Another legend accounting for Ganesha' s elephant-head is that one-day Parvati,
proud of the handsome face of her son, asked Shani (Saturn) to have a look at
the child. She completely forgot about the disastrous effects of Shani's glance.
When Shani looked, the child's head was burnt to ashes. Brahma (the creator of
the universe) advised Parvati in distress to replace the head with the first
she could find and the child would come to life. The first one to be found was
an elephant, and this way Ganesha acquired the head of an elephant.
|VIGNESHWARA - CONTROLLER
Another myth is that once Shiva slew Aditya, the son of a sage, though later
restored him to life again. At this outrage, Kashyap, one of the seven great
Rishis, doomed Shiva's son to lose his head. When he did lose it, the head of
lndra's elephant was used to replace it. Still another version states that on
one occasion after Parvati had bathed the water was thrown into the Ganges and
drunk by the elephant -headed goddess Malini who gave birth to a baby with four
arms and five elephant heads. The river-goddess Ganga claimed him, but Shiva
declared him to be Parvati's son, reduced his five heads to one and enthroned
him as the 'Controller of obstacles' (Vigneshwara).
There are innumerable legends about Ganesha. Some of the interesting legends
are regarding his marriage, his solitary tusk, humbling of TALASURA (an ASURA),
his hand in writing the epic Mahabharata, his curse on the moon and many others.
Shanmukha and Ganesha, the sons of Shiva and Parvati, grew up. The parents were
thinking of celebrating the marriage of their sons. One day they said to sons: "Boys,
you should go the round world once. We shall celebrate the marriage of who first
completes. Do you agree?" The sons agreed.
|VINAYAKA - THE PROMINENT LEADER
Shanmukha wanted to win. So at once he started on his vehicle, the peacock, at
great speed to win the competition. But the huge-bellied Ganesha found the task
quite difficult. But he, too, wished to win. He thought for a moment. An idea
struck him. At once he went and had a bath. Then, he went round his parents seven
times with the utmost devotion and bowed to them.
Shiva and Parvati were amazed at his behavior. They looked at each other, smiling.
Then Shiva called Ganesha and asked, "Ganesha, won't you start on your journey?"
Ganesha was very intelligent. He said, "Father, all the worlds are within
you two. The Vedas and the Puranas are the authority for this. By going around
both of you I have completed the task of going round the world. Thus, I have
Ganesha's words were true. Shiva and Parvati were very happy that he was so shrewd
and intelligent. They celebrated Ganesha's marriage with
Siddhi (success) and Buddhi (knowledge), the two beautiful daughters of Vishwabrahma.
It is said in some stories that Ganesha had two sons, Kshema and Labha. One who pleases the
Lord automatically comes in the good books of his two wives.