Son of Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati Ganesha is popularly worshipped under the names of Sumukha, Ekadanta, Kapila, Gajakarna, Lambodara, Vikath, Vidhnanashaka, Vinayaka, Dhumraketu, Ganadhayaksha, Bhalchandra and Gajanana.
The Story of Lord Ganesha’s Birth.
We are all familiar with the story of how Ganesha became the elephant-headed God.
Parvati became dirty when she was celebrating with Shiva. When she realized this, she removed the dirt from her body and created a boy out of it. She then asked him to keep guard while she bathed.
When Shiva returned, the boy did not recognize him and obstructed his passage. So Shiva chopped off the boy’s head and entered.
Parvati was shocked when she saw this. She explained to Shiva that the boy was their son and pleaded with Shiva to save him at all costs.
Shiva then instructed his helpers to go and get the head of someone who was sleeping with their head pointing to the north. The helpers then got the head of an elephant, which Shiva affixed to the boy’s torso and Ganesha was born!
Why Lord Ganesha have an Elephant head ?
Elephant represents both gyan shakti and karma shakti. The principle qualities of the elephant are wisdom and effortlessness. The enormous head of the elephant signifies wisdom and knowledge.
Elephants don’t walk around obstacles, neither are they stopped by them. They just remove them and walk ahead – signifying effortlessness. So, when we worship Lord Ganesha these qualities within us are kindled and we take on these qualities.
Lord Ganesh And Karthikeya Story:
One day Ganesha and his younger brother Karthikeya were playing. They received a special fruit from the gods. Being kids, they were not ready to share the fruit.
Their parents, Lord Shiva and Parvati said that the first one, who comes around the world thrice, would get this fruit of immortality and supreme knowledge.
Karthikeya climbed on his peacock at once and set off, to win the fruit.
Ganesha was worried about winning the race as he had a stout appearance and his vehicle the Mouse does not have wings!
Later, he took a decision based on his wisdom and asked the permission of his parents to revolve around them thrice as he felt that his parents were his universe.
Ganesha won the race and the fruit.
- Respect your parents; there can be no one as important as them in your life!
Lord Ganesha And Lord Shiva:
When Lord Ganesha was born, Lord Shiva made a rule that Lord Ganesha must be worshiped first to ensure success in any endeavor.
However, Lord Shiva forgot about his own rule and left for a war with the demons in Tripura. He did not worship Lord Ganesha before doing so!
While he was on his way in his carriage, the wheel peg got damaged.
It was only then Lord Shiva remembered that he forgot to offer prayers to Lord Ganesh before departing for the war.
He offered his prayers to Ganesha and proceeded to the battle ground. Lord Shiva won the war!
- You must follow certain rules, even if you feel you are exempt from doing so.
Some Facts :
- Lord Ganesh belongs to a family of divine figures. He is the son of Lord Shiva – the Hindu God of Destruction and Goddess Parvati – the Hindu Goddess of fertility & love. Lord Ganesh has a brother in Lord Kartik – the Hindu God of War & Victory and two sisters in Goddess Lakshmi – the Hindu Goddess of Wealth and Goddess Saraswati – the Hindi Goddess of Knowledge.
- According to scriptures, Lord Ganesh had two wives Ridhhi (representing Prosperity) and Sidhhi (representing Intellectual Enlightenment). Furthermore, he had two sons – Ridhhi bore him Subha (representing Auspiciousness) while Sidhhi bore him Labha (representing Profit). His images are frequently flanked by the images of his wives.
- At the time of his birth Lord Ganesh had a normal human head. He got his Elephant head after his original head was destroyed. Three specific stories explain how this happened – his battle with Lord Shiva, the cursed gaze of Shani Dev – the Hindu God of Justice and the dying wish of the Elephant-headed demon Gajasura.
- Ganesha is also referred to by the name ‘Ekdant’ meaning ‘one-toothed’. He is almost always represented with a broken tusk which signifies another physical imperfection in addition to his Elephant Head and his large belly. Scriptures explain his broken tusk through various stories – the writing of the Mahabharata, the battle with Sage Parshurama and Ganesha’s argument with the Moon.
- Ganesha is the original writer of the great Hindu epic Mahabharat. It is believed that the narrator of the Mahabharat – Sage Ved Vyasa – chose Ganesha to be his scribe because no other being in the Universe had the wisdom to take up the monumental task of penning the treatise of ancient wisdom.
- Lord Ganesh’s representations frequently show a snake tied around his belly. The story behind involves the Moon mocking Ganesha’s physical appearance. Symbolically, however, it is believed that Lord Ganesh’s stomach houses the entire Cosmos and the snake represents the cosmic energy that holds the cosmos together. A thing to note is that Lord Ganesh’s father, Lord Shiva is also represented with a snake coiled around his neck though it has completely different symbolic interpretations.
- Lord Ganesh is Hinduism’s most popular deity. This is no accident as scriptures succinctly explain the reasons behind this. It is believed that when Ganesha got his Elephant Head, the Gods declared that a prayer to him must precede any other holy Hindu ritual. As a result Lord Ganesh is a worshipped before the invoking of any other deity.
- Hindu deities are frequently attached to animal vehicles or ‘vahana’ which serve as their primary mode of transport. Lord Ganesh’s animal vehicle is the Mouse which represents the ego. Observers popularly interpret Lord Ganesha’s riding of a Mouse as a representation of the human duty to control one’s ego and stay constantly grounded.
- While the Tulsi plant has a holy relevance in most Hindu rituals, the worship of Lord Ganesh specifically excludes any involvement of the Tulsi plant. This is because Tulsi once cursed Lord Ganesh when he refused to marry her and in turn ended up receiving a curse from the Elephant God himself which excluded her from ever being linked to his worship.
- Ganesha is often worshiped alone but there is one occasion when he is worshipped with his entire family – Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati, Lord Kartik, Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Saraswati. This happens specifically during the festival of Durga Puja which is centered on Goddess Durga – an incarnation of Goddess Parvati.