Ganesh is combination of two words - 'Gana', meaning people and 'Isha' meaning God. Ganesh is pictured as having a human form with an elephant head; he has a large stomach and there is food and a rat at his feet. This mystical form conveys a message.
The elephant head indicates the gaining of knowledge through listening (ears) and reflection (large head). The two tusks, one perfectly shaped and the other broken, represent perfection and imperfection in physical world. The trunks portray physical and mental strength, and the intellect which is to be used between the pair of opposites (perfect and imperfect). The large stomach depicts the ability to 'digest' whatever experiences life brings; the rat and the food denotes desires and wealth both of which are under the control (at his feet).
Ganesh is usually shown with one leg on the ground and the other leg folded in meditative pose, symbolising a balance between practical life and spiritual life. In one hand he is shown carrying a noose and in the other an 'ankusha' which is sharp iron hook used by a rider to control an elephant. The noose symbolizes the trap of desires and the 'ankusha' is reminder that the painful hook of stern self-control is needed to control desires