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Ganesha Home -› Hindu Trinity -› The Destroyer -› Ganesha
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Vigneshwara - controller of obstacles
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.

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.

Ganesha's Marriage:
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.
Ganesha - 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 defeated Shanmukha."

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.

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