The most fundamental of Hindu deities, is the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva - popular deities include Ganesha, Krishna, Hanuman and goddesses like Lakshmi, Durga,Saraswati.
Ganesha stands at the threshold as a 'dvaarpal' before one enters the inner sanctum where the most powerful deity resides. As a doorkeeper he has the ability to cause mischief, play tricks with devotees, or test one's faith endurance and courage. His closeness to Parvati, (shakti), the other goddess, goes without saying, as he is essentially her child. But he also defends his father Shiva from too-persistent devotees as well as darker forces. Ganesha stands for the light of intelligence, pure faith, and the will to survive. He is also known as the patron of scribes and writers having written the entire epic of the Mahabharata to the sage Vyasa's dictation.