Famous Stories of Lord Ganesha

Lord Ganesha, who is the offspring of Lord Shiv and Goddess Parvati, is a unique combination of four different creatures- a man, elephant, mouse, and snake. He is often depicted with a big belly, the face of an elephant, four hands, and a mouse as his vehicle. In his hands, he carries a rope to guide worshipers towards truth, an axe to cut away their wrong attachments, and a ladoo to reward their devotion. Lord Ganesha is a widely worshipped deity and there exist numerous fascinating stories about him. A few of the well-known tales about Ganesha are detailed below.

The Birth of Ganesha

Birth of Ganesha

Birth of Ganesha

Goddess Parvati She desired to have a bath, but required someone to guard the entrance until she finished. In order to do so, she used sandalwood paste to shape a boy, and gave him life to stand guard. When Lord Shiva returned and was denied entry by the boy (who was unknowingly his son), he became enraged and killed the boy by decapitation. Parvati, upon discovering her son’s decapitated body, was filled with fury and threatened to destroy all of creation unless her son was brought back to life. So, Shiva agreed to bring the boy back to life. Nandi, the Bull creatures) and made him the leader of the Ganas, a group of beings who were devoted to Shiva. Nandi was happy to have helped Shiva in his task and from that day onward, he became the primary follower of Ganapati. In order to complete a task assigned by Shiva, Nandi was instructed to fetch the head of the first animal he encounters. During his search, Nandi came across an elephant and took its head to Shiva, who then attached it to his son’s body and named him Ganapati. Ganapati was appointed as the leader of the Ganas, a group of beings dedicated to Shiva. Nandi was pleased to have assisted Shiva in this mission, and as a result, he became the most loyal follower of Ganapati. ganas …and granted him a blessing that he would be revered above all other deities at the start of any ritual or ceremony.

Ganesha and the Moon

Ganesha had a strong liking for sweets and his followers would always present him with sweets to make him happy. One day, a devotee offered him an abundance of sweets which made him feel content. After eating to his fill, Ganesha took the remaining sweets with him on his vehicle, a small mouse. As they were making their way back home, the mouse could not bear the weight of Ganesha, causing him and the sweets to tumble. Ashamed, Ganesha picked up the sweets and checked if anyone had witnessed his fall. The moon had seen everything and couldn’t help but laugh at the sight. This made Ganesha irritated and he cursed the moon that anyone who looked at it on Chaturthi would be blamed wrongly. The moon saw his mistake and begged for forgiveness, which Ganesha finally granted. While he couldn’t completely remove the curse, he decided to reduce its impact. Anyone who saw the moon during Chaturthi would not be completely affected by the curse. Ganesh Chaturthi One way to atone for their mistakes was to gaze at the moon during the second day of the fortnight while also hearing tales about Krishna or the Syamantaka gem.

Lord Ganesha and Murugan

Ganesha Stories - Ganesha and Murugan

The demi-gods had a dispute over which of Shiva and Parvati’s sons was the most knowledgeable. They sought an answer from Lord Brahma, who was unable to provide a solution. He then instructed his son Narad to find the answer through his wit and cleverness. Narad presented Shiva and Parvati with a golden Mango, promising the recipient immortality and supreme wisdom. Shiva and Parvati couldn’t decide who was more deserving of the fruit, so they held a race to determine the winner. The first son to circle the world three times and return would receive the Mango. Lord Murugan He swiftly mounted his peacock and departed with certainty that he would come out victorious. He was confident because Ganesha rode on a slow mouse due to his weight. Ganesha was aware of this fact as well, and thus, devised a plan. He encircled his parents, Shiva and Parvati, with utter devotion and completed three rotations. They were bewildered and inquired about his actions. Ganesha explained that they were his entire world, and that’s why he circled them. In the end, Ganesha triumphed, and upon returning, Murugan gracefully acknowledged his loss. To the delight of the demi-gods, Ganesha received the fruit, and their query as to who was the wiser of the two brothers was answered.

Lord Ganesha and his Broken Tusk

There are two versions of this story-

  • Sage Vyasa desired to record the Mahabharata poem and requested Ganesha to take dictation. However, Ganesha made a condition that the Sage must not pause dictating until the poem was completed. Sage Vyasa also placed the condition that Ganesha should comprehend each verse before writing it down. They began writing and whenever Sage Vyasa needed a break, he would dictate a challenging verse, giving Ganesha time to understand it. In his haste to finish the poem, Ganesha accidentally broke his feather, prompting him to take a piece of his tusk and dip it in the ink to continue writing until the poem’s conclusion. Thus, Ganesha sacrificed his tusk in exchange for knowledge.
  • According to another version भगवान विष्णु के तलवार धारण करने वाले अवतार भगवान परशुराम। Lord Parashurama came to pay his respects to Lord Shiva to express his gratitude for granting him the powerful axe that helped him defeat Kartavirya Arjuna and his allies. However, his visit was interrupted by Ganesha who informed him that Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati were resting and didn’t want to be disturbed. This angered Lord Parashurama, who engaged in a fight with Ganesha. Despite Ganesha’s initial advantage, Lord Parashurama threw his axe towards him. Ganesha allowed the axe to hit him because he knew it was a gift from his father, Lord Shiva, to Lord Parashurama. As a result, Ganesha lost one of his tusks.

Ganesha and his Two Wives

Ganesha and His Wives - Ganesha Stories

Ganesha, who had the head of an elephant, struggled to find a suitable bride due to his appearance. This caused him frustration as he was the only god without a partner. In retaliation, Ganesha, with the help of his mouse companions, began to cause disruptions at the weddings of other demi-gods. He instructed them to dig holes along the path of the procession, causing trouble for those trying to pass. The upset demi-gods appealed to Lord Brahma for assistance. In response to their plea, Brahma created two beautiful girls, Riddhi and Siddhi, and married them to Ganesha, thus eliminating the problem. Together, Ganesha and his new wives had two sons, Subha and Labha, who symbolize auspiciousness and profit.

Lord Ganesha and Lord Kubera

ganesh with lord kubera

ganesh with lord kubera

Lord Kubera was the god of wealth He was extremely proud of his wealth, and decided to host an elaborate banquet and invite numerous influential guests. Among his invitations was one extended to Lord Shiva, who saw through his true intentions of showcasing his riches. Lord Shiva informed him that his son, Ganesha, would be attending the feast and instructed Kubera to take care of his needs and hunger. Kubera was confident he could serve Ganesha well. When Ganesha arrived on the day of the feast, he ate voraciously and continued to ask for more until all of the food was gone. He then began eating the vessels, furniture, and other items around him in his continued hunger. Kubera, realizing his mistake, turned to Lord Shiva for help, who gave Ganesha a cup of roasted ice that instantly cured his hunger. Kubera recognized the error of his ways and apologized for his pride in his wealth.

Lord Ganesha and the Bool of Kheer

Ganesha and Bool of Kheer

In a village, a young boy wandered about announcing that he possessed a small amount of rice and milk and yearned for someone to transform it into a bowl of kheer. The inhabitants of the village disregarded his plea, knowing that such a meager quantity would not suffice for kheer. However, the boy refused to relinquish hope and wandered throughout the village the entire day shouting his plea. Eventually, an impoverished old woman consented to make the kheer for him. The boy requested the woman to prepare the kheer in a large pot, and after some confusion, she complied with his request. The boy stepped away as the kheer cooked and instructed her not to eat it before his return. The old woman fell asleep and when she awoke, she was awed to discover the pot brimming with fragrant kheer, an apparent boon from Lord Ganesha. Though she waited for the boy, she eventually consumed the kheer, saving a spoonful for Ganesha. Upon his late return, the old woman apologized for breaking her promise, but the boy corrected her, revealing himself to be Lord Ganesha. Overcome with remorse, the woman begged for forgiveness and Ganesha granted her a wish for beauty and prosperity.