One day, Parvati, Shivas wife, posted Nandi, Shivas gana, or attendant, at the front door of
their great palace on Mt. Kailas. She told him she was going to have her bath
and she did not want to be disturbed.
time, Shiva came home. Nandi thought Oh no! What should I do? I cannot stop him from entering his own home.
right past Nandi into the palace and right into the inner rooms where Parvati was undressing.
saw Shiva she thought My Lord? Did I not tell Nandi none shall enter?
furious. She yelled, Nandi has disobeyed me.
You may be my husband but he had not right to let you enter!
laughed, finding his angered wife amusing.
I must have a gana of my own, who will obey only me!
the palace in a fury to consult her friends and companions. She explained to
them that she couldn't have any real privacy without authority over her own home.
You are right. None of the ganas can really be called your own. Therefore, your command will never proceed Shivas
for some time.
Then one spoke Why not create a gana of your own who will owe
first allegiance to you?
very pleased with the suggestion. She replied of course, thats what I'll do!
back to the palace to begin on her project at once. She found a large golden
bowl with which to gather saffron paste she collected from her own body. She
then found a pedestal base upon which she would mold her creation.
She sat for
hours molding and perfecting the creation to her liking. Soon there stood a statue of a beautiful, strong young boy. She stood back to gaze upon and admire this handsome boy made by her own hands.
him with ornaments only a Goddess son could have, then she blessed him from toe to crown, and then he was made to life. She embraced her new son, and stroked his hair with a mothers caress.
him You are my son. I have none else to call my own.
mother! What would you have me do?" the
staff and follow me. She replied. With that he took the ornately golden staff
and followed his mother to the entrance of the palace.
stand here and do not let a soul enter without my permission! The boy then stood
fast, as a sentry, for the love of his mother.
later Shiva returned with some of his ganas. He turned to the ganas upon seeing
the boy and said, Who could that be? I have never seen him before.
to enter his home and, to his astonishment; the boy barred his way. The boy commanded
"Halt! None shall enter without my mothers permission.
shocked. He said Foolish boy! Dont
you know who I am? Get out of my way!
a word, the boy struck Shiva with his golden staff. Shiva was infuriated by the
Fool! I am
Shiva, Parvatis husband. How dare you forbid me entrance into my own home? Move aside! he demanded.
The boy only raised his staff and hit Shiva
again. Shiva was very angry. He
walked back to the ganas and asked, Who is that fool? What is he doing there? Throw him out and report back to me when he is gone.
gathered in front of the boy. Parvatis son yelled at the men Get away from here
or I will give a taste of my valour!
You, get away from here, if you value your life. You seem to forget we are Shivas
stood puzzled for a minute.
Shiva is my mothers Lord.
What should I do? Do I fight them or not?
Parvati heard the commotion at the door. She sent one of her friend to find out
what all the noise was about. The friend soon returned.
threatening your son. Please, do not let them lower your prestige! she said.
Shiva is my husband, but why did he try to force his way in? Very well, let what
must be, be! She turned to her friend and commanded Tell by boy not to give in to anyone!
returned to the boy and said Gentle Sir, your mother says your should not let anyone enter.
The boy was
no longer in doubt, and was full of confidence. He turned to the now hoarding
ganas and said, I am the son of Parvati. You are the ganas of Shiva. You must carry out his orders and I hers. I repeat, Shiva
shall not enter without my mothers permission!
were now doubtful. They said among himself "He is Parvati's son. What should we do? Is Shiva still going to want us to throw
back to report to Shiva. Lord, It is Parvatis own son who refuses to let you
Ah, Parvati! You have gone too far. You
leave me with no alternative. If I tell my ganas to withdraw, then it will be
said that I was subservient to my wife. My ganas will have to fight him. He turned to the ganas and spoke All
of your are my own, including Parvatis son. So a battle may not seem right to
you. But, if we do not accept this challenge, we may be misunderstood. Go fight him. It should be easy.
So the ganas
fully assembled and readied for war. Hundreds of ganas were assembled. They marched to the palace and the leaders of the ganas approached the boy.
The boy addressed
them I, a mere boy following my mothers commands, welcome you the leaders of Shivas hordes.
At that moment
the ganas rushed in at him. Nandi, the cow headed god grabbed the boy first,
by his legs. But the boy grabbed Nandis arms and with one fell crack of his golden
staff hit Nandis ribs. Nandi fell to the ground in pain. The boy then seized an iron club from one of the ganas and began swatting them like flies. The breaking of legs, arms, and ribs could be heard for miles. The
boy single handedly disabled the horde one by one. The lucky ones fled as fast
as they could back to Shiva and the boy took his post at the door of the palace.
Brahma, Vishnu, and Indra heard of the uproar. They quickly went to the sage
Narada to consult the matter.
Go to Lord Shiva. He is in need of you help.
before Shiva and bowed before him accordingly. They said, Lord, we are here to do your bidding.
There is a young boy standing at the entrance of my palace. He has defeated my
ganas, and dares to prevent me from entering my own home. Oh Great Brahma, go
and try to bring him under control.
I shall disguised myself as a Brahman as not to agitate the boy by my sight. Accompanied
by many sages Brahma left on his mission. They came before the boy who was still
steadfast at his post. As the neared him, the boy suddenly leaped forward and
began pulling Brahmas hair and beard.
The boy said,
Thatll teach you a lesson!
taken aback. He did not expect this reaction from the boy.
with the boy. I have not come to fight, I have come to make peace. Please listen to me!
The boy began
swinging his club in reply. Brahma and his sages fled for fear of injury. As the sages ran the boy yelled Run! I shall not fail my mother!
As the sages
came running back Shiva was in no doubt of the failure. Speaking his thoughts
outsold he said, This matter has gone too far. The boy must be destroyed.
He then sent
for his son Kartikeya, and Indra, King of the Devas. Upon their arrival Shiva
commanded Lead your ganas and Devas to war. Vanquish this boy from my home. I want him gone dead or alive.
And so it
was that the war was begun, and marching from all directions did they come. Converging
on the palace of Shiva and Parvati.
lead the armies of the Devas, road a top a brilliant white elephant, with golden capped tusks and armor bight and ornate,
only worthy of the kings mount. Kartikeya, who lead armies of his own ganas,
was riding atop a giant peacock with golden neck bands and a necklace with jewels to signify his status among the god's rides.
for a moment before the boy, as if to strike fear into his heart. With a single
yell Kartikeya began the attack, and the Devas soon followed.
The boy with iron club in one hand and golden staff in the other,
fended off ganas and Devas, but they were slowly making headway. With each swing
he took a gana fell but two took his place. It was the fame for the Devas.
Parvati, inside the palace, was informed of all that had happened, she was furious.
She said, "how dare they harass my son! They will pay!" So with a wave of her arms she created two shaktis, Kali and Durga.
She commanded them" Go! Assist my son."
between the boy and the enemy. Opening her mouth wide and swallowed all their
weapons with on great inhalation. Riding atop her great lion exhaled thereby
hurling all the weapons back at them. Durga, riding atop her great tiger, took
the form of lighting, and destroyed the enemy's weapons before they could reach the boy.
Between the two of them they did not let a single weapon come near the boy's swinging clubs.
his Devas were completely routed. They retreated in humiliation. Even Shiva's son, Kartikeya, who had killed the invincible Tarakasura, was helpless. After their retreat, they held council. It was agreed that
they must go back to Shiva. When they found him sitting upon a rock they pleaded
with him" O Lord, we have seen and heard of many battles, but never have we seen or heard of a warrior such as that!" But their praises of the boy's ability only infuriated Shiva.
form his lotus position and stated with teeth clinched "I will have to kill him with my own hands."
Shiva thundered out of the canyon he'd bee
waiting at, and all followed behind. They came upon the boy standing stoutly
at the door of the palace.
As they arrived, the boy steeped out to greet them, Unperturbed by the sight of Shiva, the boy attacked
all the chief Gods. One by one they fell.
watched the boy fight, he was amazed. He thought "He is invincible, he can only
be killed by cunning. I must watch for opportunity."
At the same
time Vishnu had the same thought. He consulted with Shiva. "I shall use my powers of delusion to fight him, If you permit me."
Shiva agreed "You may, that is the only
But at the same time Kali and Durga were
divining their intentions. They agreed, "Let us confer all our strength on the
boy, then even Vishnu's Maya will be ineffective."
With the added strength of the shaktis,
the boy catapulted his iron club at Vishnu. Vishnu, riding his great bird, had to use all his energy to dodge it. Shiva saw the trouble Vishnu was in and charged in with his trident.
But, the boy was too strong. He swung his fist and sent Shiva and his
trident flying. So Shiva took up his bow.
But the boy swung and broke the bow before an arrow was readied.
Shiva thought, "No wonder the ganas were
At that moment Vishnu came flying back after
regaining his strength. The boy lifted his club, but it was cut in two by Vishnu's
flying discus. So the boy hurled his remaining piece at Vishnu, but Vishnu's
mount the great bird Garuda, caught it and protected his master.
Then, as the boy picked up his golden staff
to hit Vishnu, Shiva came up form behind. So, with a dingle thrust of Shiva's
trident, the boy's head fell to the ground, rolling off a nearby cliff, thereby being lost forever.
For a moment all stood still, their eye's
fixed on the valiant hero. Then the Devas and the ganas became jubilant. Jumping
and singing for final victory.
But, Shiva was troubled. He thought, "What have I done? How shall I face Parvati? She created him. That made him my son
At that time Parvati heard of her son's
death. She declared "My son was killed by unfair means, for this the Devas and
Ganas shall all die!"
Out of her fury she created hundred of thousands
of shaktis. They all cried, "O Mother, what is your command? What will your have
Parvati screamed "Kill them! Kill all the
Devas and ganas! Devour them!"
The shaktis immediately began carrying out
her commands. With mouths open wide the armies were being swallowed whole. Brahma and Vishnu in particular were terrified.
Brahma cried, "This must end! Parvati must
And so it was that Brahma and Vishnu came
before Parvati, and pleaded for her mercy.
Vishnu bowing to the floor before Parvati
asked "O Great Goddess, have mercy on us. We shall do whatever you ask. We beg
Parvati said in reply "I will forgive you,
but my son must regain his life and he must have an honorably status among you."
So Brahma and Vishnu went back to Shiva
and put the conditions before him. Shiva said, "It shall be done, for the sake
of peace and happiness."
Shiva continued, "Go to the North, Bring
back the head of the first creature the crosses your path. Fit that head to the
boy's body and it will come to life."
After some travel, it was a single tusked
elephant that met them. Vishnu severed the head of the creature with a single
throw of his discus. They brought the head back and fitted it to the boy's body. Brahma knelt before the boy and prayed, and with a sweep of his hand, poured life
back into the boy. The boy rose.
Delighted that the boy was alive, Brahma
and Vishnu brought him to his mother, but Parvati was only partially appeased.
She asked, "What about his status?"
At that moment Indra and the other Gods
lead Shiva to her. Shiva bowed humbly before his wife.
He said, "Forgive my, Parvati. Arrogance is characteristic of the male. This valiant youth
shat be another of my son's."
Then Shiva place his hand on the boy's head
and stated, "Even as a mere boy you showed great valour. You shall be known as
Ganesha, the presiding officer of all my ganas. You shall be worth of worship
forever. You shall also be called Vighneshwara, the qualler of obstacles."Shiva and Parvati once again began to live happily in their palace at mount Kailas, delighted by
the presence of their two sons. To this day, before any venture is taken, it
is Ganesha who is invoked and whose blessings are sought.