By Grace of the almighty, a very sweet soul who is serving Gods
children Mr.P.R.Ramachander came in contact with me and gave me
the privilege of making use of his Manta,sloka traslations and articles..Let
us thank him whole heartedly.
Ganapathi – The lord who removes
obstacles- Some anecdotes.
Ganapathi who is also referred to as Ganapathi, Ganesa (Chief of
Shiva’s army) Vigneswara, (He who removes obstacles), Gaja
Mukha (Elephant faced God), Eka Dantha (God with one tusk), Lambodhara
(God with a big Paunch) etc is one of the very important Gods of
the Hindu pantheon. He is endearingly called Pillayar (our son)
He is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. He is considered
as married to two wives (Sidhi(occult powers) and Budhi(wisdom))
in the Northern part of India and considered as a chronic bachelor
in South India. There are some temples in South India like Chidambaram
where he is shown along with his two wives. He is considered as
elder son of Shiva and Parvathi in South India and is considered
as younger son in North India.
He has a very peculiar appearance, with his elephant head, an extraordinarily
big paunch, over which he ties a snake, a broken trunk and with
his steed being a very small insignificant mouse.
Through out India ,he is worshipped before venturing to do any
new job, including poojas, fire sacrifices, celebrations and even
day to day activities, so that he would help us to complete the
job undertaken successfully. He is also considered as the God of
Knowledge and learning in many places of India. Coconut and Modakas
are very dear to
How Ganapathi was born?
There are many stories regarding his birth. The most popular one
is as follows.
One day when Lord Shiva was away, Goddess Parvathi wanted to take
bath in the river. To guard against any unwelcome intrusion, she
took a little turmeric paste from her body and created a young boy.
She gave him clear instructions not to allow any body inside.
Unfortunately at this time Lord Shiva returned. The new boy refused
him admission, though lord Shiva told him that he is the husband
Lord Shiva became very angry and cut off the head of this new boy
and threw it away using his trident. At this
time, Goddess Parvathi came back and became very sad, that the boy
created by her was killed. Lord Shiva wanted to console Parvathi.
So he sent his army to bring the first head that that they see on
their way. The first head that they saw was the head of dying elephant.
Shiva fixed that head on the boy’s trunk and brought him back
to life. He also
adopted him as his elder son and made him chief of his army.
There are many other stories on how Ganapathi was born. The one
in Uthara Ramayana says that once Shiva and Parvathi took the form
of elephant and were wandering in the forest. A son was born to
them and that is Ganapathi.
Taps of Goddess Parvathi - Vishnu
blessing her with Lord Ganesha :
Yet another story tells that Goddess Parvathi wanted a son badly
and did Tapas to Lord Vishnu. He blessed her and a son was born
to her. Goddess Parvathi invited all Gods to come and see her baby.
When Lord Sani (Planet Saturn) came and had a look at the baby,
the baby’s head was burnt. Lord Vishnu traveled throughout
the world and brought back a head of an elephant which was fixed
to the baby. All Gods present there blessed the
baby, that unless he is worshipped first, they would not accept
. Yet another story is that of Gajamukhasura. Gajamukhasura did
great penance toward Lord Shiva. When he came before, he requested
Lord Shiva to live in his belly. When Lord Shiva did not return,
Goddess Parvathi sought the help of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu dressed
himself as a flutist and took along with him Nandi, the steed of
Shiva, Nandi was made to dance funny dances, in front of Gajamukhasura
to the soulful music provided by Lord Vishnu (This type of bull
dancing to the tune of music is still prevalent in South India).
Gajamukhasura was pleased and gave a boon to Lord Vishnu, without
knowing him who he is. Lord Vishnu requested him to release Lord
Shiva. When Lord Shiva came out of his belly the asura died. While
dying he requested Lord Shiva,
that his head should be remembered after he is dead. After his death,
Lord Shiva fixed the asura’s head on his elder son.
Another story tells that Shiva in a fit of rage killed Adithya,
the son of sage Kashyapa. When Kashyapa became very angry, Lord
Shiva replaced the head of Kashyapa’s son by the head of Indra’s
elephant. The sage was infuriated and cursed that Lord Shiva’s
son also will undergo the same fate as his own son.
“Still another tale states that on one occasion, Parvati’s
used bath-water was thrown into the Ganges, and this water was drunk
by the elephant-headed Goddess Malini, who gave birth to a baby
with four arms and five elephant heads. The river goddess Ganga
claimed him as her son, but Shiva declared him to be Parvati's son,
reduced his five heads
to one and enthroned him as the controller of obstacles (Vignesha).”
How Ganapathi lost his one tusk?
The most popular story as to how Ganapathi lost his tusk is as
follows. Veda Vyasa decided to compose the huge epic Mahabharata.
He needed some body to write down his composition, as soon as he
composed it. Ganapathi, being the God of knowledge, was requested
to do this job. Ganapathi agreed on one condition. Veda Vyasa should
all he wants to write at one stretch and without break. Vyasa agreed
but he put a condition that Lord Ganapathi should write a verse
only after understanding it.
After agreeing to this Ganapathi broke one of his tusks and used
it as a pen. Veda Vyasa composed extremely difficult to understand
verses, whenever he wanted time to think. This was the reason why
Ganapathi become the one tusked God.
Padma Purana ascribes a completely different reason for this. It
seems once Lord Parasurama went to Kailasa to see Lord Shiva. Lord
Shiva was at that time asleep. Lord Ganapathi, who was guarding
the room of Lord Shiva, did not allow Parasurama inside.
A war ensued between Ganapathi and Parasurama and in this war
Ganapathi lost one of his tusks because of the axe of Parasurama
which had been gifted to him by Lord Shiva. There is yet another
story connecting moon to the loss of one tusk of Ganapathi. This
is as follows. Once on a Vinayaka Chathurthi, Ganapathi got very
large offering of very
tempting Modhaks. He ate all that was offered and being unable to
walk with a heavy belly, mounted on his steed, the mouse. Suddenly
a snake appeared from the forest.
The mouse on whom, Ganapathi was riding was terrified at the sight
of a snake and started running away. Naturally Ganapathi fell from
his steed and his belly broke slightly. Not loosing his presence
of mind Ganapathi caught hold of the snake and tied his belly tightly.
Chandra, who was seeing all this laughed at Ganapathi. The short
Ganapathi became very angry, broke one of his tusks and threw it
at the moon. The Moon broke in to pieces.
Ganapathi also cursed the moon, that, he would become a dark globe
within 15 days, daily loosing one crescent and whosoever sees him
on a chathurthi day (Fourth day of the waning moon) would be laughed
Later Lord Shiva brokered a peace between Ganapathi and the moon.
He said Moon will get reduced to dark as per
Ganapathi’s curse and later regain his brilliance in another
15 days.(Some people ascribe the moon’s downfall due to a
curse by Daksha , when he saw that . out of his 27 daughters married
to moon, he was showing partiality to only one girl “Rohini”.)
How Ganapathi made a speedier round
of the world?
Once sage Narada offered a very celestial mango fruit to Lord Shiva.
Both his children Ganapathi and Subrahmanya wanted that fruit. Narada
suggested that the one who travels all round the world first should
get this fruit. Both Ganapathi and Subrahmanya agreed. Immediately
Lord Subrahmanya started for his journey on his steed the peacock.
Ganapathi who is very heavy and rides on a slow mouse circled round
Lord Shiva and Parvathi and said that he has gone round the world
because the entire world was within Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi.
Lord Shiva was pleased with this explanation and gave the mango
Another story says that , there was a need for Shiva to appoint
a commander and the above competition was held and Ganapathi won
the post as explained in the last paragraph and was nominated as
Ganesa or Ganapathi(Both meaning the Lord of Shiva’s army)
and later Lord Subramanya was appointed as the captain of the army
Another story says that when Ganapathi and Subrahmanya reached marriageable
age, Shiva held the above competition and Ganapathi won it as described
and his marriage with Sidhi and Budhi was celebrated first.
How Ganapathi blessed the South
India with a great river?
The marriage of Shiva and Parvathi was to be celebrated on mount
Kailasa. All the people all over the world started traveling towards
mount Kailasa. Due to the heavy burden on the northern side, the
world started tilting towards the north. To correct this Lord Shiva
requested sage Agsthya to go and live in the South of India. Agasthya
the orders of Lord Shiva and reached the south. The entire south
India was extremely dry at that time. Lord Shiva had sent some sacred
waters of Ganga along with Agasthya, which Sage Agasthya was preserving
very carefully in his pot. One day when was asleep, Ganapathi took
the form of a crow and toppled Agasthya’s pot. From the Ganga
spreading in to a river. This river was called “kaveri”-
She who was spread by a crow. Another story says that it was not
Ganges which was in Agasthya’s pot but his wife Lopa Mudhra
who was in love with South India.
How Ganapathi prevented Ravana becoming
Once Ravana by his musical skill pleased Lord Shiva, Blessing him
Lord Shiva gave a Shiva Linga (Athma Linga)and asked Ravana to take
it Sri Lanka and preserve it there. He told Ravana that if that
Shiva Linga reaches Sri Lanka, no body can win over Ravana. But
he also told that he should never keep that Shiva Linga down on
earth at any other
spot while on his way.
When Ravana reached Gokarna (A place in Karnataka) he wanted very
badly to answer natures call, Ganapathi appeared there as Brahmin
boy and agreed to hold the Shiva Linga for some time. He also told
Ravana that if he does not come back by the stipulated time, he
would keep the Shiva Linga there and go away. Lord Ganapathi
delayed the coming back of Ravana and kept the Shiva Linga there
and vanished. That place is called Gokarna. This effectively prevented
Ravana to be ever victorious.
How Ganapathi helped his brother
marry Valli, a tribal princess?
Subramanya first married the Devasena the daughter of Indra. Subrahmanya
Later during his travels in south fell in love with Valli who was
a tribal princess. Though Valli loved Lord Subrahmanya she was scared
of him, her being a simple tribal girl and he being the celestial
God. One day while Valli was walking in the forest, Lord Ganapathi
took the form of an elephant and chased Valli. Subrahmanya in the
form of an old man gave her protection and requested the elephant
to go away. Then Lord Subrahmanya showed his real form and both
of them got married.
Kubhera and Lord Ganapathi
Kubhera was the God of wealth and was very proud of his wealth.
He had slight contempt towards Shiva for living in such poor conditions
on the top of the mountain. One day he invited Lord Shiva for a
feast in his capital Alakapuri and also told that he has arranged
for so much food that no body can eat it completely Lord Shiva said
was very busy and sent his son Ganapathi instead. Ganapathi not
only ate all the food that was prepared but also everything in sight
in Kubhera’s town. Kubhera understood his folly and requested
Lord ganesha and shirdi saibaba bless you with peace,
prosperity and wish fulfillment...
Sri Sai Ganesha ki jai !!! Go
back to Home page ..............................................Sai