Hindu mythology believes to have 33 crore Gods and Goddesses! Different people and castes worship different deities. But, there is one amongst these millions who is always worshipped before others, and he is Lord Ganesha. He is considered to be the Lord of removing obstacles and bringing auspicious fortunes into the lives of his devotees. He is the Lord who is known by every Hindu and loved by all. The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with immense joy and enthusiasm not only in India, but by Hindus present all across the globe.
Lord Ganesha is always seen to be in his cute and cuddly form with an elephant head, a long trunk, two large ears, and a big round belly. He is seen riding a mouse, which is considered his ‘vaahan
’, and is always seen with his favourite modak
. While all the other attributes he possesses can be understood, the one unique element that cannot be empathized with is his elephant head. Why is he seen with a human body and an elephant head? Hindu mythology explains why Lord Ganesha bears an elephant head and why he is the first Lord worshipped before commencing any Puja.
The story behind Lord Ganesha’s elephant head
It was when Lord Shiva was away for meditation and his consort, Goddess Parvati, was left alone in Mount Kailash. While going to bathe, Goddess Parvati wanted someone to guard the door as Nandi was not at Mount Kailash. So, she scrubbed the dirt and oil of her skin and created a young human form figure, and breathed life into him. She asked him to guard the door and not let anyone in until she finished her bath.
In the meantime, Lord Shiva returned home and found this young child at the door, who stopped him from going in. Lord Shiva was surprised and reasoned with the child that he was Goddess Parvati’s husband and had every right to go within his home. However, the child, being very loyal to the Goddess, did not let Lord Shiva in, saying that he was only performing his duty. Furious with rage, Lord Shiva beheaded the boy with his trident, thus killing him instantly.
When Goddess Parvati learned of this, she was so enraged that she vowed to destroy the entire creation. Upon Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma trying to calm her down, she agreed to reconsider her plan on two conditions. Her first condition was that the boy should be brought back to life, and second being that he should be prayed forever before every other God. They agreed and Lord Shiva sent his clan to bring back the head of the first creature lying with his head facing North. His clan returned with the head of a young elephant, which was placed by Lord Shiva on the body of the boy, who was then brought back to life. He then announced the boy to be the leader of all Ganas
(tribes and classes), which brought him the name ‘Ganpati’. Lord Brahma blessed him to be worshipped before commencing any Puja for removing obstacles and bringing luck.
This story thus depicts why Lord Ganesha has his elephant head and why he is the first God to be worshipped amongst all. This is why Lord Ganesha is prayed to at the beginning of every Puja. For any kind of festival, personal event, company event, problem solving and custom Pujas to be done, you can get in touch with MakeMyPuja Pandits to help you get the most appropriate Puja done, without failing to worship Lord Ganesha so that your Puja is done without any glitches and the objective of your Puja is accomplished fruitfully.