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Why Is Ganesha The Way He Is

The birth story of Ganesha, our dear Lord of knowledge and obstacles, is a well-known narrative in Hindu Puranas. The story varies slightly across different texts and traditions, but the general narrative remains consistent. Here's a detailed account of the birth of Ganesha:

References to the Birth Story of Ganesha:

  1. "Shiva Purana" - This ancient Hindu scripture contains various stories about Lord Shiva, including the birth of Ganesha.

  2. "Skanda Purana" - Another important text that includes stories about Ganesha's birth.

  3. "Brahmanda Purana" - A sacred text that also provides insights into Hindu mythology and the stories related to Ganesha.

  4. "Ganesha Purana" - A scripture solely dedicated to Lord Ganesha, which elaborates on his birth and other aspects of his life.

The Birth of Ganesha:

The story of Ganesha's birth begins with the goddess Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva. One day, Parvati decided to create a son from the dirt and oils that she used for bathing. She shaped a figurine of a young boy and breathed life into it. This boy was Ganesha. Parvati loved Ganesha dearly and considered him to be her own child. She asked him to guard the entrance to her chambers while she took a bath. Ganesha, devoted to his mother's command, stood guard with great dedication.

Lord Ganesha serving mothers order

Meanwhile, Lord Shiva, who was not aware of Parvati's creation, returned to his abode. He was surprised to find a young boy guarding the entrance and preventing him from entering. Not recognizing Ganesha as his own son, Shiva grew angry and demanded entry.

Ganesha, unaware of Shiva's identity, refused to let him enter, resulting in a fierce battle of words between them. The confrontation escalated, and Shiva, in his fury, beheaded Ganesha with his trident (trishul).

Lord Ganesha regains his life

When Parvati emerged from her bath and saw the lifeless form of her beloved son, she was filled with immense grief and anger. She revealed the truth to Shiva, explaining that Ganesha was their son. Overwhelmed by guilt and sorrow, Shiva realized the gravity of his actions.

In order to console Parvati and rectify his mistake, Lord Shiva promised to bring Ganesha back to life. He sent his followers, the ganas, to find the head of the first living being they encountered. The ganas found an elephant and brought back its head.

The Elephant-headed-Lord

Shiva then attached the elephant's head to Ganesha's body, resurrecting him and granting him a unique form – that of a deity with an elephant's head. Shiva also declared Ganesha to be his own son and granted him the status of being a revered deity who would be worshiped before the commencement of any important endeavor.

The learnings

This story of Ganesha's birth and the events surrounding it symbolize various aspects of Hindu philosophy, including the concepts of devotion, the cyclical nature of life and death, and the ultimate realization of divine truths.

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