Ganesh is seated with 4 arms which hold a noose with a lotus flower, an elephant goad, laddus with his right held up in the abhayamudra of protection. He has a siraschakra or godly halo behind his head. Mooshika, the vahana or vehicle of Ganesh is seated near Ganesha's feet with a scrap of food firmly in his hands. Rats are the perfect accompaniment to Ganesh "the remover of obstacles," because rats are capable of getting through any obstruction that lay in their path just as Ganesh moves away any roadblocks from your spiritual path. In sculpture, the position of Lord Ganesh's trunk has a symbolic meaning. His trunk turns to the Ganesh's left, that is the direction for success in the world. It is a position associated with grihastas, or householders.
~A Hymn from Sri Bhagavat-Tathva~
The chubby, gentle, wise, elephant-headed Ganesh, or Ganesha, is one of Hinduisms most popular deities. He is the remover of obstacles, the deity whom worshippers first acknowledge when they visit a temple. He is also patron of letters and of learning; he is the legendary scribe who, using his broken tusk, which he often holds, wrote down parts of the Mahabharata epic. Ganesh is usually depicted colored red; he is pot bellied, has one tusk broken, and has four arms that may hold a pasam, a goad, and a pot of rice or sweetmeats. The sweet meats are held in a type of bowl known as a laddus. His appetite for these sweets is legendary and offerings of them are often left at his shrine.
Statues of Ganesh can be found in most Indian towns. His image is placed where new houses are to be built; he is honored at the start of a journey or business venture, and poets traditionally invoke him at the start of a book.
A pasam is a triple twine weapon. Each of the three twines represents, arrogance and conceit, Maya - the illusory nature of the real world, ignorance. In Hindu ideology weapons are a viewed as symbolic tools to destroy the ego rather than to cause any type of bloodshed. Goads (or elephant prods) are typically used to direct elephants. Goads are symbolic of how one should steer the soul away from the ignorance and illusions of this earthly world just as a mahout would steer an elephant away from any treacherous path.