Talasura thought over the question of Brahma. Then he said to him, "Father,
my desire is to rule over gods and men with pride of power. Therefore I should
not have fear of death from them. But let me fear the elephant, the strongest
of animals." Brahma granted the boon and disappeared.
|GAJA VADANA - THE ELEPHANT
Talasura was already a wicked fellow. Once he secured the boon from Brahma his
arrogance knew no limits. Indra and the gods were in hiding. He began to search
for them and to torture those whom he found.
One day Devendra, who could no longer bear the torture of Talasura, went to Brahma
along with other gods. He explained to him the injustice and wicked deeds of
Talasura. He begged Brahma to show a way to destroy Talasura.
Brahma said, "Devendra, that wicked asura has grown strong because of my
boon. No one can overcome him except an elephant. If you approach Shiva, he can
help you through his son Ganesha. Ganesha can easily subdue that asura as he
has the head of an elephant."
Accordingly Devendra went to Kailasa. He explained the havoc caused by Talasura
and the suggestion of Brahma. He prayed, "Lord Parameshwara, please save
us from this trouble soon."
Shiva was moved at the plight of Indra and other gods. Immediately he called
Ganesha and said, "Ganesha, go at once to the city of Ramanaka and conquer
Talasura, the wicked enemy of the gods."
Ganesha was all-powerful and the enemy of the Asuras. So, as his father had commanded,
he rushed to Ramanaka. He destroyed all the wealth of Talasura.
He smashed his
huge army. He challenged Talasura and waged a fierce fight with him. The great
warrior Talasura also fought with great valor. However, he could do nothing against
Ganesha. In the end, Ganesha lifted him bodily in his trunk and dashed him to
the ground. The fierce blow made Talasura unconscious, and he vomited blood.
When he regained consciousness he saw the angry Ganesha before him, with the
shining Parighayudha in his hand. Talasura looked at him for a moment, his eyes
filled with fear. Then he remembered that, according to the boon granted by Brahma,
his life could be in danger from an elephant. At once his arrogance and strength
melted away like butter melting before fire. He caught hold of the feet of the
elephant faced Ganesha and begged him for mercy, "Vighneshwara, please excuse
me and spare my life."
|VIGNESHWARA - THE REMOVER OF OBSTACLES
Ganapati is as kind as he is strong. He said to Talasura, "Talas you were
proud of your strength Brahma's boon. You troubled all. You drove away Indra
from the heaven. Only if you are going to learn lesson will I pardon you and
Talasura replied, "Vinayaka, I have done wrong. I will not trouble the gods.
You have taught me a lesson. The pride that I am the strongest has now vanished.
Pardon me." The kind Ganesha forgave him.
Ganesha is known as Vigneshwara because the devotees believe that Ganesha roots
out obstacles and difficulties. There are many stories, which narrate how he
saved even the gods.