Hindu deities are seldom depicted without their particular ‘vahana’ (vehicles) on which they travel. These vahanas are either animals or birds and symbolises the various forced they ride. Lord Shiva’s vahana ‘Nandi’ represents strength and virility, Goddess Saraswati’s vahana ‘Hamsa’ represents wisdom, grace, and beauty. Shani’s vahana are vulture, raven or crow that represses thieving tendencies. While Lord Ganesha’s vahana is a mouse which symbolises crushing useless thoughts. Have you ever wondered why the elephant god rides on a tiny mouse? Well, there’s a story behind it. Read on to know.
The mention of the mouse as Ganesha’s mount appears first in the Matsya Purana and later in the Brahmananda Purana and Ganesha Purana. According to Ganesha Purana, there was a celestial musician-god named Krauncha. He accidentally stepped on the foot of Muni Vamadeva who cursed him to become a mouse. However, after he recovered his temper he promised Krauncha that one day the gods themselves would bow down before him. The giant mouse damaged everything that came in its path. The prophecy was fulfilled when the mouse became the vahana of Ganesha.
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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’ 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.