The mythological stories about Lord Ganesha!
Today is Lord Ganesha's birthday!
The strange worship of Ganesha by Hindus!
Mythology is one important aspect of culture and religion. There are many mythological figures in each and every religion. The worship of “Ganapathi” is one such instant in Indian culture and spirituality. Though many stories abound about the origin of Ganesha and his worship, he is considered the eldest son of Mother Parvathi. It seems that the Divine Mother Parvathi created the iconic Ganesha! Shiva feigned ignorance about the existence of Ganesha till he fought a mini war with him, who was obstructing the enterance to mother’s place. Angered by such obstruction, the story narrates that Shiva cut the head of Ganesa, the Divine child. Parvathi came out hearing the commotion and she saw to her horror, her child was lying with his head cut. Instantly she got angry with Shiva for this act and told him to replace the torso with a suitable head. Unfortunately Shiva’s aids could not find any substitute and hence they brought the head of an elephant which was attached to the torso and thus Vinayaka got the elephant head. This story may lead to a wrong perception that Lord Shiva was unaware of the identity of the son of Parvathi! He enacted this drama to give credibility that he is the Father, by replacing the elephant head. In fact, it is said that Lord Vinayaka has no one above him. He is worshipped primarily before any ritual, sacrifice and other ceremonies. He was given the top slot in Hindu religion. The Divine couple is no ordinary worldly individuals with desires. They are free from any blemishes. To uplift humanity, they enacted this drama so that the power and grace of Ganesha is known to one and all. Shiva has several assistants called “Bootha ganas” and Vinayaka is really the head of all this Gana! Hence he is worshiped as ‘Gana natha or Ganesha! Though entire India worships him, in Maharashtra, this festival is celebrated for ten days. To day every Hindu household perform ritual worship of Lord Ganesha! Though he is short with pot belly, he is the most handsome with the elephant head and pot belly and children like his gait and appearance! Myriads of stories are written about the glory and greatness of Lord Vinayaga and the stories are most interesting as well as educative!
ganesha worship in India!
Many events in the life of Lord Ganesha!
While the Lord saw every women as his mother, he declined to marry any and he remains as a celibate! He humbled the moon god since the moon laughed at the appearance of Ganesha! He made him to lose his shine and the moon remained unseen for many days. Due to the prayers of demigods, Ganesha restored the moon to original glory. Many wonder how the big figure had a small mouse as the vehicle. The idea is that the mouse represents darkness and by worshipping Ganesha, the darkness inside our mind will vanish! Ganesha always fought for his rights. When his brother Subramanya and himself were engaged in a game, Ganesha found a short cut to achieve the first place. Once both the brothers were engaged in a game, the condition being “Who will go around the world and return first? While Ganesha could not move fast with his vehicle mouse, Lord Subramanya had the peacock which can fly fast and reach distances without much difficulty. Shiva and Parvathi agreed to be the referees for this game! The game started and off went Subramanya in his peacock. Ganesha taught about a plan and he went around his parents who are considered to be the primal mother and father of the entire universe! By going around them in small steps, Ganesha went around the world since his parents are his world. He got the mango fruit which was presented by Shiva and Parvathi. Later when Subramanya came, he learned about the entire episode and he got disappointed and left his parents in a huff to a distant hill and stayed there. Mother Parvathi pleaded with him to return. Even now the hill Palani has got a beautiful temple for Lord Subramanya! The stories should not be equated to worldly level. Each and every act of the Divine is beyond our understanding. In fact, Lord Subramanya took birth due to the rays emanated from Lord Shiva’s brow! He is wisdom incarnate. He taught the secret of primeval sound to his father Shiva! He is also called Swaminathan, the one who has become a preceptor to Shiva! Hence both Ganesh and Subramanya are Divine creations and they could not be equated to worldly level.
The Divine family!
The mysterious association of Krishna's story with Ganesha!
If we observe the habits of Ganesha, it is a great lesson to one and all. Ganehsa loves “steam boiled’ rice and jiggery pudding. He teaches us ‘the steam boiled food is very healthy to human body”! The worship of Lord Ganesh is detailed in an elaborate way and the worshippers followed a sect called “Ganapatyam”. During the worship of Ganesha on this day, a story about “shyamantaga gem’ is read by the worshippers in which even Lord Krishna got a bad name and subsequently he was rid of the insinuation attached to the theft of the valuable gem. Though Krishna has nothing to do with the theft of the gem, his name is associated with its loss and everyone suspected that it is Krishna who stole it. Even Balarama, his elder brother could not believe Krishna! This bad name struck Krishna for many days and he was finally rid of it when the truth was known that someone else has stolen or taken it. If one see the moon on the fourth day after new moon day, he will also get a bad name! To prevent that the worship of Lord Ganesha is undertaken followed by the story of Lord Krishna! These mythological stories have happened long ago and hence there is no evidence for that in the present world but history insists that the worship of Ganesha has spread far and wide including Indonesia, Thailand and other places. It is faith that mattes and many devotees were blessed in mysterious ways by relying on the Lord!