We always desire that whatever work we begin should go on, come to a conclusion without hurdles and get us the desired fruit. The enthusiasm with which we begin should continue till the end. It is prudent to always think of the pros and cons before actually beginning the work. But sometimes, even though we plan our work meticulously and
execute it with great care and precision, we meet with unforeseen hurdles and our efforts fail. It is fine that we propose to do things with honesty and diligence, but there are forces beyond our control. They bring hurdles in our
way and make our efforts futile.
In the same way, there are divine forces which can remove all hurdles if we are sincere, and they help us to succeed. The chief of such divine forces is Ganapathi. He is also called Gananayakaa. It is a custom handed down to us b y our forefathers, that we worship Lord Ganapathi before we begin any good work. Who is this Ganapathi? The Brahmavaivartha Purana has the following details about Ganapathi. This story is slightly different from many of the current stories. It is very interesting and meaningful, Sage Narayana narrates this story to Sage Narada. We are
going to try our best to place it before you in a concise but clear manner.
Parvathi, the daughter of Shaila Was determined to marry Lord Shiva and she began to perform severe Vratas to please Shiva. Renouncing everything else , she concentrated on Shiva and began to meditate on him. Finally she pleased the Lord. The marriage of the divine couple was Celebrated in a grand manner. After the Marriage, the
divine couple came to a beautiful grove to enjoy the beauty of nature. They stayed there for a long time. One day while they were in a happy mood, Parvathi Said to Mahadeva. “Deva, will you bless me with a son” In reply Mahadeva said, “Devi, I am going to suggest to you the best among vritas which will fulfil all your desires. The vrata is called Punyaka and you have to begin it on the thirteenth day of the darker half of the month of Magha.” He
continued and gave the details of the vrata, Parvathi began the vrata after a bath at an auspicious time on the day prescribed for it. She took the vrata deeksha. Sage Sanatkumara, the son of Brahmadeva, was the priest on the
occasion. The entire Kailas put on a bright and colourful appearance. The main road The sprinkled with holy and scented water. The Shiva temple, which was decorated with precious stones, was decorated tastefully with mango leaves and plantain think with leaves All Devas, Sages and others came to attend the celebration. Shiva himself was present to welcome all the guests and invitees. All arrangements were made for their stay, food and other comforts which were meticulously planned. Devendra was made the daanadhyaksha (chief of the gifts committee) Kubera was the Koshadhyaksha, (chief of Finance Committee), Surya was in charge of overall supervision. Varuna was the chief of the food catering committee. and infact, was seen serving food to guests himself. Lord Narayana‘s consort, Lakshmi, herself served as chief cook and prepared tasty dishes. After the meal, the chief among brahmins offered divine thamboolam to Lord Mahavishnu.
A t the end of the celebration, Lord Shiva looked at Brahmadeva and addressed the following words to Lord Mahavishnu, “Bhagavan, Shailaje is beginning the vrata, Punyaka, for the purpose of getting a son and be blessed with everything auspicious. Being omnipresent and omniscient, I request you to bless all her endeavors.” Bhagavan
Mahavishnu gently smiled and said, “Lord Umanaatha the vrata your consort Girija is going to begin is the king among Vratas, not so easy 10 perform, but is sure to bestow all that she wishes for and is a sure way to salvation.
This vrata will accrue to the performer, the benefits of one thousand Rajasurya yagas; but at the same time it is very expensive. As a result, it cannot be performed by all women, however virtuous they might be. When Girija completes it, Sri Krishna who shines brightly in Gokul is going to lie on her lap and play around her. He will be called Ganesh. Just by thinking about him, all hurdles will melt into thin air.” When Parvathi and Parameswara heard these words, they were very happy.
Shailaje performed the vrata under the guidance of the great Sage, Sanatkumara. He installed the sacred kalasha and invoked Lord Krishna into it. Parvathi offered very rare and sacred things to the Lord. Then they offered sesamum and ghee to the sacrificial fire three hundred thousand times. Parvathi continued of the vrata for one year observing
every aspect of the vrata without neglecting even the minutest detail. The vrata was thus completed. Sage Sanathkumara said to Parvathi, “Suvrate, (one who has completed a sacred vrata) give me my dakshina (fees) now.
“O holy sage, ask for anything. Ask for a rare thing and it will be given” Parvathi said “Please give your husband as my fees” the Sage said.
Parvathi was shocked at the unnatural demand. She did not know what to do. She was about to faint. It was Strange that Parvathi, who was known as mohanashini, Should be seen in that state. Everyone gathered there, including Vishnu, Brahmaand other Sages were about to burst into laughter. They sent Shiva to console and comfort Parvathi. He went to Parvathi and said, In our activities done to appease the Devas or Petrus, or in our daily religious activities, if we do not follow up by giving dakshina, we ` will not get the desired result. In fact, our work will be considered to be complete only after we offer dakshina. It is believed that those who perform religious activities without giving dakshina go to the city of Kalasutra after death. They are said to be reborn as poor people and will be troubled by their enemies. If you promise to give and then fail to do so, the sin increases. Whatever is to be given,
should be given at the right time. If one fails in this duty, the sin accrued would get doubled. Therefore O virtuous lady, give to the priest what he has desired and save me. If I am safe everything will be all right.”
The Sages completed all the homes and other rituals and said, “Devi, no inauspicious thing will happen as long as we are here.” The radiant-faced Sanathkumara said, “Please give me your master, great Shiva, as my dakshina, or else give me the result of the tapasya you have done so far. If I fail to get it, I will not only take back all the fruits you are going to get from this great Vrata, but all the auspicious things you have acquired in life so far.”
In reply Parvathi said, “O great one, what is the use of a vrata, which will cause the loss of m y husband? What do we gain by offering dakshina, following righteous conduct or by getting a son? Is it not like worshipping the tree by disconnecting the earth from its roots? Is it not like protecting the body and in the process losing life itself? What do we gain by such actions? Though the son belongs to the father’s clan, don’t you think that his roots lie in his father? When the capital is lost, isn’ t it equal to losing the very business?”
When the Devas and Sages were at a lose to decide what was to be done Next, a divine aircraft was seen flying in. the Sky. Lord Narayana was seated in it. The Devas and Sages welcomed him respectfully and made him sit on a beautiful seat. Then Bhagavan Narayana said, “O Devas! the Vrata performed by Parvathi aims at educating the world It has not been done for her selfish gains, She is the one who bestows the fruits of Vratas and tapas on people who perform the same, it is her maya that pervades the entire world.” Then the Lord addressed the following words to parvathi matha. “Shive, please give your husband as dakshina to the high priest and complete the vrata. Then give the appropriate Price and get back your life source. Like the holy cow, Shiva possesses the same sacred body as Vishnu does. Hence, you can pay the price of a holy cow to the brahmin and get back your husband.” So saying Lord Narayana disappeared. The Devas and Sages felt happy when they heard the sacred words of Lord Narayana. Parvathi got ready to give her husband as dakshina to Sanathkumara. The poornahuti was over and Parvathi gave Shiva as Dakshina to the priest. Sanathkumara said ‘ Swasti’ and received his dakshina. Just for a moment, out of fear, Parvathi’ s tongue dried up, but she composed . herself immediately and said in all humility, “O the best among dwijas, a sacred cow is equal in price to my husband. I am going to give you a hundred thousand beautiful cows. Give me back my husband . Being away from him, I am like a body without the soul. I am incapabie of doing
anything. I will give dakshina to all the other brahmins only when I get back my husband.”
Sanathkumara said, “Devi, lam a brahmin, what can I do with one hundred thousand cows? Before this gem of a gift the cows are nothing. I have decided to go round the world, keeping the sky-clad Lord before me. when children see him, they clap their hands and laugh in great merriment.” So saying, he called Shiva and made him sit near him. Parvathi was shocked. She sat on the ground unable even to think.
A t that point of time, all those who gathered there saw a very bright light, equal to a thousand suns. In the middle of that bright light Parvathi saw the image of Lord Krishna. She was filled with great happiness. She had a desire to have such an exquisitely handsome child. All those present tried their best to appease Sanathkumara and finally succeeded in prevailing on him to return Lord Shiva back to Parvathi. Then Uma Devi entertained everyone by providing them with a grand dinner. She also gave them tambula and dakshina in abundance. In this way she completed the great vrata. At the end Shiva and Parvathi also ate food and had tambula. On completing all the rituals, Shiva and Parvathi entered their palace. While they were doing so, they heard someone speak. The
voice said, “Mahadeva, I am a weak and poor brahmin suffering from hunger and thirst. With the hope of getting a meal, I have come to you from a great distance. I surrender to you.? Parvathi looked back and saw a man in
rags, with unkempt hair which had not been oiled for months, standing at a distance. The lean figure had bright and shining teeth. There was a holy sign, the sign of a “namaa” on his forehead. Leaning against a walking stick, begging for food, he said, “Hey Shiva! what are you doing? Amma, Parvathi, come here quickly. When the mother is around how can children suffer starvation?” On hearing the words, Shiva and Parvathi came to the door.
The brahmin, who was very weak and tired, bent low and made obeisance to the divine couple. He began to sing the praises of Shiva and Parvathi. His voice was Very melodious and Shiva was very much pleased with the brahmin and said, “O best among brahmins, Where have you come from? What is your Name?” With great love and respect
Parvathi said,? You are a scholar in the four Vedas and you have taken the trouble to come to my house as a guest. Playing host to a guest > ??? sacred and its benefits are infinite. It is my fortune to serve you.”
Then the brahmin said, “O mother of all Vedas and knowledge, worship me according to the ways Suggested in the Vedas. A hungry Person, who has been fasting for days, who has been suffering from ill health, desires to have a meal of his choice. lam really suffering from hunger and thirst.” Annapoorne said, ?Tell me what you like. Even if it is not
available in the three worlds, you will get it. I shall take your desire as an order and it will be fulfilled.”
The brahmin said, “Mother, you are childless. Consider me an orphan, as your child.” Then slowly and in a faltering voice, he said, ‘I have heard that you have successfully completed the ‘Punyaka’ vrata. You must have collected a lot of rare materials for the vrata. Offer me the marvelous, tasty and delicious food to eat, clean, pure and sweet smelling water to drink and divine tambula to chew. And you should offer me all this until my rickety body gets filled up and
my stomach becomes round – that is, until I become a l ambodara (a man with a big belly). Your lord, Ashutosh, is the creator himself and is capable of granting all kinds of wealth. You, being an incarnation of Mahalakshmi, are
capable of granting the power of glory. Hence grant me the exquisite throne made of precious gems, the fine and exotic jeweler, the purest of clothes, the rare mahamanthara of Srihari, devotion to Srihari, the knowledge
of Mruthyunjaya, the most satisfying ability to give charity; fulfill all my desires. O mother! is there anything you cannot give to your son? I have been performing severe penance; I have been following the rules of dharma and
carrying out karmas. However, I have never touched any of the karmas relating to birth, death, disease or old age. O Mother, bestowed of the fruits of karma, you are the omniscient and omnipresent Devi. Still, you have performed severe penance and Vratas in order to educate the world on how to do the same in accordance with rules and regulations. In every Klapa’ Srikrishna who inhabits earth, will be on your lap and play in the form of Ganesha.
As he kept talking the brahmana vanished. Parvathi saw an exquisitely divine child lying on a swing and playing. Its skin was glowing like the petals of a sampige flower. One could see the brightness of a thousand moons emanating from its body. It was a great treat to see the child. If one draws out the essence of all beauty existing in this world, it would not be equal to the beauty of the child. It was playing with its cute limbs and enjoying the beauty of its bedroom.
The brahmin, who had come as a guest had disappeared and that put Parvathi into great sadness. “O God, that old brahmin who suffered from hunger and thirst disappeared so suddenly and I could not play host to him. Where has he gone? If a guest leaves the house without receiving anything from the host, it is not good for the house to which he came as a guest.” Parvathi began to wail. She asked Shiva to find out where he was and bring him to her. Just then she heard a voice. It said,
“O mother of the world, cool down. Just go *A day of Lord Brahma or a period of a thousand yagas, measuring the duration of the word. into your bedroom and see. As a result of the Punyaka vratha which you have performed,
Sri Krishna is born as your son. A divine child is born to you – He is the one who will he worshipped by all before beginning any activity; He is the one who will destroy all hurdles in one’s path when one simply remembers him. Go and see Him!” On hearing the voice, Parvathi entered her bedroom and to her great joy, she saw an incomparably
handsome child, whose eyes looked like the petals of a lotus, lying in a cradle. A very bright beam of light was coming out of the child’s body. The child was moving its limbs and crying, probably because it was hungry. As soon as Parvathi saw the child, her happiness knew no bounds. She lifted the child gently, placed it on her lap and began to
feed milk. All the Devas and Sages were happy when they heard the news of Parvathi and Shiva getting a child at the end of the vrata.
Maha Vishnu, blessed the child and said, “Dear child, son of Parvathi, may you live for long. May you be equal to your father in wisdom, to me in courage and may you become all knowing.”
While blessing the child, Brahmadeva said, May you become successful in everything, May you be worshipped first and by all!” All the Devas and their Consorts said,
Dear child, may you become the best among the wise. May you have great memory power, the power of comprehension, of logical 8- Scientific reasoning; may you become the master of all the Vedas and shastras. May you become an expert in whatever you do. May those who worship you get happiness and the strength they desire.
May you become as great a siddha yogi as to your father, Lord Shiva. May all hurdles vanish by just remembering you.”
The best and the greatest among grahas, Shareware came to see the divine child. He was black complexioned, bright faced and was dressed in blue silk. He looked radiant like mountain peaks engulfed in flames. He made obeisance to the trinity. Then he entered Parvathi Devi’s palace. Parvathi Devi appeared in all her beauty, dressed in her best,
chewing pan with the divine child on her lap. She was seated on her golden throne. Five maids were attending on her. He touched Parvathi’s feet and stood before her with his head downcast, eyes half closed. Shiva, who was worshipped in all the three worlds, smiled and asked how he was. Then Parvathi said, “Graheswara, why are you standing with your eyes half closed? Why don’t you look at me and the child straight?? Shareware still stood with his head downcast and said, “Mother, every living being has to endure whatever he or she has gained in the form of
sin or merit. They enjoy or suffer in proportion to the bad or good they have done.
M y sad story is not something I can tell everyone; but, you being the preserver and the protector of the world, I can confide my tale of woes in you. I preferred to be alone from childhood. I was interested in tapasya. This led me towards detachment. But my parents forcefully made me marry the daughter of Chitraratha gandharva. The wheel of time went on rolling. `
One day I was deeply immersed in m y tapasya, when m y wife, who had just had a bath, called me. Her words did not reach m y ears. She was angry and cursed me saying, “Whomever you see directly will get destroyed” In a way she was not wrong.
She was disgusted with my behavior and was very angry. I tried to calm her down, but she refused to take back the curse. For fear of causing harm to others, I dare not look at anyone. Therefore I always remain downcast.” On listening to his words, Parvathi and the other Kinnaris laughed. Then Girija said, Everything in this world is under the control of Eswaran. You just look at me and my child.” Shaneshwara was in a fix. He did not know what to do for a moment.” Shall I look at Mattha Parvathi’s child? If the divine child is put to danger who will help it? How can I
disobey Jaganmatha’s order?? he thought. Then the righteous Shani invoked the name of dharma and looked at Parvathi’s son. He did not look at Parvathi. He looked at the child from the corner of his left eye. Shani felt his
throat getting parched. As soon as his cursed – sight fell on the child, the divine child’s head got severed from its body and flew in the direction of Goulka. Parvathi was so sad that she began to wail and fell unconscious. There was commotion everywhere. Lord Narayana, who was watching this spectacle, got on his carrier, Garuda, and travelled very fast in the direction of the north. On the bank of the river Pushpa Bhadra, he saw an elephant sleeping
with its head northward. The elephant’s wife and children were also. present. He immediately cut the head of the male elephant with his wheel, loaded it on the back of Garuda and was about to start. The female elephant, which woke up, began to trumpet loudly. The baby elephants also began to cry loudly. But when the female elephant realized that it was the divine figure of the omniscient and omnipotent Lord that was in front of it, it lifted up its trunk and prayed in all humility. The Lord, who is mercy incarnate, touched the body of the elephant with his divine feet, created a head for the elephant, grafted it on the body and made it come back to life. Later this same elephant became the famous character we read about in the story, ‘Gajendra Moksha’. The lord blessed it and its family
with a long life.
Then the Lord flew very fast towards Kailas a. On reaching Kailas a, he lifted Parvathi’s child in an embrace, fixed the elephant’s head on its body and breathed life into it. The child shone in great luster. Lord Vishnu placed the child on Parvathi’s lap and went back to Vaikunta.
After a few months he came back to Kailas again. He put a Vanamala round the child’s neck and the divine Kaustubh on his head and he worshipped Gajanan in the manner prescribed by shastras. Then he said, “Dear child, I am the first one to have worshipped you. AS a result of this you have become Yogendra and you will be worshipped by one
and all.” So saying Lord Sri Hari initiated Gajanan to brahma jnana. The Devas and ages joined the lord and they named him thus;
Vighneswarascha Ganeshascha Herambhascha Gajananah !
Lambodarascheikadantah shoorpaharno Vinayakah I!
Vignesh, Ganesha, Herambha, Gajanan, Ambodara, Ekadantha, Shoorpakarna and Vinayak were the divine names given to him.
Once, Parasuraman, son of Sage Jamadagni, wanted to visit his preceptor Lord Shiva. With this intention, he came to Kailas. He entered that beautiful city and went straight into Parashar‘s palace. In the outer yard of the palace, he saw Rudraganas and Ashtabhairavas. At the main entrance of the palace, he saw Nandikeshwara on the right and Mahasimha on the left.
Parasuraman exchanged courtesies with them, took permission from Nandikeshwara and entered the palace. A t the doorway, he saw Ganesha, Karthikeya and Veerabhadra seated on golden thrones. He talked to them politely and with love. Now he was about to enter Para Shiva’s room, when Ganesha Stopped him and said, “Hey Rama, Para Shiva is Sleeping at the moment; I will go in and get S permission for you to enter. Please wait here until then.”
Parashurama said, “Dear Ganesha, I am going in to have darshan of the feet of the omniscient Lord of the three worlds. I will just touch his feet with my head, also have darshan of the mother of the world and then come out
immediately.” Ganesha did not allow him to go in. There was a war of words between the two and it resulted in a big fight. Parashurama wielded his weapon, Parashu, (axe). This Parashu was not an ordinary axe. It was a divine gift, given by Shiva himself. In the fight that ensued, the axe fell on Ganesha’s left tusk and cut it off. The tusk fell to the ground. There was commotion everywhere.
Parvathi was distraught at the incident and Lord Hari, who had to come from Shwethadweepa to console her, said, “Devi, isn’t Parashurama also a son to you as Karthikeya and Ganesha are? Please calm down. There is a reference to Ganesha as Ekadantha in the Vedas. In the Samaveda your son is called by eight different names.
Ganeshamekadantam cha Heramba Vignanayakam,
Lambodaram Shoorpakarnam Gajavaktram Guhagrajam
Ganesha, Ekadantha, Herambha, Vighnanayaka, Ambodara, Shoorpakarna, Gajavaktra and Guhaagraja are the eight
names If one chants them and prays to the Lord, all the hurdles will be removed and everything auspicious will take place.
During the Brahmakalpa, once, Thulasi Devi was chanting the name of Narayana while on a pilgrimage. In the course of her journey she came to holy Ganga whose very touch relieves one of all the sins. She saw the
Nidhipathi (Lord of Wealth), Ganesha, there. He was immersed in_ chanting the Krishna mantra. He appeared very handsome clad in yellow silk cloth. His whole body was smeared with holy sandal paste and he was adorned with exquisite jeweler. Seeing such a person who had conquered his senses and overcome his desires, Tulasi, who was
attracted to him, said in fun, “O Gajavaktra, Shoorpakarna, Ekadantha, Ghalodara, all wonders seem to have found a home in your person. What is the secret? What kind of tapas did you do to get such a fruit?? Ganesha did
not like Thulasi’ s words, but he spoke politely and said, “Child, who are you? Whose daughter are you? Why have you come here? Dear child, you should not come in the way of m y tapasya. It is a sin to do so. That will cause
a lot of trouble for you. May the omniscient lord bless you!”
In reply Thulasi said, “I am Thulasi, daughter of king Dharmatma. I am doing tapasya with the intention of getting a
husband. After seeing you, I have decided to marry you. Please accept me as your wife.”
Ganesha pretended to be frightened and said, “O my God! Marriage is a big burden of troubles and sorrow. There is no happiness in it. It is a destroyer of philosophy and a Springwell of doubts. You forget about me and find some other young man. Kindly pardon me.”
Thulasi got angry when she heard words condemning the holy institution of marriage. She cursed Ganesha saying “You are definitely going to get married.” Ganesha also cursed her saying, “May a Demon become your husband.
Later, you are going to turn into a plant as a result of another curse by a great man.” Thulasi was very sad. When Ganesha looked at her face, he felt sad and concerned for her. He said, “Devi, do not feel sad. Compose yourself. You are the essence of all flowers. You are going to become very dear to Lord Narayana. All the Gods feel happy when they are offered Thulasi, but you are going to become special favorite to Lord Sri Hari. But as far as I am concerned, your presence 1s prohibited.” So saying Ganesha left? for Badarikashrama for doing tapasya. Even today we should not use Thulasi in Ganesha Pooja.
Greatest among the wise
Once the Devas came to Kailas to have darshan of Shiva and Parvathi. They felt blessed. They congratulated Parvathi for getting such wonderful sons as Ganesha and Karthikeya. They gave Shiva and Parvathi a divine modaka which was filled with nectar. They told Shiva and Parvathi about its greatness and offered pradakshina namaskar
to the divine couple. Then they left for their abode, the swargaloka.
When Ganesha and Shanmukha saw the sweat meat in their mother” s hand, they pestered her in order to get it. Parvathi said, “First of all, listen to the greatness of this sweetmeat. If you just smell it, you will become immortal. If one smells it and then eats it, he will get the ability to understand the nuances of all Vedas and shastras. He will
become an adept in all skills-he will become a great writer, painter, scholar and an expert in all sciences. In a nutshell, he will become omniscient.” Parvathi Devi looked at Shiva and continued, “Between you, the one who
establishes his superiority by practicing dharma, will get this modaka. Also we both have decided to perform that person’ s marriage. One who goes round the world, visits all holy places of pilgrimage strictly according to shastras, will be entitled to this gift.” ‘
_ Karthikeya lost no time. Even as his mother completed her words, he got on to his vehicle, the peacock, and in a moment he was seen flying in the sky. Gajanan sat there thinking what he should do. He closed his eyes and meditated. In a few minutes he came out of his meditation, smiling. He had a bath, put on clean and bright clothes He placed two seats. Then he went to his parents, Gowri and . Shankar, prostrated before them and said. “O
most sacred ones, come and be seated and bless me.” With a smile, they obeyed Ganesha.
Ganesha worshipped them with great devotion and prostrated before them. Then, with all concentration and pleasure, he started going round his parents. When he completed one round, he prostrated before them; he did
this seven times. Then he stood before them with folded hands and said, Please give me the modaka and perform m y marriage at the earliest.” Parameswara looked at Ganesha and said,” Gajanan, your brother has gone on a pilgrimage around the world. You also go, complete the pilgrimage and come back quickly.”
Gajanan once again folded his hands and said, “Revered father, I have not only gone round the world seven times but also visited the pilgrimage centers as many times.”
Parvathi and Parameswara expressed their surprise like ordinary mortals and said, “Dear child, when did you go round the world seven times?”
; Ganesha said, “I prostrate before my father, who is the dispenser of dharma, and my mother, who is the incarnation of dharma. I went round you seven times. In this way I have been round the seven `times.
Dharma shastras always tell us the truth, don’t they? They never tell us anything wrong.
“Pithroscha Poonam rethaw prakaranthim cha karothi yah |
Thasya vai prithvijanya phalam Bharathi nischitam Il
Apahaya grihe yo vai Pithrova thirthamvrajeth |
Thasya papam thatha proktam hanane cha thayoryatha Il
Puthrasayacha mahathirtham pithroscharana pankajam |
Anyathirtham thu doore vai gathwa samprapayathe punah Il
Idam sannihitham thirdhand sulabham dharma sadhanam |
Putrasya cha sthriyaschaiva thirtham ge he sushobhanam I ”
“The son, who worships his parents with devotion and goes round them, easily gets the full benefit of going round the world. The son, who neglects his parents and goes on a pilgrimage alone, to him accrues the sin of murdering them. The reason is that, the feet of one’ s parents are the holy places of pilgrimage. The other places of pilgrimage are far away whereas the charana tirthas i.e., the parent’ s feet, are near. Yes, these are easily available. To children, their parent’ s feet and to a wife, her husband’ s feet are the holiest . and the most beautiful places of pilgrimage
and they are at home.
Ganesha continued, “This is what the Vedas and shastras have told us. If you think they are wrong, the description of your divine form given in the Veda must also be wrong. Is it possible for such a thing to happen? No, impossible. Therefore give me the heavenly modaka and with your blessings, let my marriage be also performed at the earliest.”
Parvathi and Parameswara felt very happy when they heard the words of wisdom from Ganesha. They said, “Dear child, you know all that one should know. You have great self confidence and therefore your perception is very clear. You have spoken the truth. A person who remains cool in times of difficulties will be able to face any situation
_ with equanimity; he will find that the difficulties will vanish just as darkness vanishes when the sun rises. Your act has been in accordance with what the Vedas have prescribed for children. Who else, but you, can achieve it? What you have done is right and you have our whole-hearted approval for that.” Parvathi Devi then placed the divine modaka in Ganesha ‘s hand.
Prajapati Vishwa Roopa came to know about the decision of Parvathi and Parameswara to perform the marriage of
Ganesha and Karthikeya. He had two daughters who were very good looking and were of marriageable age. They were Siddhi and Buddhi. He took them both and went to Kailasa. He made obeisance to the divine couple and said, “I have two daughters who are virtuous. Kindly accept them as your daughters-in-law.”
Shiva and Parvathi were very happy. They consulted Ganesha and the two maidens were married to Ganesha. Karthikeya was unhappy to see the developments when he returned after his trip round the world. The parents
consoled and convinced him and later Prajapati‘ s other daughter, Devasene, was married to him. .
Once Bhagavan Shankar decided to perform a very big yaga. All the Devas had to be invited to this Mahayajna and the two sons were entrusted with this responsibility. The date fixed for the event was near at hand and they did not have enough time. Karthikeya got on his peacock and flew high in the sky. Ganesha sat, closed his eyes and began to
think deeply. In a moment something flashed to him and a gentle smile sailed across his lips. He thought, ‘All the Devas are there in the person of Lord Maheshwara. I am going to invite them, sitting here in my house”.
Deciding to do so, he went round his father, Lord Maheshwara, three times and invited all the Devas. Everyone of them got the invitation well in time and they took part in the Yajna.
The royal couple, Pushtika and Varenya, were performing tapasya with the desire of getting children. As soon as a child was born, unfortunately, a demoness took away the child. A t the same time Ganesha was born as a son to Parvathi and he was called Dhoomraketu. As king Varenya was doing tapasya, meditating on Ganesha, Shiva called
Nandi and said, “Nandi, king Varenya’ s wife, the queen, is in a state of unconsciousness after child birth. The child she has given birth to, has been taken away from her by a Demoness. You take the son of Parvathi and place the
child beside her on her bed.”
Nandi obeyed the Lord. He lifted Ganesha, and carried him to the king’ s palace at the speed of wind. All the hurdles on the way were overcome just by praying to Lord Shiva. He entered queen Pushtike’ s room and placed
Ganesha beside her. He came back and gave the news of what he had done to Parvathi Devi. Shiva and Parvathi were happy and blessed Nandi.
When the queen regained consciousness, she turned to see her child. She saw a strange child whose body was blood red, who had the head of an elephant, a long trunk, huge ears, a big belly and little limbs. He had the Kasturitilakam on his forehead. His body was smeared with sandal paste, he was dressed in yellow silk cloth and wore necklaces of pearls and precious stones. The queen was frightened to even look at the strange child. She got up from bed and ran out. All those who came on hearing about the birth of a strange child got frightened to see it. Some of them fainted
when they looked at the strange figure. The king sent for astrologers and asked them what should be done with the child. The royal astrologers said,” We have neither seen nor heard about the birth of a strange child like this in the human race. We do not think that such an event will ever happen in future This scourge of your clan should not be kept either in the palace or in the city.” The king, his ministers and others gathered there agreed with the astrologers.
The king called a trustworthy servant and said, “caeey this child to a thick jungle, leave it there and come back.” The servant carried the child to a thick jungle. In the middle of it there was a big pond of water. He thought, “There is
no chance of a human entering the forest. A Jot of wild animals will come here to drink water.” Thus, he placed the child under a tree and left the place. He reached the capital and reported to the king what he had done. He said, “Your majesty, as you ordered me, I took the child to the middle of a thick jungle and left it there under a tree near a pond. Some wild animal might carry it away and make a meal of that child.” The righteous king sat with his head down cast. He was really very sad.
A fox happened to see the child as it lay in the middle of the dense forest at the edge of the pond, shaking its limbs in air. The fox was happy thinking that it would have a sumptuous meal that day. It began to ?approach the child slowly. A t the very same time, Sage Parashar chanced to pass that way. He saw the child moving its limbs, looking
absolutely divine. He was surprised at first. He thought how such a cute child could be found in the middle of that thick jungle. He had a doubt whether Devendra had hatched a plot to distract him from his tapasya. Being
righteous by nature, he used to be frightened even to sinful think of sins. He had not committed a single sinful act consciously until then. He folded his hand and prayed to God to protect him.
Sage Parashar went into deep meditation and came to know who the child was. He was supremely happy to know that it was a divine child. He said to himself, “Today I have fulfilled the mission of my birth. I have been granted the fruit of all my Vratas. It is not only me, but my parents, relatives and friends who have been blessed. Even the place where the child is lying, the sky, the blowing wind, this jungle, this lake and everything around this place is blessed. Who could have done this act of cruelty? He must be hard hearted.” So saying, he lifted the child and carried it to his
holy ashram. When his wife Vatsala Devi saw the divine child, she was very happy. She took the child in her arms and kissed it. Parashar’ s ashrama, which had already been made holy by Ganesha’ s presence, now shone brighter
than ever. The trees seemed like the divine Kalpavriksha while the cows appeared like to the heavenly Kamdhenu.
King Varenya came to know that the child he had cast away was growing in the ashrama of Sage Parashar and he was happy. He began to give things in charity so that the child would be blessed by God.
Once the chief among Devas, Devendra, was holding his council. There was one by name Kanchan who was: not observing dignified behavior in the court. Before the court could end, he was in a hurry to go out. While walking out, his foot touched Sage Kamadeva. The Devas and Sages, who were observing his strange behavior, got angry.
Sage Kamadeva, in an angry mood, cursed him saying. “You are impatient like a rat. Therefore may you become a rat.”
Gandharva Kanchan cursed again:
This Kanchan was once wandering about the ashram of Sage Saubhari on the slopes of Mount Sumer. Sage Saubhari went into the forest to collect Smitha: His wife, Manomayli, was engrossed in household work. She was an
exquisitely beautiful woman. Kanchan had been walking about aimlessly. Now his eyes fell on her. Without thinking about the consequences of the action, he rushed into the ashram, held Manomayli by her hand and
began to drag her out.
Manomayli screamed loudly. By then Sage Saubhari reached the ashram and when he saw what was happening, he was very angry. His eyes began to emit fire. He cursed the Gandharva saying, “You wicked fellow, you entered the ashrama like a thief and have behaved in the most disgraceful manner. May you become a rat, move about the earth
stealthily, live like a thief and protect yourself thus!”
Wisdom dawned on Krauncha as he trembled and fell at the feet of the Sage and implored, “O great Sage, be kind to me. I lost my sense and committed this unpardonable sin. I have only touched your wife’s hand. Please pardon me for it.”
The Sage said, “My curse will not go waste. In dwapara yuga, Ganesha will be born as Sage Parashar’s son and you will become his vehicle. You will then be respected by all the Devas.”
As a result of these two curses, Kanchan fell on the ground with a thud near the ashrama of sage Parashara as a big rat. It was as big as a mountain. Its hair and nails were long and sharp like peaks of mountains. Its teeth were frighteningly long and pointed.
The rat began to cause havoc in the ashrama of Sage Parashara. It broke earthen vessels and ate all the food contained in them. It reduced the Sages? clothes into rags. It ate up his books. As the rat was huge, the lashes from
its tail toppled the trees around. Gardens were destroyed. Parashara became sad when he saw all useful things in the ashrama getting destroyed. He found it difficult to tolerate the rat and live there. But where could he go? Where could he find a place where he could sit in peace and perform tapasya, bhajans and prayer? What was the sin which had caused this trouble and destroyed the peace and comfort of the ashrama? How could he save himself from this calamity? Whom could he seek help from?
When Ganesha heard the Sage’s desperate words, he tried to console the Sage and in a pleasing voice he said, “Father, why are you so desperate? I am here to destroy the wicked. Do not worry about anything as long as I am here. As your son, I am ready to do anything that would please you. When I roar the earth will crack. M y foot steps would destroy huge mountains. See what I am going to do now. I am going to make this rat my vehicle.”
Parashara was happy. Immediately Ganesha threw his pasha (rope) at the demon-like rat. Due to the brightness of the pasha, a bright, white light spread itself all over space. Even the Devas were taken aback for a moment. Emitting sparks of fire and spreading a blaze. the divine weapon went round and round, caught the demon-like rat by its neck and began to pull it out of its huge hole. The huge beast got a shock and it was no match to Ganesha’ s pasha, It fainted due to fear and sorrow at its own helplessness. A few moment’s later it regained consciousness. sighing deeply, it wondered ” Where did this divine pasha come from and tie me down? I could break mountains with my sharp teeth. I never used to Rakshasa, ley alone the silly humans. Who is this strong person who has tied me down and is pulling me? We are children of fate. Whatever is destined to happen of fate Whatever is destined to happen will happen.” As it was thinking thus, the pasha pulled the rat out of its hole and dumped it at the feet of Ganesha. When it saw the figure of Ganesha, its arrogance melted and it came to its senses. It placed its head on
Ganesha’ s feet and said, “Bhagavan, pardon me. Show mercy on me.”
Ganesha said, “Oh Mooshaka, you have troubled the Devas and brahmins a little too much. But now, as you have come to me seeking refuge I shall pardon you. Ask for a
boon, I will grant it.”
The rat’ s pride surfaced again and it said, “I do not need anything from you. If you like, ask a boon for yourself and I will grant it.” Ganesha smiled and said, “That’ s fine, be my vehicle”. Now the rat had to keep its word and it agreed to be Ganesha’ s vehicle. Immediately Ganesha sat on it. The mountain sized rat could not bear his weight and it screamed! It thought that its bones would be crushed and its entire body would be reduced to a lump of flesh. With great difficulty and in great fear, the rat said, “Hey Bhagavan, kindly pardon my mistakes. I do not have the strength to carry you. Please become lighter.”
Ganesha then became lighter so that the rat could carry him. Sage Parashar was struck with wonder. He said, ‘What a wonder! How could he catch the rat, which tore mountains to pieces with its roar, so easily and make it his vehicle? I am really blessed for having got him 1 as my son.? He blessed Ganesha heartily. . Mother Vatsala took Ganesha on her lap, showered on him a thousand kisses and said, “I do not know your real worth and your exploits, but one thing is certain, you are born as my son as a result of the ‘ puny’ which | have earned over several births.” Later Ganesha killed a wicked Demon called Sindharasura and saved the world from the troubles he used to cause and brought back
Once Ganesha was travelling sitting on his vehicle, Mooshaka. Chandra saw him and laughed loudly. Yes, Ganesha looked odd-he had the head of an elephant, a big belly, a big snake tied round his stomach, short hands and legs, his vehicle, a small rat! “What a strange figure!” said Chandra and laughed loudly. No doubt Chandra was handsome, but to think that there” s no one equal to you, to be proud of oneself, is not desirable. To laugh at others, to look down upon others or to hurt someone’ s feelings – all these are big mistakes. Ganesha became angry at Chandra’ s arrogance. He said, “Chandra, you are too proud of your beauty. That may be right. You think low of others and that is not right, especially for one occupying an exalted position as you do. You must be punished for it. On this day may you be unworthy of being looked at by anyone! May the ones who look at you become sinners!”
Chandra lost his luster as a result of Ganesha’ s curse. Even the Devas became worried. They came to Ganesha along with Chandra and begged pardon of him. Chandra begged Ganesha to pardon him for his arrogant behavior. Ganesha said, “Let Chandra remain unseen for a year, six months and three months.”
The Devas begged Ganesha to relent further. Then Ganesha said, “Anyone who looks at Chandra knowingly or unknowing on the fourth day of the brighter half of the month of Bhadrapada will be put to trouble. But those who perform a vrata on the fourth day of the darker half of every month, should certainly see you on that day. if they do not see Chandra on that day, their vrata will remain incomplete and they would not get the desired fruit.”
Writer of the Mahabharata
Brahmarshi Vedavyasa, son of sage Parashar who composed the Mahabharata, which is considered to be the fifth Veda, was wondering how to teach the holy epic to this disciples and make it popular among the people of the world. When Brahmadeva came to know about it, he came to the former’s ashram in order to console him and for the good of the world. Vyasa, who was pleasantly surprised to see the originator of the Veda, Lord Brahma, in his ashram, stood up. he prostrated before the lord, offered him a holy seat and paid his respects to the great guru by offering him aroha, padya and other things. then with hands folded, he stood before him. vyasa was supremely happy at the darshan of the lord. on being instructed by the lord, vyasa sat on a seat and said with great humility. “Bhagavan, i have composed an epic which would be sacred in all the three worlds. i have tried to put in the essence of the Vedas and other holy books on shastras.. Not just that, one can find the epitomized form of vendanges and Upanishads in it it also contains everything useful to human life long with detailed descriptions and explanations. but i have a problem. i have it in my mind and i am looking for a scribe who can write it down as i recite it. so far i have not found one.”
Bhagavan Brahmadeva praised the work composed by Vedavyasa and said, “O great Sage, think of lord Ganesha for writing it down.” so saying Brahmadeva vanished.
then the sage prayed to Ganesha in his heart. no sooner did the sage do so, than Ganesha appeared before the sage . the sage welcomed Ganesha with all love, and respect and devotion. Ganesha then sat on a holy seat and Vedavyasa spoke with great reverence: “Gananayakaa, I would like you to become the scribe of the great epic, the Mahabharata. I have composed the epic completely in my mind. while i narrate it, you have to go on writing it down. ”
on hearing the sage, Ganesh said, “O holy sage, you have to go on dictating in such a way that my pen should not stop. Only on that condition i shall agree to become the scribe.” Vedavyasa said, “So be it, but when you write, you should understand everything in it. Nothing should be written without understanding.”
Ganesha, who was wisdom incarnate, agreed to do so and the work began. Asa result of Ganesa’s blessings, the world has got an invaluable gift, the great epic, Mahabharata