Ganesha Resources


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++How Ganesha Got His Elephant Head++

++The Book of Ganesha++

++The Broken Tusk++

g o d s - o f - i n d i a ++ GANESHA

PAST LIFE HISTORY ---- Origin of Ganesha.
ONE OF THE 108 SACRED NAMES OF GANESHA IS GANAPATI -- THE LORD OF ALL GANAS. On my first trip to Mumbai in 2005, on Elephanta Island appropriately enough, I picked up a book called Lord Ganesha, published by Manoj Publications. It is essentially a children's book, a collection of stories about Ganesha -- but then when it comes to Hindu knowledge, I am very far behind the typical Indian child! Compiled and worded by Kunwar Anil Kumar, the book opens with a chapter called "Origin of Ganesha". In this Ganesha story Kumar writes: "There are different stories in different puranas (eg Padmapurana, Lingapurana, Brahmavaivartapurana, Shivapurana) about the origin of Lord Ganesha. But the story most commonly known about the origin of this diety is from the Rudra Samhita of Shivapurana (chapters 13 to 18).

"Once Jaya and Vijaya, two female companions of Parvati Ji, suggested to her to have a Gana of her own, as the Ganas, Nandi, Bhringi and others, were the followers of Lord Shiva and they generally obeyed him only.

"One day Parvati Ji asked Nandi to guard the entrance of the palace and went in to have a bath. She was bathing in utter privacy when Lord Shiva came and made an entry into the palace without caring for the guard, Nandi. It became impossible for her to tolerate the infringement of her privacy. She decided to create a Gana of her own.

"TAKING A LITTLE OF THE SANDAL PASTE, WHICH SHE HAD SMEARED ALL OVER HER BODY, SHE CREATED A HUMAN FORM, FULL OF SIGNS OF DIVINITY. Then blessing the child she said, 'You are my son from today, and it will be your duty to guard the entrance of this palace and not to allow anyone to enter without my permission; be it anyone,' saying this Parvati Ji gave a staff to Ganesha and ordered him to perform his duty and went in to take bath.

"Meanwhile, Lord Shiva came and wanted to go in. Ganesha didn't know it was Lord Shiva, his father. Placing the staff between Lord Shiva and the entrance, Ganesha said, 'My mother is taking bath inside. I cannot allow you to go in.'

"LORD SHIVA WAS GREATLY INFURIATED TO HEAR THIS. He said, "Fool! Do you know who I am? I am Shiva -- Parvati's husband. It is your sheer brazen effrontery that you are not allowing me to enter my own palace.'
"Meanwhile, the Ganas of Lord Shiva intervened and said, 'Look, we are guards appointed by Lord Shiva, and thinking that you too are one of us Ganas, we haven't touched you, or else, we would have killed you by now. Listen to us; give way to Lord Shiva and thus save your life.'

"Gaensha remained undeterred. He wouldn't allow entry to anyone. An energetic dialogue continued between the Ganas and Ganesha and the Ganas were overwhelmed to learn that the boy guarding the entrance was none other than the son of Parvati Ji. They went and informed Lord Shiva about it. Lord Shiva somehow wanted to subdue the ego of his Ganas; and so he invoked all the gods and asked them and the Ganas to launch an attack on Ganesha.

"A fierce battle ensued between Ganesha and the army of gods and Ganas. Ganesha's valour was worth seeing. He swooped down on the army of Lord Shiva amidstsporadic shower of sharp arrows and other formidable weapons and forced them back.

DEATH OF GANESHA ---- And His Resurrection.
SEEING THAT GANESHA WAS PROVING TO BE TOO POWERFUL FOR THE GODS AND GANAS TOGETHER, LORD SHIVA HIMSELF CAME IN THE BATTLEFIELD. Ganesha prayed silently to his mother to fill him with energy and power and prepared himself to face the might of Lord Shiva. All the gods were on Lord Shiva's side. Both the parties engaged themselves in fierce battle. Ganesha was proving himself unstoppable. Ultimately, Lord Shiva, seeing no way out, made use of his powerful trident and decapitated Ganesha.

"The news of Ganesha's death infuriated Parvati Ji tremendously. She invoked many divine powers and without giving a second thought she ordered complete dissolution of the whole of the universe. The gods and Ganas were greatly frightened to see destruction all around. Ultimately, on the advice of Narada, all the gods and Ganas went to Parvati Ji and sought her forgiveness. Parvati Ji said: 'The destruction will stop only on the condition that Ganesha, my son is brought back to life, and placed in the highest order in the hierachy of gods.'

"The message was conveyed to Lord Shiva and he said: 'We should proceed towards the north and decapitate the head of any of the first available being and fix it to the body of Ganesha.'

"The gods took over the charge of this job. They brought the head of an elephant, which had only one tusk, and fixed it to the body of Ganesha. Then the gods recited the mantras of the Vedas and sprinkled holy water on his body. Ganesha opened his eyes as if awakened from deep sleep.

"Parvati Ji became very happy to see her son return to life."

| How Did Ganesha Get an Elephant's Head? | How the Mouse Became Ganesha's Vehicle | How to do Ganesha Puja at Home | Moon Cursed by Ganesha | Origin of Ganesha | Symbolism of Ganesha's Body | The Remover of Obstacles

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Contact the author Rob Sullivan at Anticopyright September 2009.

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f e e d b a c k

purushottam ( says: "What a comprehensive view of the gods of india..really enjoyed it. I thank u for the clarity this article has given me in my seeking.
"I used to be a die hard atheist since childhood-praying to Shiva, vishnu, krishna, ganesha, saraswati, hanuman etc. I beleived in ONE omnipotent,omniscient, omnipresent God.
"But my recent experience with a spiritual master and organization took me towards Advaita philosophy-which makes possible the existence of many gods and the god inherent in every one of us. With the possibility of man becoming GOD one day, it has obviated my belief in 'one GOD for all'.
"So my allegiance shifted from Dvaita(dualistic) to the Advaita(non dualistic) shcheme of things, where there is no radical difference between man and god as man is god's low frequency existence,capable of reaching godhood by various means(bhakti,gyan,karma,meditation,etc).
"All this was fine till i realized that this advaita concept of GOD is effectively atheism in the eyes of a monotheist.
"Nevermind, 'reailty is relative'-I said to myself and continued my journey inwards.("One should have the courage of following truth to wherever it takes").
"WIth my beleif in God shaken, I decided to test my second most prized belief-the concept of Atman through the Advaitic Lens...."


What are your thoughts on Hindu gods? Who is your favourite god (the One you worship?) Or are you losing your religion, as the old REM song went?
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