Who Is Lord Ganesha

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वक्रतुण्ड महाकाय सूर्यकोटि समप्रभ 

निर्विघ्नं कुरु मे देव सर्वकार्येषु सर्वदा 

Vakra-Tunndda Maha-Kaaya Suurya-Kotti Samaprabha |
Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryessu Sarvadaa ||

Meaning:
1: O Lord Ganesha, of Curved Trunk, Large Body, and with the Brilliance of a Million Suns,
2: Please Make All my Works Free of Obstacles, Always.

Ganesha, The Lord of Beginnings, The Remover of Obstacles and Vakratunda. He is most identified because of Elephant head and is one of the most popular deities in Hindu Mythology.

Legend says, one day Goddess Parvati was at home on Mt.Kailash preparing for a bath and had instructed Nandi, her husband Shiva’s Bull, to let no one pass. But, when Shiva came home and wished to go inside ,Nandi had to let him pass .Parvati got furious about this,but more than this , she was frustrated at the fact that she had no one as loyal to Herself as Nandi was to Shiva. So, taking the turmeric paste (for bathing) from her body and breathing life into it, she created Ganesha, declaring him to be her own loyal son.

The next time Parvati wished to bathe, she posted Ganesha on guard at the door. In due course, Shiva came home, only to find this strange boy telling him he couldn’t enter his own house! Outraged by this , Shiva ordered his army to destroy the boy, but they all failed!

Seeing that this was no ordinary boy, the usually peaceful Shiva decided he would have to fight him, and in his divine fury severed Ganesha’s head, killing him instantly. When Parvati found this out, she was so outraged that she decided to destroy the entire Creation! Lord Brahma, being the Creator, naturally was worried, and pleaded that she reconsider her disastrous plan. She did agree for it but only if two conditions were met: one, that Ganesha is brought back to life, and two, that he be forever worshiped before all the other gods.

Shiva on realizing his mistake agreed to Parvati’s conditions. He sent Brahma out with orders to bring back the head of the first creature he crosses that is laying with its head facing North. He soon returned with the head of a strong and powerful elephant, which Shiva placed onto Ganesha’s body. Breathing new life into him, he declared Ganesha to be his own son as well and gave him the status of being foremost among the gods, and leader of all the games (classes of beings), Ganapati.

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