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Ganesha Home -› Hindu Trinity -› The Destroyer -› Ganesha
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Ekadanta - the one with solitary tusk
Ganesha - The Ekadanta:
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 story:

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.
Ganesha - gajamuka - the elephant face
Talasura 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 and splendor.

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?"

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