Updated: Feb 4
Ganesha - God of New Beginnings, Success and Wisdom
Lord Ganesha is one of the most popular Gods in our Hindu culture. He is known to be the destroyer of obstacles and devotees worship him at the onset of any important work. He is one of the most distinctive Gods with an elephant head and a human body. Ganesha is the son of Shiva and Parvati and is the brother of Kartikeya and Ashok Sundari. He is also the God of prosperity and fortune.
There are several stories in regards to his birth. In one of the stories he is born from Shiva and Parvati in a forest. Parvati was elated after her son's birth. She invited all the Gods to come and see the child's face but forgot to call Lord Shani. That is why Shani's evil eye fell on him and his head was burnt. This is when Lord Shiva replaces his head with an elephant head.
In the second story Shiva and Pravati visit a forest and happen to see an elephant couple joyfully playing with each other. Lord Shiva and Parvati also take forms of elephant and decide to stay in the forest for a while. During their stay in the forest Lord Ganesh is born.
This story is the most popular story about Ganesha's birth. Once Goddess Parvati and her friends Jaya and Vijaya were bathing in her apartment. Parvati had asked Nandi to stand outside the house and guard it. She told him not to allow anyone to enter until they finished bathing. However Shiva came unexpectedly at the door. Poor Nandi requested Shiva not to enter the house but Shiva did not listen. He entered the house. Parvati was furious after that. She wanted a personal guard now who will not let anyone enter the house without her permission not even Shiva. This is when she created Ganesha out of the dirt she rubbed off during her bath. She created a very handsome boy and gasped in joy looking at her son. Ganesha asked what shall he do for his mother. Parvati asked him to be a guard and stand at the entrance. She told him not to allow anyone. Shiva again turned up unexpectedly and wanted to enter the house. Lord Ganesha didn't let him. Shiva did not know then that he was created by Parvati and thought him to be some random person. Lord Ganesh also didn't know that Shiva was Parvati's husband. He did not allow Shiva to enter the house. Shiva turned angry and the fire from his third eye burnt Ganesha's head. When Parvati saw this she turned furious. Her rage and anger started burning the whole Universe. To calm her down and restore balance in the Universe Lord Shiva makes Ganesha alive again by replacing his head with an elephant's head. Lord Shiva was guilty and apologized for his anger. He then declared Ganesha as the chief of all Gods. He announced that all the worship and rituals should only begin by praying to Lord Ganesha first. Only after worshipping him the prayers would reach other Gods.
Ganesha is also known as the God of intellect. Once Ganesha and Kartikeyan argued who will marry first. This is when their parents Shiva and Parvati decided to conduct a competition among them. They told both of them that whoever goes around the entire world and reaches Kailasha first will be the first one to marry. Lord Kartikeyan immediately left Kailasha with the aim of covering the Universe first. However Lord Ganesha just circled his parents 7 times and said he has won the race. When Parvati and Shiva asked he said that it was written in Shastras that circling your parents 7 times is as good as moving through the whole world. Lord Shiva was impressed with his intellect and he won the race. Hence he was married to two beautiful sisters Buddhi (embodiment of Wisdom and intellect) and Siddhi (Embodiment of spiritual growth and success). He later had two sons from them Kshema (prosperity) from Siddhi and Labha (Fortune) from Buddhi.
Lord Ganesha is portrayed as a half Elephant and half-human god. He is shown to have a pot belly which indicates that he is fond of eating. Modak is his favorite sweet and is offered to him during his worship. He s shown riding his divine vehicle Rat which signifies swiftness. However Ganesha is shown having only one tusk. There are different stories on this as well. Let us discuss a few.
In one of the stories Ganesha defeats a demon named Gajamukh and loses his tusk while fighting him. Gajamukh had become invincible after taking boon from Shiva. He started misusing his powers. That is when Shiva asked Ganesha to fight him. Ganesha won the battle however lost one of his tusks during the fight.
Ganesha is also the one who wrote the famous Hindu epic Mahabharata. Rishi Ved Vyas approached Ganesha requesting him to write Mahabharata on his behalf while he recites it to him. Ganesha agreed however gave him one condition that he should not stop even for a second while reciting. Vyasa agreed however he also put a condition that Ganesha needs to understand first whatever he is writing and then move ahead to the next stanza. Ganesha also agreed. Vyasa started reciting and didn't stop even once. He was so fast that Ganesha's pen broke while penning down the story. Ganesha realized his mistake that he underestimated the sage's intellect. To apologise Ganesha broke one of his tusks, and started writing with that as a gesture of respect.
Ganesha Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chaturthi is one of the most celebrated festivals in India and is celebrated with full passion and vigor. It is celebrated as Ganesha's birthday.
Hindi गणेश - नई शुरुआत, सफलता और ज्ञान के देवता
भगवान गणेश हमारी हिंदू संस्कृति में सबसे लोकप्रिय भगवानों में से एक हैं। उन्हें बाधाओं का नाश करने वाला माना जाता है और भक्त किसी भी महत्वपूर्ण कार्य की शुरुआत में उनकी पूजा करते हैं। वह हाथी के सिर और मानव शरीर के साथ सबसे विशिष्ट देवताओं में से एक है। गणेश शिव और पार्वती के पुत्र हैं और कार्तिकेय और अशोक सुंदरी के भाई हैं। वह समृद्धि और भाग्य के देवता भी हैं।
उनके जन्म के संबंध में कई कहानियां हैं। एक कहानी में वह एक जंगल में शिव और पार्वती से पैदा हुए हैं। पार्वती को उनके पुत्र के जन्म के बाद समाप्त कर दिया गया था। उसने सभी देवताओं को आमंत्रित किया कि वे बच्चे का चेहरा देखें और भगवान शनि को बुलाना न भूलें। इसी कारण शनिदेव की बुरी नजर उन पर पड़ी और उनका सिर जल गया। यह तब है जब भगवान शिव अपने सिर को हाथी के सिर के साथ बदलते हैं।
दूसरी कहानी में शिव और पार्वती एक जंगल में जाते हैं और एक हाथी जोड़े को खुशी-खुशी एक दूसरे के साथ खेलते हुए देखते हैं। भगवान शिव और पार्वती भी हाथी का रूप लेते हैं और थोड़ी देर के लिए जंगल में रहने का फैसला करते हैं। उनके वन में रहने के दौरान भगवान गणेश का जन्म हुआ है।
यह कहानी गणेश के जन्म के बारे में सबसे लोकप्रिय कहानी है। एक बार देवी पार्वती और उनके दोस्त जया और विजया अपने अपार्टमेंट में स्नान कर रहे थे। पार्वती ने नंदी को घर के बाहर खड़े होकर पहरा देने को कहा था। उसने उससे कहा कि जब तक वे स्नान समाप्त नहीं कर लेते, तब तक किसी को भी प्रवेश नहीं करने दिया जाएगा। हालांकि शिव अप्रत्याशित रूप से दरवाजे पर आए। बेचारी नंदी ने शिव से घर में प्रवेश न करने का अनुरोध किया लेकिन शिव ने बात नहीं मानी। वह घर में घुस गया। इसके बाद पार्वती उग्र हो गईं। वह अब एक निजी रक्षक चाहती थी जो किसी को भी शिव की अनुमति के बिना घर में प्रवेश नहीं करने देगा। यह तब है जब उसने अपने स्नान के दौरान गंदगी से गणेश को बनाया था। उसने एक बहुत सुंदर लड़का बनाया और अपने बेटे को देखकर खुशी में झूम उठी। गणेश ने पूछा कि वह अपनी मां के लिए क्या करेंगे। पार्वती ने उन्हें एक गार्ड बनने और प्रवेश द्वार पर खड़े होने के लिए कहा। उसने उसे किसी को भी अनुमति नहीं देने के लिए कहा था। शिव फिर से अप्रत्याशित रूप से बदल गए और घर में प्रवेश करना चाहते थे। भगवान गणेश ने उन्हें जाने नहीं दिया। शिव को तब पता नहीं था कि वह पार्वती द्वारा बनाए गए थे और उन्हें कुछ यादृच्छिक व्यक्ति मानते थे। भगवान गणेश भी नहीं जानते थे कि शिव पार्वती के पति थे। उन्होंने शिव को घर में प्रवेश नहीं करने दिया।