What is Lord Ganesh birth story
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Lord Ganesha born as the son of Sri Parvati Devi
Lord Ganesha birth as per Skanda Purana
As per Skanda Purana (it is considered as a ‘Tamasa Purana’), Sri Parvati got Lord Ganesha out of her body’s mud. But here we should understand the correct and real meaning of this story and we must not take the story as it is, as it gives a wrong image of Sri Parvati Devi.
As per Skanda Purana, when Sri Parvati Devi made the rachana / creation of Lord Ganesha out of her body’s clay, does it mean that she had lot of clay / mud on her body?
How that much of clay / mud can come to her body?
These are the few questions which appears mind in the mind of today’s liberals.
Let us go little back:
When Sri Parvati Devi was born as “Sri Sati Devi”, that is, the daughter of Daksha Prajapati (thus Sri Sati Devi is also called as Dakshayani), she had created agni / fire out of her body and entered fire. So this means her body was full of agni / fire.
Similarly, Sri Parvati Devi took out small portion of ‘Pruthvi amsha’, that is clay / mud out of her body.
Sri Parvati Devi herself cannot create a son. Sri Parvati Devi cannot by herself can give birth to a child alone without the support of her sangati / partner.
A Woman without the support and anugraha of her partner / Purusha, cannot produce a child and such things are not found anywhere.
We must understand that Sri Parvati Devi created Lord Ganesha only out of the grace, that is, anugraha / blessings and support of her husband Lord Shiva, but not on her own power.
Ultimately it was the wish of Bhagavan Sri Maha Vishnu. Bhagavan Sri Maha Vishnu wanted to give a Devata, to whom the first pooja / worship to be done. Thus, with the wish of Bhagavan Sri Maha Vishnu, Sri Parvati Devi using the clay / mud gave birth to Lord Ganesha.
Lord Ganesha birth as per Brahma Vaivartha Purana
As per Brahma Vaivartha Purana (it is considerd as a ‘Raajasa Purana’).
As per this Purana, Sri Parvati Devi was wanting to have putra / son.
Thus Sri Parvati Devi did the tapas / penance for Bhagavan Sri Maha Vishnu. After some while, Bhagavan Sri Maha Vishnu blessed her to get a putra / son as per her wish.
Once when both Lord Shiva and Sri Parvati Devi were in the intimate position, few Rishis / sages came to meet the couple and wished to get bhiksha from them.
Because of this, Sri Parvati Devi left Lord Shiva in the middle of their intimacy, so that she can arrange for the bhiksha.
Thus, in the meantime the veerya of Lord Shiva which had to be deposited inside Sri Parvati Devi fell on the ground.
With this veerya, a handsome and beautiful putra / son was born to Lord Shiva and Sri Parvati Devi.
The same putra / son was none other than Lord Ganesha.
Thus we should familiarize that, Lord Ganesha was born with the anugraha / blessings of Lord Shiva himself.
NOTE: We should note that both the Puranas were written by Bhagavan Sri Veda Vyasa Ji (He is an avatar of Bhagavan Sri Maha Vishnu). The difference is because, Skanda Purana story is a ‘Tamasa story’.
This is a ‘mohakaprada katha’, that is, to produce hallucination in the asura / demonic type of people, this Skanda Purana’s story was written by Bhagavan Sri Veda Vyasa Ji.
How did Lord Ganesha got the head of an elephant
Here also there are two versions of the story.
What does the Skanda Purana say about the Lord Ganesha’s elephant head
This is very famous story and most of you must be aware of:
Once Sri Parvati Devi went to take bath and and made Lord Ganesh using the clay / mud and informed him to safeguard as a security at the main gate of the Sri Parvati Devi’s house.
At that very moment Lord Shiva who was thirsty comes to house where Lord Ganesha was safeguarding the gate of the house.
Seeing Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha stopped Lord Shiva.
After lots of discussions, Lord Shiva looses his temper and out of anger, removes the head of Lord Ganesha.
Thus, after Sri Parvati Devi comes out and she sees the dead body of her beloved son and begged Lord Shiva to give life to him immediately.
Lord Shiva in turn, then realizes that Lord Ganesha was his own son, and orders his ganas / servants to bring the head of anyone who is lying with the head towards north direction.
The ganas / servants saw no one sleeping with head towards North and at the end found an elephant sleeping towards north direction.
Thus those ganas / servants cut off the head of that elephant and gives it to Lord Shiva.
Soon Lord Shiva places the elephant head on the body of Lord Ganesha and brings back to Lord Ganesha to life again.
This is the story which many of you know. Usually, you would have seen on the television and movies.
Now, what does the Brahma Vaivartha Purana say about the Lord Ganesha’s elephant head
As per the Brahma Vaivartha Purana, the story of completely different:
As per the Brahma Vaivartha Purana, Lord Ganesha was very beautiful and handsome child.
All the Devatas / Demigods, Rishis wanted to have his a darshana (a glimpse) of Lord Ganesha.
Everybody came to Lord Shiva home land, that is, Mount Kailasa to have a darshana (a glimpse) of Lord Ganesha and were praising the Lord Ganesha.
Sri Parvati Devi was very much happy as she had given birth to a beautiful and handsome son.
After many Devatas came to Lord Ganesha, similarly Lord Shanaischara (Lord Shani Deva), also comes to see Lord Ganesha, but Lord Shani Deva was little hesitating to see Lord Ganesha and thus was sitting outside.
Sri Parvati Devi realizing this, asked Sri Shani Deva to come inside and have the darshana (a glimpse) of Lord Ganesha.
Lord Shani Deva told Sri Parvati Devi, that, he is having a curse from his wife that, if he sees anybody directly his head would be cut off.
(The story of this is that, once Sri Shani Deva was doing Dhyana / meditating of Bhagavan Sri Vishnu. At that time very time his wife, the daughter of Chitraratha, came in front of him.)
(But Sri Shani Deva who was in dhyana / meditation did not see her at all. Thus Chitraratha cursed Sri Shani Deva that whoever Sri Shani Deva sees directly would get his head cut off immediately).
This was the story of Sri Shani Deva and his wife Chitraratha.
One the other hand, Sri Parvati Devi compels Sri Shani Devi to have a darshana (a glimpse) of her son Lord Ganesha.
Thus after a long compellation, Lord Shani Deva agrees to see Lord Ganesha.
As soon as Lord Shani sees Lord Ganesha directly, Lord Ganesha’s head gets cuts off from his body.
Thus, Sri Parvati Devi now repents for having forced Sri Shani Deva to see his beautiful and handsome putra / son and she starts to cry.
This is the original story as per the Brahma Vaivartha Purana, on how Lord Ganesha looses his head.
The great Vaishnava saint who is the avatar of Sri Vayu Deva, that is, Sri Madhvacharya Ji in his ‘Maandookopanishat Bhashya’ has given explanation about how Lord Ganesha got the elephant’s head.
As per Sri Madhvacharya Ji, Lord Ganesha is the aradhaka (worshipper) of Bhagavan Vishva and Taijasa roopas / forms of Bhagavan Sri Maha Vishnu.
Both (that is, Vishva and Taijasa forms) are Jagrat and Svapnavasta niyamaka roopas / forms – i.e., Vishvambhara roopa. (Same roopa which Bhagavan Sri Krishna shows to Arjuna during the Bhagavad Gita pravachana).
This form of Bhagavan Sri Maha Vishnu has 19 heads in total.
The Central head is of Gajamukha (Gajamukha – Gaja = elephant, mukha = head), whereas the other 18 faces are human faces.
Lord Ganesha was doing the chintana (thinking) of “Vishvambara roopa” of Bhagavan Sri Maha Vishnu. Thus Lord Ganesha got the Gajamukha (elephant’s head).
(We should always remember that, what we think in our mind, so will Bhagavan Sri Maha Vishnu will give us the blessings as per our mindful thought.)
(If we think Bhagavan Sri Krishna is an ordinary human, we will be very ordinary human. And if we think Sri Krishna is svayam Bhagavan, we will get the blessings as per our bhakti / devotion.)
Thus, Sri Parvati Devi prayed Bhagavan Sri Maha Vishnu who immediately rushed there.
Bhagavan Sri Maha Vishnu went and removed the head of an elephant which was sleeping it’s head facing towards North.
Now naturally we will get a question in our mind that “Why Bhagavan Sri Maha Vishnu brought the head of an elephant and placed it on Lord Ganesha and not of any other animal or humans:
Now let us get the clarification on this as per the Brahma Vaivartha Purana:
Once the great Rushi Durvasa (he is an avatar of Lord Shiva) gave the ‘Nirmalya’ (remains of an offering to a deity – here of Bhagavan Sri Maha Vishnu) of Bhagavan Sri Maha Vishnu to Sri Indra Deva.
Sri Indra Deva in turn put it on the head of an elephant, but this elephant threw it and touched with its legs.
Since, that elephant had neglected Nirmalya (remains of an offering to a deity – here of Bhagavan Sri Maha Vishnu) of Bhagavan Sri Maha Vishnu, Sri Indra Deva got so many problems and he had to loose his Indrapadavi (loosing the power of being the king of heaven) also.
After Samudra Mathana (churning of ocean) and after getting ‘Amruta’ (ambrosia), Sri Indra Deva got back his power.
Now the point to be noted is, here that particular elephant which touched the ‘Nirmalya’ (remains of an offering to a deity – here of Bhagavan Sri Maha Vishnu) of Bhagavan Sri Maha Vishnu with its legs got the sin.
Thus, that elephant had to be punished.
Bhagavan Sri Maha Vishnu removed the head of that particular elephant as a punishment and attached it to Lord Ganesha.
Here we should also note that, since that particular elephant was lucky to have the sparsha (touch) of ‘Harinaivedita Nirmalya’ (Naivedya food of Bhagavan Sri Maha Vishnu) and as such, that particular elephant’s head could become the head of Lord Ganesha.
This is the original story as per the Brahma Vaivartha Purana.
(We should always keep in mind that, Bhagavan Sri Maha Vishnu will always be keeping a watch on everyone.)
(If we do good Karmas, we will get the good fruits. Similarly, if we do bad Karmas, we will definitely get the fruits as per our Karmas. “Jaise karni, vaise bharni”).
Naamakarana / Naming ceremony of Lord Ganapathy – Sri Parvati Devi requested Bhagavan Sri Maha Vishnu to name her child – Thus Bhagavan Sri Maha Vishnu himself gave auspicious 8 names:
Name – English meaning
Vignesha – He is the one who is the pariharaka / remover of obstacles.
Ganesha – He is the head of all the Ganas including Nandi and Bhrungi.
Heramba – He fought with Lord Shiva.
Gajanana – He has the head of an elephant (also known as Gajamukha).
Lambodara – He has big fat udara / stomach
Shoorpakarana – He has broad ears.
Vinayaka – He is always immersed in the dhyana / meditation of Bhagavan Sri Maha Vishnu.
Ekadanta – He has one tusk.
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