Loving Ganesha

Brahma’s Initiation

After dissolution of the Universe, Brahma, drifting in the primordial waters that preceded creation, came across Ganesha sitting in a lone banyan tree that remained. Ganesha touched Brahma’s head and initiated him into the mantra ‘Om’. Brahma prayed before Ganesha who bestowed upon him the knowledge to create the universe, in return for which he gave Ganesha his two wives, representative of prudence and prosperity.

~The Book of Ganesha

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Surrender

All talk of surrender is like stealing sugar from a sugar image of Ganesha and then offering it to the same Ganesha. You say that you offer up your body and soul and all your possessions to God, but were they yours to offer?

At best you can say, ‘I wrongly imagined till now that all these, which are Yours, were mine. Now I realize that they are Yours and shall no longer act as though they were mine’. And this knowledge that there is nothing but God or Self, that ‘I’ and ‘mine’ do not exist and that only the Self exists is jnana. It is enough that one surrenders oneself.

~Ramana Maharshi, as quoted in Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi in His Own Words (1996).

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How Ganesha Became Known As God of Beginnings


Once, Ganesha was guarding the swargalok while everyone had left to attend Lord Vishnu’s wedding. When Narad Muni saw Ganesha alone, he told him that he was not invited because he was fat and ate too much. This made Ganesha angry, who sent his mouse and asked them to dig the soil from inside and make it hollow on the way from where the marriage procession was going to pass. The army of mice dug the soil and the wheels of the chariots got stuck.

None of the gods were able to pull out the wheel so they asked for help from a man passing by. He came and took Lord Ganesha’s name and there came the wheels out! When the gods asked why he prayed to Lord Ganesha, the farmer told them that he’s the god of beginnings who removes all the hurdles. On hearing this, the gods went back to Lord Ganesha and apologized for their behavior.

Source

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How a Mouse Became Ganesha’s Vehicle


Gajmukhasur was a demon who was a devotee of Lord Shiva. He prayed and asked Shiva for a boon that no god or human would be able to harm him. Being benevolent, Shiva granted it to him but warned him against its misuse. But Gajmukhasar, being a demon, began killing people and destroying their homes. Seeing this, Shiva sent Ganesha to control him, who then turned Gajmukhasur into a mouse. And that’s how the mouse became Ganesha’s vehicle.

Source

 

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The Story Of The Sweet Kheer

Ganesha once entered a village in the form of a boy, holding rice in one hand and milk in the other. He began asking for help to make some kheer but everybody was busy.

He reached a poor woman’s hut who agreed to make the kheer for him. As she mixed it together and set the pot to cook, she fell asleep and the boy went out to play. On waking up, she realized the kheer had cooked and was extremely delicious.

She was too hungry and couldn’t resist it. But before eating the kheer, she took out some of it in a bowl and offered it to the Ganesha idol and then began eating the kheer. No matter how much she ate, the pot never emptied. When the boy returned, the woman gave him the entire pot and confessed that she ate before him because she was hungry. The boy replied saying he ate it too when she offered the bowl to the Ganesha idol. The woman began crying at his feet and Ganesha blessed her with wealth and health.

Moral

Before taking care of your own needs, make sure to worship God and keep something aside for others as well.

From: First Cry Parenting

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The Story of The Lunar Curse

This story follows right after the proceedings of Kubera’s dinner.

After eating to his will, Ganesha’s stomach had become terribly large and he got a pot belly. Walking around with it became difficult for him and as he moved, he ended up losing his balance and stumbled and fell down. The moon, who was watching all of this, began laughing at Ganesha’s predicament.

Seeing moon humiliate him, Ganesha cursed the moon, making it completely invisible. The moon, realizing its mistake, began pleading to Ganesha for forgiveness. Relenting to his incessant apologies, Ganesha then decided to set in a cycle where the moon appeared and disappear every 15 days.

Moral

One should never laugh at somebody else’s problems or deformities. This is impolite and is not a sign of good behavior.

From: First Cry Parenting

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The Story Of Ganesha’s Single Tusk

There are many versions that explain this but this Bal Ganesh story does it best.

As legend has it, Mahabharata is Ved Vyas’ creation but it is said to be written by Lord Ganesha himself. Ved Vyas approached Ganesha so that he could transcribe the epic story as he narrated it to him. The condition was that Vyas had to narrate it without break and Ganesha would write it in a single go.

As they progressed in writing the story, there came a point where the quill that Ganesha was using to write it down broke and he had no other quills with him at that moment. Ved Vyas could not stop narrating the story since the condition was already set in stone for him. Without wasting any time, Ganesha quickly broke off one of his own tusks and fashioned it into a pen, using it to continue writing the epic without interruption. This allowed the epic to become a holy one and Ganesha and Vyas ended up completing it together.

Moral

This story of Ganesha shows very clearly how necessary it is to be disciplined and determined to complete a task once you have accepted to complete it, no matter what happens. A personal sacrifice might also be necessary to complete something epic.

From: First Cry Parenting

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The Story Of Kaveri’s Creation

It begins with the wish of a sage called Agastya who wished to create a river that would benefit the people staying in the southern lands. The Gods heeded his wish and presented him with a small bowl containing water. Wherever he would pour the bowl, the river would originate from there.

Agastya decided to create the origin beyond the mountains of Coorg and proceeded to travel there. On the journey, he got tired and began looking for a place to take some rest. Just then, he came across a small boy who was standing alone. He requested him to hold the pot of water while he went and relieved himself. The boy was Ganesha himself. He knew what the pot of water was for and realized that the location he was at was perfect for the river. So he set the pot down.

When Agastya came back, he saw the pot on the ground and a crow attempting to drink water from it. He shooed away the crow, who flew away but not before tipping the pot on the ground. This resulted in the river originating from that place itself, which is now called the Kaveri river.

Moral

Sometimes, things may not always work out in the way we wish them to. Nevertheless, what happens does happen for a good reason.

From: First Cry Parenting

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Victory to Ganesha, who when dancing makes a shower of stars fall like a rain of flowers from the sky by the movement of his trunk.  ~Somadeva

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