Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayak Chaturthi, is celebrated in honour of Lord Ganesha with much fervour across the globe, especially in India. He is known as the God of beginnings and is believed to be the remover of obstacles. The festival starts on the fourth day of Hindu lunisolar calendar month Bhadrapada, which falls in the month of August or September of the Gregorian calendar. In 2018, Ganesh Chaturthi falls on September 13. In Maharashtra, the festival is celebrated with much fervour for 10-days. With the ongoing Ganeshotsav, here’s looking at some of the interesting short stories of Lord Ganesha.
Parvati molded Ganesha from the turmeric paste
There are many stories that revolve around the birth of Lord Ganesha, one of the most popular is that Parvati molded Ganesha from the turmeric paste she used to clear her body with. According to the story, once Parvati asked Nandi to guard the door when she went to bath. But he being Lord Shiva’s faithful allowed him to enter. With this incident, she lost faith in everyone and hence she collected the turmeric paste that she used to clear her body and molded it into Ganesha.
Why he is called the god of wisdom
Once Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati threw a challenge to both their sons – Ganesha and Kartikeya – to take three rounds of the universe and come back. The one who completes the challenge first will be awarded the ‘fruit of knowledge’. Kartikeya took his vahana peacock and flew away. While Ganesha took three pradakshina (circumambulation) around his parents and explained to them that for him the whole universe lies in their feet. His answer impressed Shiva and Parvati and hence the fruit was awarded to him.
When the moon had to face Ganesha’s wrath
According to mythology, on the fourth day (Chaturthi) of the Bhadrapad month, Lord Ganesha was returning home with the mouse, moon god Chandra began to laugh aloud and commented on his belly and the tiny mouse. In order to teach the moon a lesson, Lord Ganesha cursed him that no light would ever fall on him. Thus, the moon disappeared into the skies. The moon and other gods sought pardon and Lord acceded. However, once a curse is pronounced it cannot be taken back completely. It can only be reduced. So Lord Ganesha reduced his curse and said that whoever sees the moon on the day, the fourth day of the Hindu month Bhadrapada would be cursed with Mithya Dosha.
How a mouse became Ganesha’s vehicle
Once, when Lord Ganesha was invited to Maharishi Parashar’s ashrama. Krauncha ended up stepping on the ashram and destroyed it. Lord Ganesha decided to meet the giant mouse and teach him a lesson. He unleashed one of his weapons called ‘pasha’ (noose) which ended up looping around Krauncha’s neck and brought him to Ganesha’s feet. Kroncha asked for forgiveness and asked Ganesha to accept him as his vehicle. However, Krauncha couldn’t bear the weight of Lord Ganesha and he requested him to become light-weight which is bearable. Since then the mouse is the vehicle of Lord Ganesha.