 4 3/4 inches (12.1 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.