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Do worshippers of Lord Vishnu also worship Lord Ganesh? I am learning about the Hindu religion is very interested in becoming a follower of the Hindu religion I am also looking for reading materials that anyone would suggest.

  • Generally worshippers of Lord Vishnu also worship Lord Ganesh. But in very conservative Vaishnavism, they do not worship Ganesh, but rather worship Vishnus General Elephant headed attendent in Param Dham called Vishvaksena. – Tejaswee Sep 30 '16 at 4:41
  • Ganapaty is "Pratham Pujya".Hence he is to be invoked first in a Puja irrespective of whose Puja one is doing. – Rickross Sep 30 '16 at 4:45
  • There is a division in Worshipper's of Lord Vishnu. 1) Smartha worhippers 2) Vaishnavas If you are talking about vaishnavas(not smarthas) they worship Shri Hari Vishnu and Godess Laxmi along with his avatar's and parivara devtas. Vaishnavas very rarely invoke/worship other Vedic deities in rituals like Yagnas etc. Smarthas worship every Panchayatan God (Ganpati, Devi[durga], Vishnu, Shiva, Surya) but primarily they worship Aaradhya(which can be any one of these five devtas). – Yogi Sep 30 '16 at 5:37
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    @Tezz Vishvaksena himself isn't elephant-headed, instead it's Vishvaksena's attendant Gajanana, aka Vinayaka, who is elephant-headed. See my question here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/7160/36 – Keshav Srinivasan Sep 30 '16 at 5:38
  • @Keshav Srinivasan Oh ok.. sorry... you had previously also told that to me... But I forgot... – Tejaswee Sep 30 '16 at 5:53
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Some Vaishnavites do worship Lord Ganesha and some don't.

There is no one comprehensive book in Hinduism.

You should read a low level introductory book that nevertheless gives a decent overview of Hinduism. Otherwise you will have difficulty in understanding Hindu scriptures. Books like 'The Hindu mind' by Bansi Pandit and 'The complete Idiot's guide to Hinduism' by Linda Johnsen would help. Another introductory text is 'A primer of Hinduism' by D. S. Sharma. A good text is 'Essentials of Hinduism' by Swami Bhaskarananda. A good survey of Hindu scriptures is 'Windows into the Infinite A guide to the Hindu scriptures' by Barbara Powell. An advanced level beginner text is 'The Spiritual Heritage of India' by Swami Prabhavananda. You can also read 'Hindu Gods and Goddesses' by Swami Harshananda to learn about the many Hindu Gods and Goddesses.

You can then read some of the seminal texts of Hinduism like the Gita, the Upanishads and if you are really interested in the Brahma Sutra. You can read the Gita translated by Swami Tapasyananda. You can also read ‘Universal Message of the Bhagavad Gita: An Exposition of the Gita in the light of Modern thought and Modern Needs’ by Swami Ranganathananda. If you want to go really deep into it then commentaries of Sankara on the Gita, the Upanishads and the Brahma Sutra are a must. You can read Srimad Bhagavad Gita Bhasya of Sri Sankaracharya translated by Dr. A. G. Krishna Warrier. You can also read Brahma Sutra Bhasya of Sri Sankaracharya translated by Swami Gambhirananda. Reading the translations of Upanishads by Swami Nikhilananda and Swami Gambhirananda will also be helpful.You will find many Hindu seminal texts on online sites. There is a list in one of the questions here.

You can then read the 9 volume Vivekananda's complete works if you have the time for it. It is available on line here: http://www.ramakrishnavivekananda.info/vivekananda/complete_works.htm. If you do not have time, then I recommend 'What religion is in the words of Swami Vivekananda' edited by Swami Vidyatmananda. You can also read Patanjali's Yoga Sutra.

If you have the time for it then you can go through the entire Mahabharata which is full of gems. You can try reading K. M. Ganguli's translation of the Mahabharata. You can also read the translation of Srimad Bhagavataam by Swami Tapasyananda.

Till now you have gained theoretical knowledge. If you have the time then you can go through the Ramakrishna Kathamrita (translated as the 'The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna) to read about an exemplar of the Hindu tradition. It is available on line here: http://www.ramakrishnavivekananda.info/gospel/gospel.htm

You can go to any Ramakrishna Vedanta Center to learn about Hindu scripture. You can find out about the Centers at the following web site: www.vedanta.org. You will get most of these books from www.vedanta.com or from Amazon.

I have given the list that I found useful. It is definitely inclined towards Advaita. You will need to read commentaries of Hindu seminal texts by other Acharyas if you are interested in other Vedantic traditions.

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I am learning about the Hindu religion is very interested in becoming a follower of the Hindu religion I am also looking for reading materials that anyone would suggest.

Here is one introductory book I found to be a good introduction to the world of Hindu dharma:

Searching for Vedic India by Devamrta Swami

Devamrta Swami examines the roots of Indian civilisation with a view to transforming how we see ourselves and the universe. His book reviews the latest research from both mainstream and independent sources, and unfolds the ancient answers to the riddles of consciousness, reincarnation, extraterrestial contact and spiritual dimensions.

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