Seven interesting stories of Lord Ganesha (Indian mythology)

Ganesha and Lord Shiva

Lord Ganesha

He is the son of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva, has the blessing that his worship should be performed before all gods. Following are some of the unknown and interesting facts about Lord Ganesha.

 Broken tusk

When Sage Vyasa set out to write Mahabharata, he wanted someone to help him with the writing.. He approached Lord Ganesha for help. Ganesha accepted the job on a condition that you will have to recite the tale without a pause and without a break. If you stop even once, I will stop writing.

Vyasa accepted this condition from Lord Ganesha. But, he too set a condition that Ganesha should understand every thing before writing. Ganesha agreed. Both sat down to create an epic.Vyas started narrating his epic at a great speed and Ganesha took down the dictation fast and furious. However, soon Ganesha’s pen broke. It could not keep pace with Maharishi’s recital.

Ganesha understood that he had been a little too proud and underestimated the Maharshri’s intellectual powers. Quietly he broke off one of his tusks, dipped it in ink and used it as a pen. As for Vyasa, whenever he would get tired he would compose a particular difficult stanza. Ganesha would spend few seconds trying to figure out the lines and Maharishi would get a break. Ganesha and Vyasa spend 3 years writing the epic. Although several stanzas of mahabharata are said to be lost, even today the poem stands 100,000 stanzas long.

Vyasa and Ganesha writing Mahabharata
Vyasa and Ganesha writing Mahabharata

Wedding party

Swarg Lok, was buzzing with excitement. Lord Vishnu was sending out invitation for his wedding to goddess Lakshmi. The wedding was to take place at Kundanpur, Lakshmi’s home town.

The Gods were busy taking out there finest jewels for the wedding. They planned to impress Lakshmi and her town people with a grand marriage procession. Guests started assembling at Vishnu’s house. Suddenly,the gods saw Ganesha entering Vishnu’s house. They were very upset to see him.

They did not want Ganesha to come along with with them to Kundanpur. They said he eat too much and look weird. Not only does he have an elephant head, he is very fat too. and his feet look like jugs and tummy sticks out a mile.we are all such handsome fellows, we would feel embarrassed walking along with such strange looking person. They informed Vishnu about their decision, Vishnu didn’t want to leave Ganesha behind, but under pressure from gods, he had to accede.

They asked Vishnu to tell Ganesha to stay back to look after swarglok.Vishnu did as he was told. Ganesha felt bad about missing out on the wedding,he accepted the task. Narad,a real mischief-maker told every thing to Ganesha, and gave him a brilliant plan how to get back at other gods.

Narad said Ganesha, the mouse you ride is the chief of the mice, ask him to take army of mice and dig under the road the marriage procession plans to take. The hollowed out road will not be able to bear the weight of chariots,elephants, carriages and horses in the procession.As soon as any one steps on it,the road will get crumble and all will get stuck.

Ganesha was delighted with the plan. He sent his mouse scurrying to the task. Things just happened as Narad had planned. As soon as Vishnu’s chariot rolled on to the hollowed-out section, the road crumbled. The horses tumbled down and the chariot wheel sank deep into the earth. The entire parade came to halt. The gods were unable to pull out the wheels. a farmer who saw gods struggling offered to help. Although gods didn’t believe the farmer could do much , yet they decided to give him a chance. Shouting Jai Ganesha in one jerk the wheel came up. One god asked him why he shouted Jai Ganesha before pulling out the carriage. The farmer replied that Ganesha is remover of all obstacles. He is the God of beginning. So, he always pray to him before starting any work. Gods were very ashamed The farmer simple words reminded that looks do not matter.It’s person’s greatness and goodness that really counts. They went back to Ganesha, apologise and begged him to join the procession.

Punishment to Moon

Ganesha, the pot bellied elephant god, loved food and could spend entire day, eating. Once on a moonlit night after stuffing himself with his favourite sweet, ladoo, he went for a ride on his vahana, a tiny rat. The rat could not bear his weight and tripped. Ganesha fell on the ground with a thud. The moon laughed,seeing this funny sight. Seeing the moon mocking him, Ganesha got angry. He cursed the moon saying that any man who looked at the moon on Ganesha Chaturthi, would be wrongly blamed.

Moon and Ganesha Chaturthi festival
Moon and Ganesha Chaturthi festival

The moon, realised its mistake, and  begged Ganesha to remove his curse. But Ganesha was adamant, finally after a long time, Ganesha gave in and reduced the punishment. He could not take back his curse, but said that falsely accused person would have to look at the Moon on the second day of the fortnight to win back his good name.

 The elephant god

One day Parvati wanted to take bath, but there was no one to guard her. So she created a young boy with the sandal wood paste. She named the little boy Ganesha. Parvati asked him not to allow anyone to enter while she bathed. Soon Lord Shiva returned and was surprised to see Ganesha. Ganesha refused to allow Lord Shiva to enter the house.

Lord Shiva was furious and sent his bull, Nandi, to fight the little boy but Ganesha defeated Nandi. After a fierce fight between Lord Shiva and Gaesha,  Shiva cut off Ganesha’s head. When Parvati came out and saw her son dead, she was furious. Shiva tried to console her but she couldn’t stop crying.

She ordered Shiva to bring him back to life. Shiva asked Nandi to bring the head of the first creature he found. Nandi returned with the head of an elephant. Lord Shiva placed the elephant head on the Ganesha’s body and bring him back to life. Shiva gave him the title of Ganpati, and all other God’s declared him the God of beginnings. All would have to pray him before starting anything new.

Ganesha and Lord Shiva
Ganesha and Lord Shiva

Mooshak

Long long ago, there lived a terribly wicked asura, Gajamukh. He wanted to become richest and strongest king ever. He was already king of asura but  wanted to become king of peoples and God’s world too. He decided to impress Lord Shiva and ask ed God to grant him with magical powers. He left his palace, started living in jungle and worshipping Shiva.

Without eating or drinking, and standing on just one foot, he prayed to Shiva every day. Several years passed and finally Lord Shiva was impressed and granted him all the magical powers he wanted. The most special of these was that no weapon could harm him. Gajamukh then started misusing his powers first, he  conquered the world and then he started attacking Gods.

Only Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma and Ganesha  remained unconquered by him. Gajamukh ordered everyone to worship him and only him. Then Lord Shiva, asked his son Ganesha to punish him. A terrible fight between Ganesha and Gajamukh started. Swords, spear, arrors all bounced off the asura because of the boon he was granted.

Finally Ganesha, broke his tusk an threw it on Gajamukh wounding him badly. Still Gajamukh was not ready to give up. He turned himself into a mouse and rushed at Ganesha. Ganesha jumped and sat down on his back. Crushed under Ganesha’s weight, Gajamukh had to accept his defeat. Ganesha decided to punish him by keeping him as a mouse and keeping him as a vehicle. Gajamukh was also happy with  the arrangement and became Ganesha’s friend now.

Mooshaka-and-Ganesha
Mooshaka-and-Ganesha

 

A fistful of rice

There was a little village, named Ganeshpur. People of Ganeshpur loved Lord Ganesha.Peoples were busy in a big Ganpati festival. Villagers were busy in cleaning and decorating the village and women were busy in cooking sweets. Meanwhile a little boy entered the village with little rice in one hand and and a spoonful of rice on other hand His clothes were torn and face was dirty.

He walked through the village shouting ‘Here I come with a spoonful of milk and  a fistful of rice. cook me kheer and Ganesha will give you prize. But the people were too busy to pay him any attention. Then the boy reached the hut of a poor,old women. she lived alone,  and was sick but still decided to help the little boy. She said I can make kheer but I have nothing to cook. The little boy said don’t worry amma borrow a big pot from your neighbour.

The old lady thought the little boy was being silly but did what he wanted.She put the fistful of rice and a spoonful of milk into the pot, added some sugar and put it on fire. The little boy said amma, the kheer  will take some time to cook. I will go and have a bath. when I will come back we can eat together. The boy ran away and the old women fell asleep.

Suddenly she woke up by delicious smell. She got up and look inside. she was shocked to see that the pot was brimming over with creamy white kheer. This site made her mouth water and irresistible to wait for the little boy. Finally, she decided to eat, first she too a little bit and  offered to  Ganesha and then took large portion for herself. In one gulp she finished, then she took another then another yet the pot remained full. when the little boy came, he asked for the kheer.

Quietly the old women put the bowl in front of him. The boy asked and where is your bowl amma. Red faced, the old women confessed, that  I ate without waiting for you.  The little boy said, don’t worry amma I have eaten the kheer too. But when you have just came. The boy said, don’t you remember amma before eating you have offered some to Ganesha. Well I am the same Ganesha said the boy changing into true form.

The old women fell crying at Ganesha feet. Ganesha picked her and said you are very kind to me now make a wish. The old women was very intelligent. She asked Ganesha to give me health,give me wealth, surrounded me with lots of daughters and sons. Let me live long enough to see my great great grand sons.  Ganesha granted her the wish. The old women was very happy and she thanked Ganesha for making her wish come true.

Mr and Mrs frog

Mr and Mrs. frog lived in the well behind the king’s palace. What a perfect life they led! they spend the whole day lolling around the sun. If they felt hot, they would pop into the pool for a quick swim. And if in case they felt bored, they would simply nip into the palace and watch the people there.

They thought men’s are very very funny creatures because they were tall and walk on two legs, have clear skin and are always in hurry and scurry. They both hop back to the well and examine there brilliant green skin full of warts and feel happier then ever and feel how lucky they are to be born as frog.

But there was one problem in frog’s life. It was Ganesha. Mrs frog was great follower of Ganesha, She chant Ganesha’s name throughout the day to thank him for giving them such a nice life. Mr frog was terribly jealous of this. He hate to hear his wife taking name of Ganesha and would quarrel with her. He said I am your husband and I will give you all happiness in this world so, you should stop taking Ganesha’s name instead you should take my name.

One day a maid came to draw water from the well . The frogs got drawn along with the water. Maid didn’t noticed them and set the pot on fire. to warm the water.  Poor frogs tried to jump out but the pot was so deep that they couldn’t. Mr frog croaked , ‘Dear wife , why don’t you pray to your lord Ganesha ? He might help us. Mrs frog said ,dear husband , you have often told me that a good wife only chants her husbands name. Mr frog croaked you misunderstood me no one becomes a bad wife by chanting Ganesha’s name.  But husband chant irritates you.

Wife, hot water irritates me more. So, please pray to God to rescue us. Mrs frog took a promise that he would never stop her from taking his name. Mrs frog pleaded for mercy within minutes the  pot overturned and fell from fire. All water spelled out and both frog hopped back to well. Now they both sit in the sun singing Ganesha’s praises.

Clever Ganesha and Narada’s mango – Indian mythology

Ganesha, Kartikeya and Narada

Once, Narada took a mango to Lord Shiva and Parvati where the two sons of Lord were also present. He presented the mango to Parvati  and said that this mango is special and requested her  to accept the mango. Parvati intended to distribute the fruit between her two sons, Ganesha and Kartikeya equally, but sage Narada intervened and said that this fruit cannot be cut into two and can be consumed by a single person only.

Narada suggested to have a competition between the two brothers, and the winner of the contest will be awarded the mango. Kartikeya enquired about the competition and after much thought, Narada suggested – ‘Whoever goes around the world three times first will win the mango’. Both brothers agreed to the condition put forth by Narada.

Mango by Sage Narada
Mango by Sage Narada

 

Hearing this, Kartikeya got on to the peacock and went to go around the world. Ganesha did not have a peacock or anything else he could ride so he thought for a while. He then went around Shiva and Parvathi three times and went to claim his prize saying. ‘ My Parents are the world for me. I have won the competition.

The competition between two brothers
The competition between two brothers – Kartikeya and Ganesha

Ganesha further said that Lord Shiva and Parvati are the first couple and whole universe is created with them. When he circled them three times, it was equivalent to circling the world three times. Thus he claimed his prize and started to eat the mango. When Kartikeya came back duly circling the earth three times, he found clever Ganesha eating the mango.

When he learnt that his elder brother had got the fruit by his fast thinking instead of running around, he accepted his defeat. On the other hand, Ganesha had won the contest by virtue of using his superior intellect and Kartikeya had to accept defeat in his favour.

Clever Ganesha and Sage Gautam

Ganesha – The Rescuer

When Bhagiratha brought Ganga from Lord Shiva’s hair, some part of Ganga remained with him. Parvati, being the consort of Shiva, didn’t like this. Parvati resolved that a way had to be found to remove Ganga from Shiva’s hair. She tried persuasion, but Shiva refused to listen.

 There was a drought on earth at this time which lasted for fourteen years. Sage Goutam hermitage was spared with this drought. Other people also gathered in the hermitage to save themselves from the drought and Gautam welcomed them all. Ganesha thought that he might be able to devise a way to please his mother Parvati and Ganga may leave Shiva.

Lord Shiva, Parvati and Ganesha
Lord Shiva, Parvati and Ganesha

 Ganesha started to live in Sage Gautam’s hermitage and became friendly with everyone. One of the Parvati’s companion, Jaya was also with him. Ganesha told Jaya that she was to adopt the form of a cow and eat up the grain in Gautam’s fields. And the moment she was struck,

she was to lie down on the ground and pretend to be dead.

 Soon, Sage Gautam noticed that a cow was eating the grain. He struck the cow with a blade of grass and the cow fell down. Everyone thought that the cow was killed and it was a capital sin. Nobody wanted to stay in the hermitage. Lord Ganesha proposed a solution to the sage. “You will have to bring down Ganga from Shiva’s hair,” replied Ganesh. When Ganga water touches the body of the cow, then you are free of your sin.

 Ganesha was so friendly with the other sages that they all accepted his solution. Gautam also agreed to do the needful. Sage Gautam went to Mount Kailash and began to pray to Shiva. Shiva was pleased at Gautam’s penance and offered to grant a boon.

Lord Shiva
Lord Shiva

 Gautam wished that Ganga might be brought down to earth. Shiva agreed. It was thus that Ganga was brought down to earth by the sage Gautam. Ganga has four tributaries in heaven, seven on earth and four in the underworld. Since it was Gautam who brought Ganga down to earth, the river is also known as Gautami Ganga.

 Thus, wise Ganesha found a solution to the problem of his mother. This story is from the Brahma Purana.

Interesting story of birth of Lord Ganesha and duel with Shiva

Birth of Lord Ganesha

The birth of Lord Ganesha birth can be regarded as interesting as any story could be. Ganesha was born unknown to Lord Shiva. Goddess Parvati needed someone to guard the chambers while she was taking bath. It happened in the past that Shiva devotee allowed him access when she did not want this to happen. So, She made a figure with turmeric paste and put life into it. Then she asked the boy, Ganesha not to allow anyone to enter the house. Ganesha followed his mother’s orders to the word and did not allow Shiva any access to the house.

Birth of Lord Ganesha depicted in Madhubani paintain

Note: Madhubani painting is popular folk art form.

Shiva got angry and asked his followers to attack the boy. But they were conquered. Shiva got surprised. Realizing that this was no ordinary boy, Shiva decided to fight himself, and in his divine fury cut Ganesha’s head, killing him quickly. When Parvati came to know of this, she was so angry that she decided to destroy the whole universe. But Lord Brahma pleaded that she reconsider her intent. She said she would if two conditions were met: One, that Ganesha be brought back to life, and two, that he be forever worshipped before all the other gods.

Brahma also suggested that he replace Ganesha’s head with the first living being that came his way with its head facing north. Shiva then sent his followers to bring the head of a creature they happened to find sleeping with its head facing north. They found a dying elephant which slept in this manner, and after its death took its head. Shiva attached the elephant’s head to Ganesha’s body and brought him back to life. Ganesha is worshipped by everyone before beginning any puja.

There are other stories which not as popular as the above:

Lord Ganesha and Shani

Another less popular story of lord Ganesha’s birth as written in the Brahma Vaivarta Purana. Eager to have a son, Parvati decided that she would keep a year-long fast to appease lord Vishnu. At the end of her fast lord Vishnu was duly appeased and gave her the boon of a son. In some stories, the son is a reincarnation of lord Krishna, another prominent Hindu deity.

On the joyous occasion of the birth of their son, whom they named Ganesha, Shiva and Parvati invited all the gods to their abode in Mount Kailash to look upon the baby. While all the gods bestowed the young lord Ganesha with gifts, there was one god who refused to look at the child.

This was the god Shani, son of the god Surya. The gaze of Shani is said to cast a bad omen on which it is directed. So Shani had a very good reason to not look at Ganesha. But Parvati insisted that Shani must look at the face of his ‘nephew’. Very reluctantly, Shani finally agreed and cast a quick look towards the young lord Ganesha. Almost immediately the child’s head fell off, in some stories it turns to ashes.

Parvati was devastated and it was lord Vishnu who came to her rescue. In one quick movement, he had mounted his vahana and had gone to fetch a replacement head. Returning with the head of a young elephant he had found of the banks of a river, lord Vishnu placed the head on the lifeless torso of the boy. The boy was brought back to life to the joy and utmost relief of both Shiva and Parvati. And so the naughty, fun loving god Ganesha was born.

Sage Kashyap’s curse

Yet another story mentions a completely different reason for the birth and subsequent replacement of Lord Ganesha’s head with that of a young elephant. But in this case the story starts a little differently. Aditya was one of the sons of the great sage Kashyapa, one of the seven great Rishi or sages. According to the story, Shiva, in a mistake, slew Aditya by cutting off his head. Kashyapa cursed the great lord Shiva that the same fate would befall the first born son of Shiva and when that happened, the child’s head would be replaced by the head of Indra’s elephant. And so, Ganesha, the elephant headed god was born.

In another twist to the same tale, when Shiva cut off the head of Aditya, He replaced it with Indra’s elephant’s head and brought him back to life. Kashyapa was very incensed by Shiva’s act and he put a curse on Shiva. According to the curse, the first born child of lord Shiva would be born with an elephant head. In the case of this particular story, Ganesha was already born with an elephant head unlike other stories where he acquires his elephant head later.

108 names of Lord Ganesha

Lord Ganesha

Lord Ganpati, who is the destroyer of all evils, has 108 names. Some of the popular and not so popular are listed here. He is the great Vinayaka. The most important celebrated is the Ganesha Chaturthi festival.

http://ritsin.com/ganesha-chaturthi-festival-indian-mythology.html/

 

Lord Ganesha

Lord Ganesha holds a special place in hindu rituals. No puja is considered complete if it is not started with worshipping Ganesha.
Lord Ganesha' various roopas
Lord Ganesha’ various roopas
Here are 108 names of Lord Ganesha.
  1. Akhurath
  2. Alampata
  3. Amit
  4. Anantachidrupamayam
  5. Avaneesh
  6. Avighna
  7. Balaganapati
  8. Bhalchandra
  9. Bheema
  10. Bhupati
  11. Bhuvanpati
  12. Buddhinath
  13. Buddhipriya
  14. Buddhividhata
  15. Chaturbhuj
  16. Devadeva
  17. Devantakanashakarin
  18. Devavrata
  19. Devendrashika
  20. Dharmik
  21. Dhoomravarna
  22. Durja
  23. Dvaimatura
  24. Ekaakshara
  25. Ekadanta
  26. Ekadrishta
  27. Eshanputra
  28. Gadadhara
  29. Gajakarna
  30. Gajanana
  31. Gajananeti
  32. Gajavakra
  33. Gajavaktra
  34. Ganadhakshya
  35. Ganadhyakshina
  36. Ganapati
  37. Gaurisuta
  38. Gunina
  39. Haridra
  40. Heramba
  41. Kapila
  42. Kaveesha
  43. Kriti
  44. Kripalu
  45. Krishapingaksha
  46. Kshamkaram
  47. Kshipra
  48. Lambakarna
  49. Lambodara
  50. Mahabala
  51. Mahaganapati
  52. Maheshwaram
  53. Mangalamurti
  54. Manomay
  55. Mrityuanjaya
  56. Mundakarama
  57. Muktidaya
  58. Musikvahana
  59. Nadapratithishta
  60. Namasthetu
  61. Nandana
  62. Nideeshwaram
  63. Omkara
  64. Pitambara
  65. Pramoda
  66. Prathameshwara
  67. Purush
  68. Rakta
  69. Rudrapriya
  70. Sarvadevatman
  71. Sarvasiddhanta
  72. Sarvatman
  73. Hambhavi
  74. Shashivarnam
  75. Shoorpakarna
  76. Shuban
  77. Shubhagunakanan
  78. Shweta
  79. Siddhidhata
  80. Siddhipriya
  81. Skandapurvaja
  82. Sumukha
  83. Sureshwaram
  84. Swaroop
  85. Tarun
  86. Uddanda
  87. Umaputra
  88. Vakratunda
  89. Varaganapati
  90. Varaprada
  91. Varadavinayaka
  92. Veeraganapati
  93. Vidyavaridhi
  94. Vighnahara
  95. Vignaharta
  96. Vighnaraja
  97. Vighnarajendra
  98. Vighnavinashanaya
  99. Vigneshwara
  100. Vikat
  101. Vinayaka
  102. Vishwamukha,
  103. Vishwaraja,
  104. Yagnakaya,
  105. Yashaskaram,
  106. Yashvasin,
  107. Yogadhipa
  108. Siddhivinayaka.

Why people do not look at Moon on Ganesha Chaturthi

There is an interesting story on why people do not look at Moon on the day of Ganesha Chaturthi.  There is a myth associated with this festival. If someone looks at the moon on the night of Ganesha chaturthi , then he would be falsely accused. According to the legend, once Ganesha ate lots of sweets and his stomach swell and became huge. He set out at night on his mouse. His mouse saw a snake and was scared. As a result, he tumbled so Ganesha fell down and his stomach burst open. Ganesha caught hold of snake and tied it around his stomach. Moon was watching Lord Ganesha and he started laughing. Ganesha was annoyed with this behaviour of moon. He pulled out his tusk and hurled it against the moon and curse him that no one would look at him, on the day of Ganesha chaturthi.  If someone does that then he will earn a bad name.  Since then people refrain from looking at moon on Ganesha chaturthi festival.