Ganesha - The Ekadanta:
|EKADANTA - THE ONE WITH
The mythical explanations of Ganesha' s solitary tusk (EKADANTA) also make an
interesting study. The most popular legend represents Parashurama (incarnation
of Vishnu with an axe as his weapon) as once coming to Mount Kailasa, the abode
of Shiva, the father of Ganesha. He was on a friendly visit to Shiva, who was
sound asleep at the time. Ganesha opposed the entrance of the visitor to the
inner apartments. A hot worded wrangle ensued, which culminated in a fight. Initially
Ganesha had the advantage in the duel. He seized Parashurama with his trunk and
gave him a swift twirl, which left him sick and senseless. After recovering,
Parashurama threw his axe at Ganesha. As it happened Shiva gave this axe to Parashurama
as a gift, recognizing this as his own father's weapon, Ganesha received it with
all humility on one of his tusks, which was immediately severed. Hence Ganesha
has but one tusk and is known as the single-tusked. The other story is that on
one occasion, the moon and the twenty-seven asterisms (naksatras) laughed at
Ganesha's potbelly. In great rage he broke off one of his tusks and threw it
at the moon, which gradually became dark due to the wound.
Ganesha and Talasura:
The Asuras (demons) used to trouble the gods often. Some of them used to grow
strong by obtaining boons from Lord Vishnu or Lord Shiva or Lord Brahma after
doing severe tapas (intense meditation and prayer). And because of the boons
they used to become arrogant. They used to delight in torturing men and gods.
Talasura was one such wicked asura. One day Ganesha humbled him. Here is the
Talasura was the King of Ramanaka. He was very strong but wicked. He was a haughty
and obstinate asura. The gods shivered at the very mention of his name.
had an eye on Devendra (Indra), the king of the gods for a long time. His greatest
desire was to defeat Devendra in the battle and become the Lord of all his wealth
|GAJAMUKA - THE ELEPHANT FACE
Indra's assembly was in progress. The hall was filled with melodious music and
lovely nymphs were dancing. Indra and the other gods had forgotten themselves
in the music and the dance. Seizing this opportunity Talasura ordered his demon
force to enter heaven, and attacked Indra's palace. This unexpected attack caused
great confusion in the assembly of the gods. They were totally unprepared for
war. In the end, Talasura won the battle. The defeated Devendra and the other
gods ran away like deer at the sight of the hunters. After the battle Talasura
became the master of all the wealth of the gods. He became Lord of Kalpavriksha
(the tree that fulfils all desires), Kamadhenu (the divine cow which can give
whatever a man seeks), Airavata (the white elephant of Indra), and many other
unique treasures. Devendra lost everything and became miserable. He went into
hiding lest Talasura should see him - he was so terrified. He also began to plan
how to regain his wealth and kingdom from the wicked asura.
Once Talasura performed strict tapas because he wished to get boons from Brahma.
Brahma appreciated his devotion. He appeared before him and said, "Talasura,
I am pleased with your devotion. You can ask whatever you want." Talasura
said, "Lord, grant that I may not be feared by any body." Brahma thought
for a while and said, "How can I grant such an absolute boon? You have to
fear some species of living beings. Remember this and ask for a boon. There are
four species - the gods, human beings, animals and birds. Whom would you fear?"