According to the Hindu mythology and religious beliefs Lord Ganesha symbolises good luck and wisdom. This is why he is worshipped first before starting any good work. On the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi, people bring the idols of Lord Ganesha home to take the blessings in the form of good luck, intelligence, prosperity and good health. They perform the pooja, observe fast and say thanks by paying homage and celebrating Lord Ganesha coming to their place. People eagerly wait for this occasion the whole year so that they can be present at the service of Lord Ganesha and apologise for the mistakes which they have committed. They also make promises to follow the path of honesty and kindness and to serve the mankind. There are various legends related to the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi and people have great belief on these religious stories. Read to know more about the legends of Ganesh Chaturthi.
Legends Of Ganesh Chaturthi
Birth Of Lord Ganesha
One day when Goddess Parvati was taking bath she made a boy from the dough she used for her bath and put life into it. This is how Ganesha was born and she told him to stand on the main doorway of the house. Then, there came Lord Shiva and while going in the house he was stopped on the gate by Ganesha on orders of her mother. Lord Shiva became very angry and cut off Ganesha's head with his trident. When Goddess Parvati came out and saw all this, she, in her anger, asked Lord Shiva to make her son alive or to see her destroying the world. Lord Shiva then went to the earth with Lord Vishnu and took the head of the very first living being to fix it on the body of Ganesha. It was the head of an elephant. After this, Lord Shiva apologised and declared that Lord Ganesha will be worshipped before all the gods and goddesses.
Leader Of The Gods
One day Lord Shiva and other gods decided to choose their leader from Ganesha and Kartikeya, and for this, a race was held between the two brothers. It is said that whoever took seven rounds of the earth first would be made the Ganadhipati or the leader of the gods. The race started and Kartikeya sat on his vehicle, peacock and Ganesha sat on his vehicle, rat. Kartikeya went to complete the seven rounds but then Ganesha realised that it was not easy task for him as his vehicle was a small rat. So, he with his intelligence took seven rounds of his parents, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, and paid obeisance to them. He said that, "my parents pervade the whole universe and going around them is more than going round the earth." All the Gods and Goddesses were surprised to listen the logic of Lord Ganesha and to see his knowledge. Thus, Ganesha completed the race first and came to be popularly known as the Ganadhipati or the leader, which is now referred to as Ganapati.
Ganesha And Single Tusk
This legend is related to the symbolic snake, rat and the single tusk. On one of Lord Ganesha's birthdays, his mother Goddess Parvati prepared 21 types of delicacies and sweet porridge in large amount. He ate so much of it that his big pot-shaped belly could not contain it. He, then on his vehicle, rat, went on his nightly rounds but all of a sudden his mouse stumbled to see a big snake. Lord Ganesha fell down and the entire food came out as his pot-shaped belly burst and then, he put that snake as a belt around his belly. Seeing this, the moon started laughing and this made Lord Ganesha very angry. He then broke off one of his tusks and threw it at the moon. He then cursed the moon that whoever looks at it on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi will be accused of doing wrong. It is why looking at the moon on the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is considered inauspicious.
Shiva And Gajasura
There was a demon (asura) called Gajasura who had all the characteristics of an elephant. He went into penance to please Lord Shiva and became successful in doing so. When Lord Shiva asked his wish, the demon said that he could emanate fire from his body continuously so that no one can come close to him. Lord Shiva granted his wish then again he continued his penance and again Lord Shiva came and asked his wish. This time the demon said, "I desire that you inhabit my stomach." This wish was also granted by Lord Shiva and he resided in the stomach of the demon. Later, when Goddess Parvati could not find her husband, Lord Shiva, she asked Lord Vishnu to find him instead. Lord Vishnu knew everything and this why he reassured her and said, "Don't worry, dear sister, your husband is Bhola Shankara and promptly grants to his devotees whatever they ask of him, without regard for the consequences; for this reason, I think he has put himself into some trouble. I will find out what has happened." Then, Lord Vishnu changed Nandi (the bull of Shiva) into a dancing bull and conducted him before Gajasura and changed himself into a flutist. The pleasing performance of the bull sent the demon into ecstasies and he got impressed. He then asked the flutist his demand, then Lord Vishnu as the flutist said that whatever he will ask for whether the demon will give or not. Gajasura told yes and then the flutist asked to take out Lord Shiva from his stomach. The demon quickly understood that the flutist was no other than Lord Vishnu. He freed Lord Shiva and asked for his last gift and said, "I have been blessed by you with many gifts; my last request is that everyone remembers me adoring my head when I am dead." To fulfil this last wish of Gajasura, Lord Shiva brought his son at that place and replaced his head with that of Gajasura.